First batch scheduled to be delivered by 2023 Sections of the first Triga fuel elements produced for the US. Courtesy US DOE. The US Department of Energy has agreed to a nine-year contract with Triga International to secure new fuel elements for half of the nation’s university-operated research reactors.

The first batch of fuel is expected to be delivered to the US by 2023 and will be the first new Triga fuel elements produced in more than nine years.

Triga International is the world’s only Triga fuel supplier. The company completed a major renovation project last year in Romans, France with support from the DOE and restarted its fuel production in December for the first time since 2012.

Framatome and General Atomics created the Triga International in 1995 to market Triga fuel elements manufactured at Romans.

Triga is a class of nuclear research reactor designed and manufactured by General Atomics. Triga stands for “training, research, isotopes General Atomics”.

The DOE agreed to buy 668 new fuel elements over the next nine years with an initial procurement of 55 elements that could be ready within the next 15 months. The fuel will be used to support 18 Triga reactors in the US and secures a dependable fuel supply for a handful of research reactors at Idaho National Laboratory, including the lab’s new Marvel microreactor project.

“This fuel procurement ensures continued operation of 12 Triga reactors on college campuses across the country that are helping to train our future nuclear workforce,” said Doug Morrell, manager of the DOE’s research reactor infrastructure programme. “It also secures the fuel that we need to support new DOE initiatives that will help next-generation reactor designs that can be leveraged to help decarbonise our world.”

Triga reactors are primarily used for student training, various research projects and isotope production.

There are 36 Triga reactors operating today, including 18 in the US. The first batch of Triga fuel will be used to fuel five of the nation’s university-operated research reactors.

Date: Tuesday, 08 February 2022
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