Legislation excludes uranium sourced from Russia and China Advanced fuels are seen as the most critical element in the design of advanced nuclear reactors. Courtesy Idaho Nationall Laboratory. US senator John Barrasso has introduced to the US Senate a bill to ensure a domestic supply of high-assay, low-enriched uranium (Haleu) to fuel advanced nuclear reactors.

The Fueling Our Nuclear Future Act of 2022 would ensure a domestic supply of Haleu for advanced reactors by directing the Department of Energy to prioritise establishing a domestic Haleu enrichment capability and to use enriched uranium held by the DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration to fuel advanced reactor demonstrations until US commercial enrichment is available.

The bill explicitly excludes uranium sourced or processed by any entity owned or controlled by the governments of Russia and China.

The American Nuclear Society said Russia currently operates the only commercial Haleu enrichment capacity. A mature commercial Haleu infrastructure in the US could serve domestic Haleu needs and also supply US allies with Haleu.

In recognition of this export potential, the bill would amend Section 2001 of the Energy Act of 2020 by striking the words “for domestic commercial use” and replacing them with “to meet the needs of commercial, government, academic, and international entities”.

Advanced fuels are seen as the most critical element in the design of advanced nuclear reactors, which need a robust fuel that can withstand very high temperatures without melting.

Earlier this month Triso-X said it had submitted the first ever licence application for a Haleu fuel facility to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The facility, dubbed TF3, is planned for the Horizon Center Industrial Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Date: Wednesday, 13 April 2022
Original article: nucnet.org/news/senator-introduces-bill-to-ensure-domestic-supply-of-haleu-for-advanced-reactors-4-2-2022