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A design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars has exceeded key performance parameters and optimised the reactor for manufacturability, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has announced. The reactor's features include a compact core thanks to the use of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel.

Date: Friday, 18 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/GA-delivers-HALEU-fuelled-reactor-concept-for-Mars

The design was produced as part of a NASA-funded study Image courtesy General Atomics US-based General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has delivered a design concept for a nuclear thermal propulsion reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars.

The design was produced as part of a NASA-funded study. GA-EMS said its design exceeded the key performance parameters requested by NASA.

The reactor concept incorporates advancements in modern nuclear materials and manufacturing methods with experience from GA-EMS’s involvement on NASA Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Project Rover in the 1960s. Project Rover was one of the first programmes to demonstrate the feasibility of space-based nuclear thermal propulsion.

GA fabricated approximately six tonnes of the nuclear fuel kernels for the project. In 1965, the company was also directly involved in nuclear fuel testing and characterisation for the SNAP-10A reactor, the only US nuclear power reactor launched into space, which powered the satellite for 43 days. The fuel used for that reactor is the same fuel that has been used since the 1950s in General Atomics Triga reactors.

Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/general-atomics-submits-nuclear-reactor-concept-for-missions-to-mars-9-2-2020

The Doel nuclear power station in Belgium. Westinghouse Electric Company of the US and Spain-based Enusa Industrias Avanzadas announced the installation of EnCore fuel at Engie Electrabel’s Doel-4 nuclear power plant in Belgium.

Westinghouse said this installation marks the first insertion of EnCore Fuel rod assemblies in Europe, and the second insertion into a commercial nuclear power plant worldwide.

“The insertion of EnCore Fuel at the Doel plant is a significant milestone for our accident tolerant fuel prograemme,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse president of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) operating plant services. “This installation is part of the successful deployment of EnCore Fuel to the global nuclear energy industry.”

The lead test assemblies (LTAs) were manufactured and delivered under an agreement between Westinghouse and Enusa, which was signed in 2018 to allow for collaboration on the advancement of the EnCore Fuel programme at Westinghouse.

Date: Friday, 11 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/encore-fuel-loaded-at-doel-4-nuclear-station-9-4-2020

Lead test assemblies of EnCore accident tolerant fuel (ATF) have been installed in Engie Electrabel's Doel unit 4 in Belgium, Westinghouse Electric Company and ENUSA Industrias Avanzadas (ENUSA) have announced. Doel 4 is the second commercial nuclear power plant in the world, and the first in Europe, into which EnCore assemblies have been installed.

Date: Thursday, 10 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/First-European-reactor-loads-EnCore-accident-toler

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has announced a collaboration agreement with US-based Kairos Power, which is working to develop and license fluoride salt-cooled small modular reactor (SMR) technology. The agreement is funded through CNL's Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative (CNRI) programme and will cover research and engineering of technologies to separate, analyse and store tritium generated through the reactor's operation.

Date: Saturday, 05 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/CNL-announces-SMR-research-partnership-with-Kairos

US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has established a new facility in Salt Lake City to support the development of the company's proprietary Fully Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel.

Date: Friday, 04 September 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsusnc-opens-smr-fuel-facility-in-usa-8116534

US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation has established a new facility in Salt Lake City to support the development of the company’s proprietary fully ceramic micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel.

Materials developed at the new facility will be used in the company’s micro-modular reactor (MMR) and other nuclear reactors, including gas-cooled reactors, light water reactors, Candu reactors, and molten salt cooled reactors.

Salt Lake City was selected partly because the region is home to significant ceramics and materials expertise, central to the manufacturing of FCM fuel. The Salt Lake City Lab augments Ultra Safe’s materials development efforts at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and collaborations with the Chalk River Laboratories.

FCM is a next-generation Triso particle fuel design, replacing the 50-year-old graphite matrix of traditional Triso fuel with silicon carbide (SiC), a material used in tank armour that is extremely resistant to radiation and thermal damage. Triso, a shortened form of the term tristructural-isotropic, refers to a specific design of uranium nuclear reactor fuel.

Date: Friday, 04 September 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/ultra-safe-opens-salt-lake-city-facility-to-support-nuclear-fuel-development-9-4-2020

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) has established a new facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, to support the development of its proprietary Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel. Materials developed there will be used in USNC's Micro Modular Reactor (MMR) and other nuclear reactors, including gas-cooled reactors, light water reactors, CANDU reactors and molten salt cooled reactors.

Date: Thursday, 03 September 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/USNC-opens-SMR-fuel-development-laboratory

Rosatom has approved a project to upgrade an experimental shop-floor for nuclear fuel fabrication at the site of the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC), which is in Seversk, in the Tomsk region of Russia. The move will enable SCC to manufacture fuel assemblies with uranium-plutonium REMIX (regenerated mixture) fuel matrix for VVER-1000 reactors.

Date: Friday, 28 August 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Rosatom-plans-REMIX-fuel-fabrication-at-Seversk-fa

The Investment Committee of Russia's Rosatom has approved a project to modernise the experimental shop-floor for nuclear fuel fabrication at the Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC), in Seversk, West Siberia.

Date: Thursday, 27 August 2020
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrosatom-to-fabricate-remix-fuel-at-siberian-chemical-combine-8104157