General Atomics Secures DOE Funds for Nuclear Reactor Fuel R&D

General Atomics has secured grants from the Energy Department to further develop new types of fuel designed to power nuclear reactor systems.

DOE will help fund two company-led projects to produce and license a reactor fuel system that uses uranium carbide pellets in silicon carbide composite cladding, General Atomics said Monday.

The projects were among 13 recipients of up to $60 million in federal funds under DOE’s U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development program.

General Atomics will collaborate with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee under a $2.8 million grant to develop approaches to accelerate the fuel qualification process with computer modeling, simulation and microcapsule irradiation

A separate $475,819 grant will support the company’s filing of a pre-application license with the U.S.Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the SiC-UC fuel.

The company agreed to share the cost of both projects.

General Atomics also partnered with Westinghouse Electric to develop SiC cladding through DOE’s Accident Tolerant Fuel program.

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