Rick Perry, secretary at the Department of Energy, has visited General Atomics facilities to inspect on DOE-funded nuclear energy efforts.
The company said Wednesday it is developing accident tolerant fuel rod cladding for nuclear reactors in support of the department’s ATF initiative.
General Atomics uses SiGA, a silicon-carbide composite, to produce ATF cladding that is resistant to higher temperatures than current standard metals.
The ATF technology is intended to extend the lifespan of current reactors and reduce the risk of damaging cores due to loss-of-coolant mishaps.
Perry also visited the company’s DIII-D National Fusion Facility that serves as the country’s largest magnetic fusion research site and toured around laboratories that support the National Nuclear Security Administration's Inertial Confinement Fusion program.
Lastly, the secretary traveled to Poway, Calif. to visit the company’s Magnet Technologies Center that facilitates fabrication of Central Solenoid to be used for the upcoming France-based ITER fusion reactor.
“We are very proud to give Secretary Perry a first-hand look at the work we are doing for the [d]epartment, to provide the opportunity to meet some of our dedicated scientists and engineers and to describe some of the important advances we expect over the next decade,” said Jeffrey Quintenz, senior vice president of General Atomics' energy group.