DOE s Fuel Cycle Technologies Program - An Overview

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1 DOE s Fuel Cycle Technologies Program - An Overview William Boyle Director, Used Fuel Disposition R & D (NE-53) Office of Nuclear Energy U.S. Department of Energy ECA Las Vegas, Nevada

2 Agenda Program Mission and Objectives Budget Summaries Achievements and Planned Accomplishments Partnership Overview Nuclear Energy University Programs Integration with Other Programs Conclusion 2

3 FCRD Mission and Program Objectives Mission Program Objectives Ensure America s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Goal 3: Secure Our Nation Enhance nuclear security through defense, nonproliferation, and environmental efforts. DOE Near Term Address BRC recommendations for Used Fuel Disposition. Increase focus on accident tolerant fuels. Down select fuel cycle options for further development. Advance nuclear power as a resource capable of making major contributions in meeting the Nation s energy supply, environmental, and energy security needs by resolving technical, cost, safety, security and regulatory issues through research, development, and demonstration. NE Medium Term Conduct science based, engineering driven R&D for selected fuel cycle options. Complete plans for developing a fuel examination and testing facility for extended storage of used nuclear fuel. Evaluate benefits of various geologic media for disposal. Develop used fuel waste management strategies and sustainable fuel cycles that improve resource utilization, minimize waste generation, improve safety and limit proliferation risk. FCR&D Long Term Demonstrate the selected fuel cycle options at engineering scale. Operate a fuel examination and testing facility for extended storage of used fuel. Conduct engineering analysis of disposal site(s) for selected geologic media. 3

4 Nuclear Energy Research and Development: an Integrated Approach Front End Back End Conventional production Innovative approaches U Seawater Safety enhanced LWR fuel Accident tolerance Higher performance Improved burnup Light Water Reactor Sustainability SMR support and R&D Advanced Reactors Evaluating extended time frames Transport after storage Separations Recycled fuel Secondary waste treatment Alternative geologies Alternative waste forms Safeguards and Security By Design Optimize through Systems Analysis, Engineering, and Integration 4

5 Fuel Cycle as a System Uranium Supply Advanced Fuels Reactors +Electricity +Industry Separations Technology Storage Disposal Conventional / Mining Seawater Extraction Other Advanced Techniques Conventional LWR Fuel Fabrication LWR Fuel w/ Improved Accident Tolerance Fast Reactor Fuel Light Water Reactors Advanced Reactors -Sodium -Lead -Gas -Salt Pre-treat / Condition Product Reprocess / Separate Fast Rx Recycle Waste Form Waste Form Interim Storage Interim Storage Interim Storage Interim Storage Geology X - TBD Geology X - TBD Geology X - TBD Geology X - TBD Optimized System: We want the best performance for each step in harmony with other parts of the system Near-Term/Long-Term Balance: Seek near-term applications while maintaining the long-term objective of a sustainable fuel cycle 5

6 New Focus for Some Near-Term Activities Administration policy regarding the importance of addressing the disposition of UNF and HLW, released January Separations is renamed Material Recovery in FY 2015 to reflect the expanded portfolio to a wider array of applications than just separations. Open/Close Fuel Cycles Material Recovery Environmental National Security 6

7 Fuel Cycle Research and Development - part of an integrated fuel cycle R&D approach Program Element Material Recovery and Waste Form Development FY 2014 Enacted FY 2015 Request 34,300 35,300 Advanced Fuels 60,100 43,100 Systems Analysis & Integration Materials Protection, Accounting & Control Technology Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition (UNFD) Research & Development UNFD Integrated management system Budget Summary $ in thousands 19,605 18,500 7,600 7,600 30,000 49,000 30,000 30,000 Fuel Resources 4,600 5,600 Total: 186, ,100 Mission Conduct R&D on advanced sustainable fuel cycle technologies that have the potential to improve resource utilization and energy generation, reduce waste generation, enhance safety, and limit proliferation risk. Conduct generic R&D on used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste management strategies and technologies to support USG responsibility to manage and dispose of the nation s commercial UNF and high-level waste. FY 2015 Planned Accomplishments Continue to assess accident tolerant fuel concepts. Increase technical knowledge and capability to examine high-burnup UNF. Continue to lay the ground work and develop options for decision makers on the design of an integrated waste management system as reflected in the Administration s Strategy. Fuel Resources is investigating advanced ligand design and advanced adsorbent material for extracting uranium from seawater. 7

8 Achievements and Planned Accomplishments Material Recovery and Waste Form Development Advanced Fuels Systems Analysis and Integration Materials Protection, Accounting, and Control Technologies (MPACT) Fuel Resources Used Nuclear Fuel R&D 8

9 Material Recovery and Waste Form Development Separations and Waste Forms is renamed in FY 2015 to reflect the expanded portfolio to a wider array of applications than just separations. 9

10 Advanced Fuels 10

11 Accident Tolerant Fuels Became a Major Focus Area after Fukushima Goal: By 2022, develop and test, in an existing LWR, an advanced fuel rod which tolerates loss of active cooling in the core for considerably longer time period than existing fuel. Objectives: Significantly reduce or eliminate hydrogen generation Reduce spent fuel volume through increased burnup Reduce Fuel Pin Failures & Increased reliability Improve Economics & Permit Power Upgrades Congressional Direction: The Fukushima (March 2011) accident led the U.S. Congress to direct the DOE to focus efforts on development of fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. 11

12 U.S. RD&D Strategy For Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuels 10 Year Goal Phase 1 Feasibility Workshops Phase 2 Development/Qualification Phase 3 Commercialization Feasibility studies on advanced fuel and clad concepts -- bench-scale fabrication -- irradiation tests -- steam reactions -- mechanical properties -- furnace tests -- modeling Fuel Downselection Steady State Tests Transient Irradiation Tests LTA/LTR Ready LOCA/Furnace Tests Assessment of new concepts -- impact on economics -- impact on fuel cycle -- impact on operations -- impact on safety envelope -- environmental impact Fuel Performance Code Fuel Safety Basis

13 Systems Analysis and Integration Evaluation Group Fuel Cycle Option Group Fuel cycle option 1 Fuel cycle option 2 Fuel cycle option 3 Fuel cycle option 4 Representative option Fuel cycle option 5 Criteria informed by metrics Analyze representative options Apply value functions for each representative option Define value function for each metric Identify the most promising Evaluation Groups Evaluation Group Fuel Cycle Option Group Fuel cycle option 1 Fuel cycle option 2 Fuel cycle option 3 Fuel cycle option 4 Representative option Fuel cycle option 5 Evaluation Group Fuel Cycle Option Group Fuel cycle option 1 Fuel cycle option 2 Fuel cycle option 3 Fuel cycle option 4 Representative option Fuel cycle option 5 Evaluation Group Fuel Cycle Option Group Fuel cycle option 1 Fuel cycle option 2 Fuel cycle option 3 Fuel cycle option 4 Representative option Fuel cycle option 5 13

14 Materials Protection, Accounting, and Control Technologies (MPACT) Supports innovative new methods for proliferation and terrorism risk assessment and the development of sensors to fill gaps in nuclear materials protection, accounting and control 14

15 Fuel Resources (Uranium from Seawater) Marine Environment Testing Seawater Particle Filter T Water Reservoir Water Reservoir Discharge Sampling Flow Meters Sorbent Beds Sampling Investigating the next generation of advanced adsorption technologies that enable an economic recovery of uranium from seawater. Recovering this resource at an economically competitive cost is a technical challenge but this value sets an upper limit in the uranium market price. Functionalized fibers Fixed bed 15

16 Used Nuclear Fuel R&D: Storage and Transportation Goal: In support of NRC licensing, develop the technical basis to support UNF management with a strong emphasis on high-burnup spent fuel. Objectives: Fuel retrievability and transportation after extended storage Technical data to support NRC licensing for long-term storage of High-Burnup fuels 16

17 High-Burnup Dry Storage R&D Project Goal - Develop the technical knowledge and the capability to examine high-burnup UNF to support NRC licensing for long-term storage. Involves: Loading a commercial storage cask with high-burnup fuel in a utility storage pool Drying of the cask contents using prototypic process Cask will be housed at the utility s dry cask storage site Continuously monitored and externally inspected until the first internal inspection at ~10 years Initiate activities at INL to open cask by adapting existing facilities. 17

18 Used Nuclear Fuel R&D: Disposal Provide a sound technical basis for multiple viable disposal options in the US Increase confidence in the robustness of generic disposal concepts Develop the science and engineering tools needed to support disposal concept implementation Leverage international collaborations 18

19 Partnership Overview National Laboratories INL fuels*, material recovery and waste form development*, program assessment and coordination*, fuel cycle options* ORNL fuel resources*, fuels, material recovery and waste form development, fuel cycle options SNL used nuclear fuel R&D* LANL MPACT*, fuels PNNL material recovery and waste form development, fuels ANL material recovery and waste form development, fuel cycle options Others SRNL, BNL, LLNL, LBNL Industry Advisory and Assistance Services, Task Order Contracts Accident Tolerant Fuel Development Universities NEUP Numerous International Partnerships China, France, Japan, Russia (suspended), ROK, UK, Euratom, OECD/NEA, IAEA Regulator Inter-Agency Agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission * Lead laboratories noted with asterisks. 19

20 ATF development is supported by a large part of the U.S. nuclear complex National Laboratories Universities Nuclear Industry 20

21 Strong International Activities in ATF European Union New projects initiated China Observer to NEA and has ATF R&D The NEA's current membership consists of 31 countries in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Together they account for approximately 85% of the world's installed nuclear capacity. June 2013 FY 2014 FCIX 21

22 FY 2013 Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) 20 percent of R&D funding is invested in NEUP: Infrastructure, R&D, Integrated Research Projects (IRPs). In FY 2013, FCR&D funded 41 R&D awards and 0 IRPs. ~$400,000 each for 10 mission-supporting awards. 7 Uranium Resources, 3 nuclear data ~$800,000 each for 31 program-supporting awards. 7 UFD, 6 Seps&WFs, 6 Fuels, 4 MPACT, 4 SA&I, 4 Nanonuclear 22

23 Integration With Other Programs NNSA Safeguards - close coordination with large NNSA programs: NA-24 s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative: Technology and Concepts NA-22 s Nonproliferation R&D: Global Safeguards EM Coordinated R&D is conducted in: Waste treatment technologies Disposal technologies Waste forms SC Coordinated R&D is conducted in: Modeling and simulation Materials Nuclear physics Separations Within NE Coordinates with Reactor Technologies in crosscutting areas: NEAMS LWRS Nuclear data Proliferation risk assessment Facilities Management funds crosscutting facilities required by FCR&D: ATR, advanced PIE capability, and transient testing capability. NE-led separations roadmap aimed at identifying the crosscutting needs of DOE for separations technologies and to speed development, examining opportunities to leverage R&D across DOE. 23

24 Conclusion Expand UNF R&D to support long-term storage of highburnup fuel Continue to implement the accident tolerant fuel development program in accordance with the program plan Continue to expand material recovery and waste form technologies beyond advanced fuel cycles into environmental remediation, national security, and international nonproliferation 24

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