Earlier this year, the TerraPower Natrium Support Program at INL completed its first examination of irradiated experimental fuel sent from the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) to the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR).
The collaborative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy and TerraPower is focused on deploying advanced reactor technologies and fuels. This effort resulted in irradiation of the fuel in ATR, nondestructive examination at HFEF to obtain data, and the return of the fuel to ATR for continued irradiation.
The valuable data collected from this effort led to several positive opportunities for TerraPower, including the chance to examine the condition of the nuclear fuel after a snapshot in time before continuing irradiation. The data will help determine long-term fuel performance before beginning post-irradiation examination activities, potentially saving time and money on future experiment campaigns.