Uranium & Fuel

Nuclear Fuel / GNF And X-energy To Cooperate On Triso Development For US Needs

By Kamen Kraev
6 November 2019

GNF And X-energy To Cooperate On Triso Development For US Needs
Individual TRISO fuel particles at 100um scale. Image courtesy Idaho National Laboratory.
US-based companies Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) and X-energy have agreed to cooperate on the production of Triso nuclear fuel to potentially supply the US Department of Defense for micro-reactors and NASA for its nuclear thermal propulsion needs.

GNF said in a statement that the two companies will work on the development of high-assay low-enriched uranium (Haleu) Triso fuel, combining X-energy’s commercial-scale Triso production equipment and GNF’s fuel fabrication facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Triso, a shortened form of the term tristructural-isotropic, refers to a specific design of uranium nuclear reactor fuel. Tristructural refers to the layers of coatings surrounding the uranium fuel, and isotropic refers to the kernel being the same size in each direction since it takes the shape of a sphere.

According to GNF, X-energy is currently manufacturing Triso particles at a pilot fuel facility located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The company continues to build on Triso fuel technology developed under an advanced gas reactor fuel qualification programme administered by the US Department of Energy, GNF said.

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