ALTO, Calif., Jan. 12, 2021 The Electric Power
Research Institute (EPRI) today announced Dr. Rita Baranwal as its
new Vice President of Nuclear Energy and Chief Nuclear Officer.
Baranwal succeeds Neil Wilmshurst, who was promoted to Senior Vice
President of Energy System Resources in November.
Baranwal most recently served as the U.S. Energy Department's Assistant
Secretary for its Office of Nuclear Energy, where she managed DOE's portfolio
of nuclear research for existing and advanced reactors and new designs.
Prior to that role, Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in
Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory. Under her leadership,
GAIN positively impacted over 120 companies with state-of-the-art R&D
expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure that supported faster,
cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of
innovative nuclear energy technologies.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will hold two webcast public hearings to present information and accept comments on the Draft Versatile Test Reactor Environmental Impact Statement (VTR EIS). DOE is hosting internet-based public hearings in place of in-person hearings due to ongoing public health concerns. The proposed VTR would be a sodium-cooled, fast-neutron-spectrum test reactor that will enhance and accelerate research, development, and demonstration of innovative nuclear energy technologies. The Draft VTR EIS, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), analyzes potential impacts of the VTR alternatives and options for reactor fuel production. The Draft VTR EIS evaluates: (1) Construction and operation of the VTR at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) or the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This includes operating and performing experiments in the VTR, post-irradiation examination of irradiated test specimens in hot cell facilities, and spent fuel conditioning and storage pending offsite shipment; (2) Production of fuel for the VTR at INL and/or the Savannah River Site, including preparing feedstock for the fuel, fabricating fuel pins, and assembling the fuel pins into reactor fuel; and (3) A no-action alternative under which DOE would not pursue the construction and operation of a VTR.
knowledge on MOX fuel behavior in fast neutron reactors comes mainly from
feedback on SFRs that have operated in the past in Europe, USA, Japan and are
still in service in Russia, India and China. The GENERATION-IV systems (SFR,
GFR, LFR, FSMR...) with the associated fuel cycle strategy have been chosen to
face the requirements of safety, non-proliferation, sustainability and waste
minimization. This completion is possible thanks to the flexibility of fast
neutron systems: they offer the possibility of using plutonium and uranium
coming from spent fuel, making the best use of resources while reducing waste.
Thus (U,Pu)O2 has proved to be the most ready candidate to achieve these
performances in reactor and during the fuel cycle. Mox fuel is suitable for
example for multirecycling, isogeneration, burning or breeding plutonium
through adjustment of Pu concentration. Taking into account a wide range of
fuel composition (Pu content: 20 to 45%), irradiation conditions and applying
the safety criteria, we will present the state of the art on MOX fuel for GENIV
systems with respect to knowledge and qualification. The knowledge on
(U,Pu)O2 will be presented under the aspects of material properties and fuel
behavior under irradiation with post irradiation examinations and modelling.
The methodology of MOX qualification will be will be detailed with TRL
(Technological Readiness Level) scale evaluation and the need to extend the
qualification area in order to cover all design, composition and situations