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U.S.

Department of Energy
Fuel Cycle Technologies R&D
Outlook
John Herczeg
Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Fuel Cycle Technologies
Office of Nuclear Energy
Global 2015
French Section American Nuclear Society
September 23, 2015

Focus Areas of DOE Fuel Cycle
Technologies

Uranium
Supply

Conventional
Mining

Seawater
Extraction

Enrichment &
Fuel
Fabrication

Reactors

Recycle

Interim
Storage

Final
Disposal

Conventional LWR
Fuel Fabrication
Light Water
Reactors

Interim
Storage

LWR Recycle

Geologic
Repository

LWR Fuel with
Improved Accident
Tolerance

Other Advanced
Techniques

Waste
Forms

Product

Advanced Reactor
Fuel

Advanced
Reactors

Advanced Reactor
Recycle

LLW Disposal

Safeguards and Security by Design

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Fuel Cycle Research &
Development Program
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 research and development and generic nonR&D activities related to used nuclear fuel, nuclear waste
management
andwork
disposal
 Lay the ground
and issues;
planning for the
NEof the Administration’s strategy
implementation
on the management of used nuclear fuel and
FCR&D
high-level waste.
The program employs a long-term, science-based
approach to foster innovative, transformational
technology solutions to achieve this mission.
Advancements in fuel cycle technologies and
solutions support the enhanced availability,
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Fuel Cycle Research &
Development
FY 2016 Budget Request
(dollars in thousands)
Subprogram

FY 2016

FY 2015
Enacted

Request

House Mark

Senate Mark

Material Recovery & Waste Form Development

35,300

35,300

35,300

34,800

Advanced Fuels

60,100

48,700

60,100

60,100

Systems Analysis and Integration

16,900

11,200

11,200

11,100

MPACT

7,600

8,600

8,600

8,500

Fuel Resources

5,600

5,600

5,600

5,500

Research & Development

49,000

75,360

55,000

64,000

Integrated Waste Mgmt. System

22,500

30,000

0

30,000

--

3,000

0

3,000

197,000

217,760

175,800

217,000

Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition

DOE-Managed HLW & SNF
Total

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Partnerships Play and
Important Role in Fuel
Cycle R&D

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* Lead laboratories noted with asterisks.

5

FY 2015 Nuclear Energy
University Programs (NEUP)
 20 percent of R&D funding is invested in NEUP:
Infrastructure, R&D, Integrated Research
Projects (IRPs).
 In FY 2015, FCR&D funded 18 R&D awards
and 4 IRPs.

Members actively engaged in training/mentoring of
undergraduate students from different U.S. DOE programs.

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Material Recovery and Waste
Form Development (MRWFD)
Environmenta
l
Open/Closed
Fuel Cycles

National
Security

Material
Recover
y
Off-gas
Management

Waste Forms
& Processes

STAAR
Sigma Team for Advanced
Actinides Recycling

Cost Effective
and Appropriate
for Industry
Deployment

Fundamental
Understanding

Present

September 23, 2015

FR Fuel
Separations

Future

SFANS

 MRWFD’s mission is to develop
advanced material recovery as well as
advanced waste form development
technologies that improve current fuel
cycle performance and enable a
sustainable fuel cycle, with minimal
processing, waste generation, and
potential for material diversion.
 Off-Gas Capture and
Immobilization
 Management of process offgasses (I-129, H-3, Kr-85, and C14) to meet U.S. regulatory
constraints
 Waste Management
 Waste forms and processes need
to be developed as an integral
part of material recovery
technology development. As
advanced recycling processes
are developed, unique waste
streams arise that must be
managed in a safe,
environmentally responsible and

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Release of Evaluation and
Screening
Final Report
 The Evaluation and Screening (E&S)
study report was released by the
DOE-NE Fuel Cycle Options Campaign
in October 2014

 E&S report provides information about
the potential benefits and challenges
of nuclear fuel cycle options
 Provides useful information to
strengthen the basis of DOE-NE R&D
programs
 Report is comprised of the Main
Report and Appendices A-H that
provide more details on approach,
results, and participants

https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt/community/nuclear_science_and_technology/337/nuclear_fuel_cycle_evaluation_and_screening_fina
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Advanced Fuels

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RD&D Strategy For Enhanced Accident
Tolerant Fuels – 10 Year Goal
Phase 1
Feasibility

Phase 2
Development/Qualification

Phase 3
Commercialization

Workshops
Fuel Selection/Prioritization
Feasibility studies on advanced fuel
and clad concepts
-- bench-scale fabrication
-- irradiation tests
-- steam reactions
-- mechanical properties
-- furnace tests
-- modeling

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
Industry led projects (Phase 1a)

2012

2013

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2014

Fuel Performance Code
Fuel Safety Basis

Industry led
projects (Phase 1b)

2015

2016

Industry led project(s) (Phase 2)

2017

SFANS

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

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Increased Interest Globally in
Accident Tolerant Fuels
China
• Attributes and metrics
• Information exchange on R&D
facilities

France
• Currently defining bilateral activities with
specific agreement to support international
activities related to ATF, with joint
development of attributes and metrics and
coordination of facilities.
• CEA pursues ATF R&D through a tri-party
agreement with AREVA and EDF.

European Union
• 2 New INERI projects
• Horizon 2020

Japan
• Definition of attributes and metrics
• Coordination of technology research and
development
• Coordination of facilities used for R&D

UK
• Bilateral activities currently under
discussion
(active partners in ATF FOAs and IRPs)

Russian Federation (currently on hold)
• Advanced LWR fuels and ATF
• Exchange of attributes and metrics
September 23, 2015

Others
• OECD/NEA Expert Group
• IAEA Expert Group
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DOE’s Spent Fuel and HighLevel Waste Management
2012 – Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear
Future
Chartered to recommend a new strategy for managing the
back end of the nuclear fuel cycle
2013 – Administration’s Strategy for the Management
and Disposal of
Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level
Radioactive Waste
Endorsed key principles underpinning the Blue Ribbon
Commission’s recommendations

2015 – Presidential Memorandum Related to Disposal
of Defense High- Level Radioactive Waste
DOE announced a path forward for defense waste, and a
parallel path for storage and disposal of commercial spent fuel
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Key Elements of Administration
Strategy
January 2013

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Announcement of Parallel Path
Forward in Waste Management
On March 24, President Obama authorized the Energy Department to
move forward with planning for a separate repository for high-level
radioactive waste resulting from atomic energy defense activities.
In remarks before the Bipartisan Policy Center, Secretary Moniz
discussed this path forward for defense waste as well as a parallel
path for storage and disposal of commercial spent fuel, consistent
with the Administration’s January 2013 Strategy for the Management
and Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste,
which built upon the work of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission
on America’s Nuclear Future completed in January 2012.
Secretary Moniz announced three specific actions that the
Department will undertake –
 Planning for a defense-only repository
 Moving forward with planning for interim storage of commercial spent
fuel
 Moving forward with a consent-based siting process for both types of
facilities

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Areas of Focus
Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition
Programs
Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition R&D Campaign – Identify
alternatives and conduct scientific research and technology
development to enable storage, transportation and disposal of
used nuclear fuel and wastes generated by existing and future
nuclear fuel cycles. 
Nuclear Fuels Storage and Transportation Planning
Project – Lay the groundwork for implementing interim
storage, including associated transportation, per the
Administration’s Strategy for the Management and Disposal of
Used Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste, and
develop a foundation for a new nuclear waste management
organization.

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Deep Borehole Field Test


Demonstrate the scientific feasibility of deep boreholes
Demonstrate safe processes and operations for safe
waste emplacement downhole

Confirm the safety,
capacity, and feasibility of
the deep borehole disposal
concept for the long-term
isolation of nuclear waste
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Conclusions

 The Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies is developing
technology options that support a sustainable
nuclear future.
 Balanced portfolio of near-term and long-term applications of

technology
 Seeking innovation from laboratories and universities and
technology applications in partnership with industry
 Leveraging limited resources through international collaboration

 The Department of Energy is also committed to
moving forward with development of management
strategies and technologies for the storage and
disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level
radioactive waste.
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