Nuclear Energy Basics

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The articles below provide general information on all things nuclear—ranging from nuclear energy basics and STEM content to featured industry jobs and national lab capabilities that are used to accelerate research and development in nuclear energy.

June 23, 2020
Control dials connected to a electricity grid
3 Ways Nuclear is More Flexible Than You Might Think
Nuclear is evolving into a more flexible energy source that can operate alongside renewable generators to create new hybrid energy systems.
May 28, 2020
small modular reactor
4 Key Benefits of Advanced Small Modular Reactors
Advanced small modular reactors could change the way we think about nuclear power. Here are 4 key benefits you need to know about them.
May 19, 2020
A pressurized water reactor
NUCLEAR 101: How Does a Nuclear Reactor Work?
Learn how boiling and pressurized light-water reactors work.
May 1, 2020
A photo of two cooling stacks in the distance with a river in the foreground
What is Generation Capacity?
Capacity is the amount of electricity a generator can produce when it's running at full blast. Learn more about this confusing energy term.
April 23, 2020
nuclear power plant thumbnail
5 Fast Facts About Nuclear Energy
Get up to speed on nuclear energy with these 5 fast facts.
April 22, 2020
Aerial view of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant in Mississippi
Nuclear Power is the Most Reliable Energy Source and It's Not Even Close
Nuclear energy has the highest capacity factor of any energy source, and it's not even close.
April 16, 2020
Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant
What's the Lifespan for a Nuclear Reactor? Much Longer Than You Might Think
Nearly 10 years of research is giving U.S. nuclear companies the data and confidence they need to operate up to 80 years.
April 7, 2020
HALEU- High-assay low-enriched uranium
What is High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU)?
HALEU is enriched between 5% and 20% in U-235 and is required for most U.S. advanced reactors to achieve smaller designs.
March 30, 2020
Graphic of a nuclear power reactor with nuclear waste in concrete casks.
5 Fast Facts about Spent Nuclear Fuel
Get up to speed with these five fast facts about spent nuclear fuel.
February 4, 2020
Cooling tower at sunset
Advantages and Challenges of Nuclear Energy
An overview of the main advantages of nuclear energy and the challenges currently facing the industry today.
January 28, 2020
Test rod holders containing both ARMOR and IronClad rodlets.
These Accident Tolerant Fuels Could Boost the Performance of Today’s Reactors
Three of the largest U.S. nuclear suppliers are working with the Energy Department to develop new accident tolerant fuels for the nation's reactors.
January 21, 2020
Nuclear thermal propulsion and how it works.
6 Things You Should Know About Nuclear Thermal Propulsion
Six things everyone should know about nuclear-powered rocket engines.
October 22, 2019
RTG thumbnail image blog
What is a Radioisotope Power System?
Nuclear has powered space exploration for decades. Learn radioisotope power systems' role in the most successful space missions in U.S. history.
October 16, 2019
5 problems nuclear can solve thumbnail
5 Problems You Didn’t Know Nuclear Could Solve
Nuclear is tackling a multitude of issues impacting the world. Here are 5 problems you didn't know nuclear could solve.
July 9, 2019
Photo of a TRISO fuel particle
TRISO Particles: The Most Robust Nuclear Fuel on Earth
TRISO particles cannot melt in a reactor and can withstand extreme temperatures that are well beyond the threshold of current nuclear fuels.
October 23, 2018
a photo of a truck with a microreactor unit on the back.
What is a Nuclear Microreactor?
Microreactors are not defined by their fuel form or coolant. Instead, they have three main features.
July 17, 2018
The words Accident Tolerant Fuels are on a banner next to a fuel assembly
5 Things You Should Know About Accident Tolerant Fuels
Accident tolerant fuels have the potential to improve performance and survive accident conditions a lot longer than today's nuclear fuel.
July 3, 2018
photo of space with text that reads small modular reactors the guardians of the grid
5 Key Resilient Features of Small Modular Reactors
These 5 features of small modular reactors bring resilience to the electric grid.
June 5, 2018
Small modular reactor model at NuScale Power
3 Innovations Transforming the Nuclear Industry
Advanced reactors, additive manufacturing and advanced fuels are expected to transform the U.S. nuclear industry. Here's how.
May 7, 2018
graphic of words that say fission vs fusion
Fission and Fusion: What is the Difference?
Infographic: Learn the difference between fission and fusion - two physical processes that produce massive amounts of energy from atoms.
April 17, 2018
A blue glow is present during the refueling of the HFIR reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
7 Fast Facts about the High Flux Isotope Reactor
7 fast facts on the High Flux Isotope Reactor—one of the nation's top facilities in producing medical- and industry-grade isotopes.
April 4, 2018
Homer Simpson sits in a nuclear control room and is sleeping
7 Things The Simpsons Got Wrong About Nuclear
Here are 7 things The Simpsons missed about nuclear energy.
March 12, 2018
aerial photo of advanced test reactor
7 Fast Facts About Idaho National Laboratory's Advanced Test Reactor
The Advanced Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory is one of the largest research reactors in the world helping to advance nuclear technologies.
March 7, 2018
Diagram of a molten salt reactor
3 Advanced Reactor Systems to Watch by 2030
These 3 advanced reactor designs are cleaner, safer and more efficient than previous generations. They could also debut as early as 2030.
February 22, 2018
A researcher stands in front of a simulated computer modeling system
10 Jobs in Nuclear Starting at $60K or Higher
Nuclear energy has a host of careers that utilize many diverse skill sets, and the pay isn't bad either. These 10 jobs start at $60K or higher.