Nuclear Milestones

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February 17, 2021
ATR Plutonium-238 Target
Idaho National Lab Starts Second Plutonium Target Campaign for NASA Space Missions
DOE is scaling up the production of plutonium-238 heat source material to help meet future goals set by NASA.
February 9, 2021
Graphical rendering of Fortis railcar design with spent nuclear fuel cask.
High-Tech Railcar Designed to Transport Spent Nuclear Fuel Moves to Next Phase
Eight-axle Fortis railcar moves to fabrication and testing phase.
December 4, 2020
Accident Tolerant Fuel Shipment Container
Irradiated Accident Tolerant Fuel Experiments Shipped to ORNL
Accident tolerant fuel experiments by GE's Global Nuclear Fuel shipped to Oak Ridge National Laboratory after 24 months in a commercial reactor.
December 1, 2020
3D printed fuel assembly bracket
TVA and Framatome to Load First 3D-Printed Fuel Assembly Bracket in Commercial Reactor
3D-printed fuel assembly brackets printed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be loaded in a commercial reactor for the first time.
November 10, 2020
Fabricated samples pulled out of the system
National Lab Designs System to Produce Solid Metal Hydride Moderator
National lab develops a system to fabricate solid yttrium hydride to be used as a moderator in compact, high-temperature reactors.
October 1, 2020
PNNL new material thumbnail
New Material Traps Radioactive Gases for Commercial Reuse
National lab develops a radiation-resistant material that efficiently captures radioactive gases.
September 25, 2020
Versatile Test Reactor project mock up
Versatile Test Reactor Project Reaches Critical Decision Milestone
Versatile Test Reactor project moves to next phase of DOE's Critical Decision process.
September 2, 2020
NuScale Power Module
NRC Approves First U.S. Small Modular Reactor Design
NRC staff approval puts NuScale Power SMR on track to receive full design certification by August 2021.
August 26, 2020
MARCH Experimentation holders
Modular Experiment Holders Expected to Accelerate Nuclear Fuel Testing
New modular-based experiment holders provide rapid analysis and quicker turnarounds on smaller test samples of nuclear fuels and materials.
August 11, 2020
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3D prints part for Kairos Power
National Lab 3D Prints Key Component for Kairos Power's Advanced Reactor
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3D prints key part for Kairos Power’s advanced reactor prototype.
July 8, 2020
image icon of an atom
NRC Approves New Approach to Streamline Advanced Reactor Licensing Process
NRC approves a new approach to licensing non-light water reactor technologies.
June 3, 2020
MMRTG for Mars 2020 mission
Nuclear Power System Delivered for NASA’s Perseverance Rover
The U.S. Department of Energy successfully built, tested and delivered an MMRTG to power NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover.
May 19, 2020
high temperature creep testing of Alloy 617
New Alloy Material Approved for Use in High-Temperature Nuclear Plants
Alloy 617 is the sixth material cleared for use in high-temperature reactors and could allow new designs to operate at even higher temperatures.
April 29, 2020
VERA simulation_thumbnail_1
Virtual Reactor Software Gets First Commercial License
VERA virtual software package secures first commercial license.
April 15, 2020
Argonne Explores 3D Printing as a way to Recycle Used More Nuclear Fuel thumbnail
Nuclear Milestone: Argonne Explores 3D Printing to Recycle More Used Nuclear Fuel
Argonne National Laboratory is utilizing additive manufacturing as a pathway to recycle up to 97% of used fuel produced by nuclear reactors.