Proliferation Questions about Advanced Reactor Fuel

Climate Denial Crock of the Week

A rendering of Oklo’s first “next generation” nuclear power plant, dubbed the Aurora, that will be built at the Idaho National Laboratory. Credits: Image: Courtesy of Oklo

Reuters:

The U.S. nuclear power regulator has approved production of uranium fuel that is far more enriched than fuel for conventional nuclear power plants, the company aiming to make the material said on Monday.

The fuel is known as high-assay, low-enriched uranium, or HALEU. Nonproliferation experts are concerned about the fuel as it is easier to convert into fissile material, the key component of nuclear weapons, than conventional reactor fuel.

Centrus Energy Corp said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, approved the company’s request to produce HALEU at a Piketon, Ohio, plant, and it expects to be demonstrating production of the fuel early in 2022.

“This approval is a major milestone in our contract with the Department of Energy,” said Daniel Poneman, Centrus’…

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