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NE Colloquium - Dr. Pete Pappano and Mark McClure, PMP - "Overview of TRISO Fuel Activities at X-energy"

X-energy is a small business dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the commercialization of Tri-Strictural Isotropic (TRISO) based fuel element production that fuels safer, more modular, and simpler Gen IV nuclear reactors. X-energy has two US Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) Cooperative Agreements that support fuel fabrication activities, and the design and license application development for TRISO-X. TRISO-X is a cross-cutting, High Assay Low Enriched (HALEU) capable fuel facility that aims to service the coming fleet of advanced reactors and, potentially, accident tolerant fuels for existing light water reactors.


Advanced nuclear reactors with high margins of safety and modular increments of power expansion are the future of nuclear power. The most critical element in the design of these reactors is a robust fuel that can withstand very high temperatures without melting, while providing greater efficiency than what is currently achieved in the existing light water reactor (LWR) fleet. Given that all these reactors require fuel that is enriched to greater than 5% Uranium-235, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing is a critical element of the process that the Advanced Reactor (AR) community must address now to have a credible reactor deployment program by the mid-2020s.


Through two DOE cooperative agreements, X-energy will address three key milestones toward the operation of the TRISO-X Fuel Fabrication Facility: (1) commercial-scale fabrication of TRISO-based fuel elements scale, (2) preliminary and final design completion and (3) license application development and submittal to the NRC. The design effort builds upon conceptual design activities performed to date. The conceptual design was informed by commercial scale operations that take place in X-energy’s Pilot Fuel Facility located within Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The license application is developed in parallel with the design effort and focuses on the completion of the safety program description, environmental report, security plan, and emergency plan, all in accordance with Part 70 licensing requirements.  


The design and licensing work described here represents a first of a kind nuclear demonstration project, in that there is currently no existing Category II NRC licensed facility in the US. Accordingly, no active fuel fabricator can produce the >5% enriched material required by Gen IV reactors. X-energy will provide a status update on our efforts to fill this void in the advanced reactor supply chain. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Nuclear Engineering Building, 302
1412 Circle Drive Knoxville TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, Faculty & Staff


NE Colloquium, Nuclear Engineering, NE Spring 2019


Nuclear Engineering
Contact Name

Michelle McBee

Contact Email

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