TREAT nuclear reactor to reopen after 20 years of inactivity

Although TREAT has not operated since 1994, return to operable conditions and resumption of testing is believed feasible and is currently under consideration by DOE. - See more at: http://www.inl.gov/research/transient-reactor-test-facility/#sthash.Ysf26yVW.dpuf

A nuclear research laboratory in Idaho is expected to begin operations again after it has been inactive for 20 years, The Associated Press reported. The Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) at Idaho National Laboratory was built in 1959 and has been inactive since 1994. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing some $75 million to restart the facility by 2018.

The renewed interest in TREAT was sparked by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, which prompted the shutdown of Japan's nuclear plants. The U.S. aims to use the nuclear research laboratory to determine how to lower the risk of nuclear fuel during accidents.

According to the DOE, transient testing involves placing fuel or material into the core of a nuclear reactor and subjecting it to short bursts of intense, high-power radiation. The fuel or material is then analyzed to determine the effects of the radiation and used to guide the development and improvement of advanced nuclear fuel designs.

John Bumgardner, transient testing director for Idaho National Laboratory, said this particular research facility was most likely selected because operators had refurbished TREAT just six years before it was shuttered.

"The people who worked at this reactor in the past did a brilliant job," Bumgardner said. "It has a very low use of uranium, and as a result, the reactor can run for a long time."

TREAT is located near operating facilities designed to receive, handle and process irradiated nuclear fuel assemblies, construct test experiment assemblies with either fresh or irradiated fuels, receive tested transient experiments containing failed fuel and perform post irradiation examinations on failed fuels.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Logistics Risk Management in the Transformer Industry

Transformers often are shipped thousands of miles, involving multiple handoffs,and more than a do...

Secrets of Barco UniSee Mount Revealed

Last year Barco introduced UniSee, a revolutionary large-scale visualization platform designed to...

The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs