MATRICY: Matrix Engineered TRISO Compacts Enabling Advanced Reactor Fuel Cycles
Stony Brook University aims to significantly reduce compact reactor waste via improved fuel utilization and reduced uranium loading. The team’s solution is a novel microencapsulated fuel form leveraging halide salt sintering of magnesium oxide (MgO), developed under ARPA-E’s MEITNER program to enable advanced moderator technologies with enhanced neutronic performance and temperature stability as a replacement for graphite. Stony Brook will extend the technology to further enhance fuel utilization while addressing the back-end of the fuel cycle by fabricating a low-waste and repository-ready TRi-structural ISOtropic (TRISO) fuel form in which (1) the graphite fuel “matrix” is replaced by the MgO technology and (2) the TRISO-bearing inert matrix fuel is deconsolidated to low-level waste and intact TRISO micro-encapsulations, which may reconsolidated to further increase utilization and deplete transuranic loading or be sequestered to high-level waste.
By identifying and addressing challenges at the back-end of the fuel cycle before the deployment of future AR technologies, ONWARDS will: