MATRICY: Matrix Engineered TRISO Compacts Enabling Advanced Reactor Fuel Cycles

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Stony Brook, New York
Project Term:
06/10/2022 - 06/09/2025

Technology Description:

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.

Potential Impact:

By identifying and addressing challenges at the back-end of the fuel cycle before the deployment of future AR technologies, ONWARDS will:


Support the growth of advanced nuclear energy with safe and sustainable domestic fuel stocks.


Play a vital role in significantly reducing GHG emissions, proactively mitigate the disposal impact of AR UNF with integrated non-proliferation safeguards, and provide transformative solutions to improve the management and disposal of radioactive waste and UNF.


Complement ARPA-E’s existing nuclear energy research portfolio, such as the MEITNER and GEMINA programs in AR R&D, further ensuring the commercial viability of innovative new ARs.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Robert Ledoux
Project Contact:
Prof. Jason Trelewicz
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Tennessee
Saint-Gobain Corporation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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