Modular Power Fluidics and Online Optical Spectroscopy for Reprocessing Separation Plant Accountancy

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Project Term:
03/01/2023 - 04/02/2026

Technology Description:

NuVision Engineering will design, build, commission, and operate an integrated material accountancy test platform that will predict post-process nuclear material accountancy within 1% uncertainty for an aqueous reprocessing plant. Current U.S. reprocessing plants utilize commercial process equipment for pumping, mixing, and sampling that requires regular maintenance and replacement due to radiolytic degradation of seals and other non-metallic components. To reduce reprocessing facility downtime, sampling equipment is often duplicated so that one system can be used while the other is undergoing maintenance. A typical reprocessing plant’s footprint must also accommodate the mechanical handling equipment needed to maintain and replace the sampling process equipment. To address these drawbacks, NuVision will fabricate its accountancy platform as a modular unit integrating power fluidics (PF) and online optical spectroscopy (OOS) systems into the vessel to last an aqueous reprocessing plant’s lifetime. The OOS system facilitates real-time monitoring of uranium and plutonium concentrations. The PF suite will have no moving parts and will include devices to mix, sample, and pump highly radioactive fluids to provide real-time liquid level and density data. This will remove the need for duplication and maintenance equipment thereby significantly reducing the reprocessing plant footprint.

Potential Impact:

By enabling the secure and economical recycling of the nation’s inventory of LWR UNF, CURIE will have the following impacts:


Support the deployment of advanced reactor (AR) technologies by providing safe and sustainable domestic fuel stocks. Improvements in monitoring capabilities could enable more precise controls of various reprocessing stages while ensuring increased security of materials of concern.


Substantially reduce the disposal impact of the nation’s inventory of LWR UNF, decrease uranium mining requirements, and support a comprehensive national strategy to store radioactive waste safely and securely.


Complement ARPA-E’s existing nuclear energy research portfolio, further ensuring the commercial viability of innovative new ARs, and enable an additional revenue stream via valuable radionuclides recovered from UNF for diverse applications.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. William Horak
Project Contact:
Mr. David Lashley
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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