Pioneering a Cermet Waste Form for Disposal of Waste Streams from Advanced Reactors (PACE-FORWARD)

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New Brunswick, New Jersey
Project Term:
05/23/2022 - 10/14/2025

Technology Description:

Rutgers University aims to develop and demonstrate PACE-FORWARD, a high-density, durable cermet waste form (WF) suitable to immobilize all forms of AR wastes, significantly reducing processing complexity. The proposed WF will exhibit high waste loading (≥70% by volume) and immobilize multiple waste streams, including metal, salt (halide), and oxides from molten salt fueled or metallic fueled reactors; or metal and carbon-14/carbide waste from reprocessing of tri-structural isotropic fuel particles. Rutgers’s technology will reduce the repository footprint by greater than an order of magnitude compared with light water reactors and reduce production and operation and maintenance costs by approximately 50% compared with incumbent technologies.

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. Ashutosh Goel
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


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