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INL researchers to team up with Japanese researchers on fast nuclear reactor technology

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - In a bid to further understand the technology behind fast nuclear reactors, a team of Japanese researchers and INL researchers will be testing the technology behind fast nuclear reactors, a technology that testing that hasn't taken place in 20 years.

Colby Jensen, a representative of INL, says working with the Japanese in this research presents an opportunity.

"Japan is one of our our international collaborators. They do a lot of work in this area. And so it's really great to work with like minded people, experts, some of the best experts in the world."

While the technology for Fast Nuclear Reactors isn't new, they present a unique opportunity that isn't present in other Nuclear Reactors.

"The fast spectrum allows you to basically you can burn a lot of the and products that are produced in an efficient process. Fast reactors will actually burn those use that to produce more energy so it it really offers a unique advantage to even recycle fuel from from thermal reactors or create a in essence, a fuel cycle that really is fast reactor focused," Jensen added.

The research will be conducted at the INL site in the Idaho desert, which Jensen adds has special properties to conduct the experiments needed.

"It was the the transient reactor test facility, which we call it the TREAT facility. That facility is really unique in the world to be able to do testing on fuels to explore their limits, to explore behaviors that aren't the expected normal behavior of the fuel. So we're quite often we we we draw the comparison of doing car crash testing. But for nuclear fuels, we want to we really want to understand the limits and kind of the what if scenarios in a way that's safe and controlled."

The hope between the two teams of researchers, is to not only understand the current technology behind Fast Nuclear Reactors but hopefully improve it for future generations.

"There's a strong interest to develop fuels, develop fast reactor technologies that are going to basically be the next generation of nuclear energy that can both produce power, but also help us to manage the fuel cycle in a way that we haven't done to date."

Jensen stressed the main point of the upcoming research is to not just understand the current applications in fast nuclear reactors, but also find ways to improve upon them. He says that can be done with newer fuels or newer designs.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls
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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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