News Letters & Publications

Proposed AAD Grand Challenges

Please comment on or suggest others (contact us). Submissions for consideration as ANS Nuclear Grand Challenges due by Friday, March 3, 2017.

Dispose of spent nuclear fuel using Accelerator Driven Systems

This grand challenge is intended for developing an innovative safe approach for disposing of the total spent nuclear fuel inventory of USA.  This approach utilizes only a few, up to four, Accelerator Driven Systems (ADS).  Each has a subcritical core driven by proton accelerator utilizing the current technologies with limited extrapolation.  The proton beam power and the engineering design constraints of the spallation target define the number of systems.  These systems remove the long-term radiotoxicity of the spent fuel, generate energy to recover its cost, eliminate the need for a large geological repository, and avoid the use of fuel reprocessing steps.  In the spent fuel disposal process, the long term fission produces will be transmuted to stable isotopes and the minor actinides will be fissioned for generating energy.  In addition, these systems have several safety and operational advantages.

Accelerate new materials licensing for nuclear applications using ion beam irradiation

Decades of ion beam irradiation has proven it to be an extremely useful tool to enhance the understanding of radiation damage in materials for nuclear applications. Inducing radiation damage utilizing ion beams in structural materials and fuels causes high displacement damage rates and therefore accelerates the research on the materials response under these conditions. In addition, the conditions in ion beam accelerators can be extremely well controlled allowing for repeatable experiments. The promise of accelerated research using ion beams has triggered the development of a large number of materials irradiation facilities in recent times. However, the ultimate question how the basic research conducted using this approach can lead to an accelerated certification and licensing process for materials considered in nuclear power applications is still open. What is the scientific path the community needs to take to truly accelerate materials deployment for nuclear power applications?