RFI on Cleaning Up RadioIsotope Enventories (CURIE)

Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy
Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

DE-FOA-0002533

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit input for a potential future ARPA-E research program focused on the development of technologies that would enable the effective management of the Nation’s commercial used nuclear fuel (UNF). The goals of this RFI are to (1) solicit information about reactor fuel needs for both the current commercial light-water reactor (LWR) fleet and future advanced reactors, and (2) seek insights into technology gaps and/or cost drivers that may be hindering economical recycling of existing LWR UNF.1 This information is needed to help ARPA-E identify ways in which the Nation’s roughly 86,000 MTU2 inventory of UNF, which has been increasing by approximately 2,000 MTU per year, can best be recycled to support current and advanced reactor fuel needs. Such activities are consistent with ARPA-E’s statutory goals, which include supporting the development of transformative solutions for addressing UNF.3 ARPA-E is interested in information about technologies with the potential to make recycling UNF at least as economical, safe, and secure as the current once-through fuel cycle.4 Such technologies would enable a UNF treatment facility to be economically constructed, managed, and operated; yield an actinide product that is cost-competitive with natural uranium (U) obtained from traditional mining and milling; and generate significantly lower waste volumes than those generated from existing commercial UNF treatment facilities. Implementation of advanced nuclear material accounting technologies and incorporation of a safeguards-by-design philosophy would support this objective by enabling precise, remote, near-real-time monitoring and accounting of special nuclear material5; decreasing hands-on-inspection requirements; and minimizing operational downtime to verify accuracy of material accounting. In aggregate, these innovations could substantially reduce the volume, heat load, and radiotoxicity of high-level waste requiring permanent disposal while providing a valuable and sustainable fuel feedstock for advanced fast reactors and the existing LWR fleet. The questions in this RFI are intended to allow relevant stakeholders a mechanism to provide input on (i) the nature of a potential UNF recycling facility, (ii) UNF recycling technology gaps, (iii) existing LWR and future advanced reactor feedstock and fuel needs, and (iv) cost drivers for UNF recycling facility capital and management and operations (M&O) costs. Responses to these questions will enable ARPA-E to refine its success metrics for a potential program aimed at supporting the development of economical, safe, secure, and safeguarded recycling technologies. The questions posed in this section are classified into several different groups as appropriate. ARPA-E does not expect any one respondent to answer all, or even many, of these prompts. Simply indicate the group and question number in your response. Appropriate citations are encouraged. Respondents are also welcome to address other relevant avenues/technologies that are not outlined below. To view the RFI in its entirety, please visit https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov. The information you provide may be used by ARPA-E in support of program planning. THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ONLY. THIS NOTICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT (FOA). NO FOA EXISTS AT THIS TIME.
Categories: Opportunity Zone Benefits, Science and Technology and other Research and Development.

More Information

Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

DE-FOA-0002533

United States