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Diagnostic for Rapid Characterization of TRISO Fuel Pellets Using Soft X-Rays

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 94900
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 55 b
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-03-18
Small Business Information
3550 General Atomics Ct Building 15 Suite 155
San Diego, CA 92121
United States
DUNS: 015691306
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Brian Cluggish
 (858) 455-6655
Business Contact
 Jin-Soo Kim
Title: Dr.
Phone: (858) 455-6655
Research Institution
 University of California - San Diego
 Eric Hollmann
Center for Energy Research
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

 (858) 534-2230
 Nonprofit College or University

In the coming generation of Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs), nuclear fuel is encapsulated into billions of small, tri-structural isotropic (TRISO) fuel pellets. To facilitate the licensing and economic competitiveness of the anticipated future generation of VHTRs, improved quality control of TRISO pellets (less than one bad coating in 105) is desired. Presently, characterization of fuel pellets is primarily performed on a sampling basis using slow and laborious methods. As billions of TRISO fuel pellets are used in a reactor core, it is desirable to develop a fast (> 200 pellet/sec), automatic, non-destructive method of detecting TRISO pellet defects and rejecting defective pellets. FAR-TECH, Inc. proposes to collaborate with researchers at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) to develop a technique for X-ray diagnosis of TRISO pellets with the goal of automated fault detection at a throughput of 200 pellets per second. Such a system would allow the inner TRISO layers, including the SiC layer, to be examined rapidly and non-destructively. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The ability to rapidly diagnose TRISO fuel pellets would allow all of the pellets going into a reactor to be tested, rather than just a random sample. This improvement in quality control could assist in the licensing process for future VHTRs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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