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Advanced Fuel Fabrication From The Gas Phase

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0018734
Agency Tracking Number: 237045
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 30b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001771
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-02
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-04-01
Small Business Information
10 Cady Hill Boulevard, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866-9045
DUNS: 780362815
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Pegna
 (518) 690-0396
 jpegna@fffibers.com
Business Contact
 John Schneiter
Phone: (518) 690-0396
Email: jschneiter@fffibers.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Uranium Dioxide (UO2) has long been the workhorse of the nuclear power industry. Manufacturing methods are well established and build upon well-known processing technologies such as metallurgy and powder sintering.As the Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, as well as industry, strive to achieve safer, higher efficiency fuels, new fuel formulations rise to prominence; for example Uranium Silicide (U3Si2) and Uranium Nitride (UN). Other, refractory fuels such as Uranium Carbide and intermetallic carbides, such as Uranium-Tungsten Carbide are also gaining interest for high-temperature nuclear applications. Advances in manufacturing and processing of such alternate fuel are regarded as important contributions towards improving fuel efficiency and accident tolerance while also extending the life of the fleet of extent nuclear power plants.Contrary to UO2, however, there are no well-established manufacturing processes for the proposed alternative nuclear fuel materials. This is where Free Form Fibers’ expertise in Material-Agnostic Additive Manufacturing can contribute significant advances. Rather than relying on ad-hoc metallurgy, Free Form Fibers’ unique approach is positioned to allow for low-cost synthesis of a wide range of refractory fuels directly from the gas phase. This direct conversion process eliminates onerous chemistry and powder metallurgy processes and can deliver material purities and compositions that rival with the microelectronics industry without the typical costs associated to chip fabrication.

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