Hitachi, U.S. Universities Pursue Technology to Burn Transuranics in Boiling Water Reactors

Seeking a better way to dispose of long-lived transuranic elements, Hitachi recently announced a second round of research with American universities exploring a technology to use them in boiling water reactor fuel.

The project aims to improve storage safety and substantially reduce the period of decay for spent fuel by removing the transuranics. The transuranic elements would then fuel a commercial reactor along with uranium, producing energy and breeding fissionable material in the process. What sets the Hitachi concept apart from other waste-burning reactors is its ability to be incorporated into existing reactor designs, using the same non-core components of traditional GE-Hitachi BWRs.

The company originally studied these resource-renewable boiling water reactors from 2007 to 2011 with the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley. On Thursday, Hitachi announced it will pursue further joint research with those institutions, applying more accurate analysis methods as it evaluates the potential safety and performance of RBWRs.
RBWR concept. Source: Hitachi

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