Next-Generation Metal Fuel

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Exploratory Topics
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Project Term:
01/01/2020 - 06/30/2022

Critical Need:

This topic would leverage innovations supporting nuclear energy for the development of technologies that will reduce the cost of nuclear energy. These projects seek to develop advancements in nuclear facility sensors, tools, analytics and controls. The next generation of nuclear reactor plants needs innovative, safe, and secure technologies to supplement advanced reactor designs. A variety of advanced nuclear reactor designs are being developed in the U.S., and they require a variety of design options to meet future market needs.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

INL and its partners are proposing a next generation metal fuel in support of a megawatt-scale compact fast reactor – being developed by Oklo Inc – that is uniquely sized for off-grid applications. The team seeks to develop a fuel with a demonstrated production process and validated performance that incorporates engineered porosity to absorb and retain produced gasses, allowing for higher operating temperatures, as well as a diffusion barrier between the fuel alloy and the cladding to avoid material degradation, which removes the need for the complicated-to-manufacture sodium bond between fuel and cladding.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jenifer Shafer
Project Contact:
Dr. Michael Benson
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Oregon State University

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