Oak Ridge researchers developing 3D-printed microreator
Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee are refining their design of a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core, scaling up the manufacturing process necessary to build it, and developing methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of its printed components.
The Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR) demonstration programme’s approach to nuclear energy uses advances made at ORNL in manufacturing, materials, nuclear science, nuclear engineering, high-performance computing, data analytics and related fields.
ORNL said in a statement it aims to turn on the first-of-its-kind reactor by 2023. The programme has maintained its aggressive timeline during the Covid-19 pandemic, using remote work to continue design and analysis efforts.