DOE Pulse

Conversions make safer research reactors

Nuclear reactors on university campuses enable nuclear materials research and help train the next generation of nuclear engineers. But many campus reactors run on highly enriched uranium (HEU). DOE's Idaho National Laboratory is helping change that by leading part of a U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear nonproliferation mission. Research reactors at Washington State and Oregon State universities were recently converted to use low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel rather than HEU. Research reactor conversions were also completed at Purdue University in September 2007 and at Texas A&M and the University of Florida in September 2006. INL project managers coordinate all of the conversion activities including the conversion analyses, the LEU fuel fabrication, core loading and restart of the reactor.

[Ethan Huffman, 208.526.0660,]