Clean Core Thorium Energy expects to have ANEEL fuel assemblies producing power in commercial CANDU reactors by the end of 2025.

The U.S. Department of Energy will begin testing of Clean Core Thorium Energy’s advanced nuclear fuel at its Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

The partnership between DOE and Clean Core represents the latest step toward the commercialization of thorium-based energy.

Clean Core’s Advanced Nuclear Energy for Enriched Life (ANEEL) fuel uses a combination of thorium and high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU). It can be used in CANDU reactors and other pressurized heavy-water reactor designs.

Many advocates believe thorium is key to developing a new generation of safer, cleaner nuclear power.

According to Clean Core, ANEEL fuel achieves greater output within existing safety margins, reducing the operating costs of existing reactors. The company says through high burnup performance, ANEEL fuel reduces nuclear waste generation by 87.5%.

Clean Core adds the fuel is optimal for use in existing small modular reactors (SMRs) and for those with smaller grids

INL expects to begin testing of the ANEEL fuel in its advanced test reactor by the end of 2022 or early 2023. Clean Core, in partnership with Texas A&M University and INL, has already completed the fabrication of the ANEEL fuel pellets.

While fuel testing is ongoing, Clean Core will complete performance and safety assessments and a demonstration irradiation of full-size fuel assemblies in a CANDU reactor with partners in Canada.

Clean Core expects to have ANEEL fuel assemblies producing power in commercial CANDU reactors by the end of 2025.

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