Full Title: Why Downblending HEU is Vital to Keep US Advanced Nuclear on Target
Author(s): Alan Ahn, Josh Freed, Ryan Norman
Publisher(s): Third Way
Publication Date: June 17, 2022
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While developing domestic enrichment capacity will be essential to fueling our advanced reactor fleet, downblending highly-enriched uranium (HEU) is urgently needed to produce the initial fuel loads for our first advanced reactor units and ensure we stay on schedule for commercializing advanced nuclear power. Although the current US HEU inventory is classified, the most recent declassified accounting in 2016 reveals a substantial amount of HEU available for potential downblending, of which only a modest portion would be required to produce the first fuel cores for our leading advanced reactor demonstrations. Considering the climate, commercial, geopolitical, and national security interests at stake, we must move forward with downblending as swiftly as possible.