Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Comments:


  1. That is impressive. I hope you will take the trouble of sending this to my senators, Murray and Cantwell. Indeed, to the entire Washington state congressional delegation. Well, don’t leave out our governor, Inslee.

    What the heck. Send a copy to King5.

    1. @David

      If a random blogger from Florida tried to communicate with Washington senators, the message would be lost or trashed. On the other hand, if a constituent from Washington was to send my article to his or her representatives and senators (or even Governor) they would have to follow their normal protocols and at least respond with a form letter.

  2. Advanced manufacturing technology might make it easier and cheaper to repair the hole with near original material properties. I’m thinking cold spray metal deposition, laser welding laydown, or friction stir welding. There may be others. I saw these being done at the CANM (Center for Advanced Nuclear Manufacturing) in western Pennsylvania at a NIC Conference on Andvanced manufacturing. I asked if they could modify these tech ologies to do them in the field, saying that there woukd be a demand for that. That opened their eyes, but in a positive sense. Who at FFTF should I put them in contact with to look at whether CANM could fix FFTF? Both as a,cist benefit to FFTF and an expansion of capabilities opportunity for CANM. CANM got a NuScale conntract to build the steam generators.

  3. Is there still an interlaboratory or inter departmental rivalry going on at DOE that 8s trying to kill FFTF, rather than a new INL facility? I’m thinking of what happened when Savannah River National Lab tried to volunteer to host 3 SMRs prototypes and INL smacked them down financially.

    1. @Edward Pheil

      What? Are you suggesting that labs destructively compete with each other for funding and facilities? I’d be shocked, shocked to learn of such activities being pursued by the labs at a time when the [initial] budget request for Nuclear Energy from DOE has increased by -$260 M, a -26% bump.

      1. Heck, NO, I am not suggesting they do it, but they shoukd stop it! I am suggesting they ARE destructively doing it on their own!

  4. Nice job on the article. My first job out of school I worked as a nuclear engineer at Hanford in the late 80s and early 90s. One of my primary jobs was supporting fuel experiments in FFTF. It was definitely a world class facility! Given the recent restart of TREAT at INL, perhaps breathing life back into FFTF at DOE is possible. Wouldn’t that be awesome! I’d love to see a revival of LMR technology. If you can think of any I can help or get involved, let me know!!!!

  5. I wish a fraction of the money spent on sending millionaires on suborbital joy rides could be applied to nuclear power R&D.

  6. “To a reasonable level of provision, the process in a thermal reactor produces about as much energy from mined uranium as if the system only consumed U-235.”

    Should “provision” have been “precision” in that sentence?

    Nice informative article. It would be nice if our leadership and facility operators would act rationally for the good of the country rather than trying to maximize their fiefdoms.

  7. Drive by FFTF everyday on my way to work and work with a couple EOs that used to run it. Would love to see that f*ucker fired up again. Why it won’t is criminal.

  8. Some believe the facility was permanently disabled with a series of decisions and actions taken during the Clinton and Bush Administrations. Fortunately, that belief is based more on mythology than reality.

    Sure it was not permanently disabled but was this facility shutdown just as the IFR was shutdown by the way of fear mongering/propaganda in the early 90’s for political reasons? The more I learn about nuclear energy the more I trust it’s use as a future source. Now how do we convince the masses?

    1. @Dan

      Reasonable question. As far as I can tell from reading as much of the history as I can find, including archived news articles, Congressional testimony, etc. the demise of the FFTF was mainly driven by perception that it had an insufficient mission and perceived need.

      It was built to support an expansionary breeder reactor program. There was a well established recognition that embarking on a new type of nuclear reactor program would need extensive testing of fuel forms and materials throughout the life of the program, just like we’ve put the ATR to good use for more than 5 decades of LWR evolution and development.

      Once the last breeder reactor program, the IFR had been killed off by political forces bent on ensuring an expanding market for natural gas, those political forces turned to the FFTF and made the case that it was no longer needed.

      We convince the public of the incredible potential value of nuclear energy as an abundant emission free power source, an effort that will take plenty of skills and a variety of tactics with a long term strategy.

      It can be done, but people who accept the technology have to be willing to invest time and treasure to do their part to overcome decades worth of focused opposition, often supported by people with strong financial ties to hydrocarbons with no desire to attempt to compete against an unshackled atomic energy industry.

Recent Comments from our Readers

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Avatar
  4. Avatar
  5. Avatar

Similar Posts