Vincenzo Rondinella (in the center) together with other award winners and committee members© EU (2010)
American Nuclear Society awarded a JRC-ITU paper
Vincenzo Rondinella, Dimitrios Papaioannou, Ramil Nasyrow and Jean-Paul Glatz from the JRC Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) received, together with their co-authors, the 2009 Significant Contribution Award by the Materials Science and Technology Division of the American Nuclear Society for their paper entitled "Characterization of Metallic Fuel for the Transmutation of Minor Actinides in Fast Reactor".
The Significant Contribution Award recognizes the authors who presented the best materials-oriented paper at either the Annual or Winter ANS Meetings in the field of materials science and technology contributing to the development of nuclear energy.
The minimization of the long-term radio toxicity of high level nuclear waste is a high priority criterion common to advanced nuclear fuel cycle concepts for the new generations of nuclear power reactors. Separation from spent fuel and subsequent recycling of Pu, U as fuel, and transmutation of Minor Actinides (MA: Np, Am, Cm) in fast reactors and/or MA burners are deemed necessary steps to achieve this goal. Oxides and non-oxide compounds such as metal alloys, nitrides and carbides are considered as possible nuclear fuels. The award paper presents results from the METAPHIX programme, a collaboration between the ITU and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI, Japan), devoted to the study of minor actinides-containing fast reactor metal fuels. The study includes fabrication, irradiation (at the Phenix reactor, CEA-France), post-irradiation examination and finally pyrometallurgy reprocessing of the fuel. Today METAPHIX is possibly the only ongoing experimental demonstration project of a closed nuclear fuel cycle in the world.