HALEU is frightfully expensive (calcs)

HALEU is basically 20% enriched uranium, and I have watched with disbelief as it has gone from an obscure fuel option to the central fuel form for the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Development Program (ARDP). But boy oh boy, is this stuff expensive. And other people are starting to notice and realize that […]

Enrichment: Visualizing the Value Function

(1)   I’m a math minor, and an equation like that is not a very appealing way to begin a blog post. But I got the unpleasant part out of the way early because the good news that this equation (the value equation) is totally central towards understanding how much separative work we need to […]

Enrichment, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the SWU, part 4

Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted, but since I got on this topic I’ve had to “run the numbers” a fair number of times, and each time that I do that, I remember that we have computers that are a lot better at that sort of thing than I am, so after […]

Enrichment, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the SWU, part 3

OK, so in the last post we talked about the feed-to-product ratio and how it depended only on the levels of enrichment you chose for the product and the tails. Tonight we’ll begin to get into separative work. When I first heard of separative work, I thought it was a very abstract and obscure concept. […]

Enrichment, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the SWU, part 2

Okay, before we get into the techniques of enrichment, let’s spend a little time with the fun part—the numbers! How much does it take and how much does it cost? Here’s where I’ve really enjoyed learning more lately. The basic equations that describe enrichment aren’t that hard to derive. Even I can do it! So […]

Enrichment, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the SWU, part 1

“Enrichment” or more particularly “uranium enrichment” is probably one of those phrases that the average person hears on television or reads on the Internet and has only the vaguest concept of what it means. They likely think “it’s bad” and “it has something to do with uranium, which I think is bad, for some reason”. […]