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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, April 2008
Date:4/14/2008

unique advantages, Grice said. For example, only those who know how it was written can read it or even observe it without corrupting it in a telltale way. Also, a quantum-based computer could quickly solve certain difficult problems like cracking mathematically based encryption systems or finding the optimum path through a complicated network by processing all possible answers at the same time. Grice envisions the quantum optical chip, which uses single photons to store quantum bits of information, enabling the development of quantum information technologies like the quantum computer. This work is funded through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

ENERGY -- Gas cooled fuel . . .

Advanced gas reactors offer more efficient operation, less waste disposal and other benefits over water-cooled reactor designs used in U.S. nuclear power plants. But creating fuel that burns efficiently and reliably in the higher temperatures of advanced gas reactors has been a challenge -- until now. Fuel fabricated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in cooperation with Idaho National Laboratory and the Babcock & Wilcox Company, has demonstrated the most successful performance ever for U.S. advanced gas reactor fuel. In recent tests at the Advanced Test Reactor at INL, the ORNL fuel achieved 9 percent burn-up, a significant milestone on its way to a target of 16-18 percent. Higher burn-up allows for more efficient use of uranium and less waste compared to the 3-4 percent rate of standard fuel at U.S. power plants. This experiment is the first of eight planned to qualify fuel as part of the Department of Energy's Next Generation Nuclear Power Plant project. The fuel elements are built from thousands of tiny uranium-containing spheres coated with carbon and silicon carbide to contain the radioactive fission products. The coated particles are compacted
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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