b'Technology INNOVATION & DEPLOYMENTQualifying New FuelsFueling NASA Missionscan endure the extreme heat and A major milestone in the tristructuralIn 2019, INLs Advanced Test Reactorpressure that would exist in a nuclear isotropic (TRISO) fuel-qualificationbegan contributing to Americas spacethermal propulsion rocket. Nuclear program is expected to shave years offexploration. Neptunium targets werethermal propulsion rockets would use the licensing process for next-generationinserted into the reactor, where itsa nuclear reaction to heat hydrogen to reactors. The Electric Power Researchneutron bombardment will convert thearound 4,900 F. It then expands and Institute (EPRI) and INL led efforts tomaterial to plutonium-238, the isotopeis forced through a nozzle to produce collate vast amounts of technical datathat fuels deep space missions. After thethrust. This is similar to how air can and prepare an industry topical reportPu-238 is purified and packaged at otherstream out of the stem of a balloon for the technical review by the Nuclearnational labs, it returns to INL to beand cause it to fly across the room. Regulatory Commission (NRC). The reportloaded into radioisotope thermoelectricWith rockets, this happens with much documented TRISO fuel performancegenerators, which provide the heat andgreater speed and force. These rockets under a range of normal and off-normalelectricity for rovers and their scientificcould be at least twice as efficient as conditions, providing foundational supportinstruments. chemical fuel-based rockets, require a for licensing of advanced reactors thatfraction of the space on launches from utilize TRISO fuel. When developersTesting Rocket Fueling ConceptEarth, provide an extra margin for error take their designs to the NRC, having theINL researchers used the Transientcorrection, and significantly reduce the key parts of the fuel already vetted andReactor Test Facility (TREAT) totime required to fly to Mars.approved will accelerate deployments anddetermine if new candidate fuels made save millions of dollars. using advanced manufacturing methods Recognizing ExpertiseChandu Bolisetti was named to theKatya Le Blanc was named to the TopJeffery Aguiar received INLs Top 100 Under 50 Emerging Leaders100 Under 50 Emerging Leaders listLaboratory Award for Early Career list compiled by Diversity MBA,compiled by Diversity MBA, a nationalExceptional Achievement for a national leadership organizationleadership organization integratingdistinguishing himself internationally as integrating diversity and inclusion withdiversity and inclusion with talenta young leader in the area of materials talent management. management.and imaging with electrons.18'