Fuel Designed to Enable Extended Operating Cycles for Nuclear Plants
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Westinghouse Electric Company provided 25 irradiated nuclear fuel rods, including accident-tolerant fuel, to Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for testing and examination, a critical step toward qualification of the new design.
Designed by Westinghouse, this new fuel technology with enhanced safety features will enable nuclear power plants to extend the generation of electricity from the current 18 months to 24 months, reducing refueling outages while delivering significant cost savings for customers and generating less spent nuclear fuel. The fuel will also increase a nuclear power plant’s resilience under potential accident conditions. The development work was supported by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding.
“That is a huge economic benefit to those plants and its customers,” said Daniel Wachs, National Technical Director of DOE’s Advanced Fuels Campaign. “The increased cycle length will eliminate one refueling outage every six years and significantly increase electrical output over this same period.”
“Continuous innovation is key to improving the nuclear sector’s reliability, especially at a time when energy demand is increasing and nuclear is more vital than ever,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel. “Westinghouse is proud to join efforts with INL and other partners in the production and testing of these advanced nuclear fuels.”
A prior shipment of irradiated nuclear fuel rods with this new technology was delivered to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee. The advanced testing and the post-irradiation examinations at both laboratories are key milestones to receive final approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to deploy this innovative fuel to commercial reactors around the globe. The National Laboratories will provide valuable data to Westinghouse, the NRC, the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as regulatory and scientific bodies in Japan, Korea, and Western Europe.
Westinghouse is a leading supplier of nuclear fuel, providing a uniquely diversified portfolio in the industry across nuclear reactor types, including PWR, BWR, AGR, and VVER. Through our world-class manufacturing facilities in Sweden, the UK, and the US, we focus on delivering innovative fuel technologies to meet our customer needs for lower fuel cycle costs, increased operational flexibility and efficiency, diversity of supply, and accident-tolerant products. Learn more about our advanced fuel capabilities and how they relate to different reactors around the world.
About Westinghouse Electric Company
Westinghouse Electric Company is shaping the future of carbon-free energy by providing safe, innovative nuclear and other clean power technologies and services globally. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first commercial pressurized water reactor in 1957 and the company’s technology is the basis for nearly one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. Over 135 years of innovation make Westinghouse the preferred partner for advanced technologies covering the complete nuclear energy life cycle. For more information, visit www.westinghousenuclear.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and X.
About Idaho National Laboratory
Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, and also performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. For more information, visit www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.