The AREVA plant in Richland will begin manufacturing newly developed advanced nuclear fuel assemblies that allow operators more time to respond in emergencies.

The plant will start manufacturing the fuel later this year, to be loaded into one of the units at Georgia’s Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in the spring of 2019.

AREVA developed the fuel through the Department of Energy’s Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel program, an initiative started after the 2011 Fukushima, Japan, nuclear disaster.

Congress provided funding to develop fuels that can tolerate loss of active in cooling in the reactor core for much longer while maintaining of improving fuel perfomance during normal operations.

“This game-changing technology is not a small step, but a leap for our industry,” said John Williams, nuclear fuel director for Southern Nuclear Operationg Co., which operates the Georgia plant. Initially four test assembles will be added.

View the full story at Tri-City Herald.