The U.S. nuclear industry just hit a major milestone in developing new and improved fuels for its current fleet of reactors.

Framatome’s accident tolerant fuel (ATF) was recently installed for testing at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

This is the second experiment currently in progress in the ATR that is being developed through the U.S. Department of Energy’s accident tolerant fuel program.

GE’s Global Nuclear Fuel, Framatome and Westinghouse are all working with the Department of Energy to commercialize their fuel concepts by 2025.

This accelerated timeframe is critical to the current fleet of reactors.

Many of them have 60 year operating licenses and without renewal are set to expire in the 2030s. Getting these ATFs to market before then would increase their performance and improve their prospects for extended operation.

View the full story at the official Office of Nuclear Energy site.