A new accident-resistant fuel is being tested at Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor.
This is the second accident-tolerant fuel test in progress. The first, which started earlier this year, is at a nuclear plant in Georgia, according to a post on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.
Framatome is testing chromium-coated cladding (cladding is the outer layer of a fuel rod) and chromia-doped fuel pellets at INL.
The coating, according to DOE, is designed to protect the fuel cladding from damage and oxidation at higher temperatures, and the new pellet mixture of chromium oxide and uranium oxide powders will help the pellet last longer and perform better under accident conditions, leading to more affordable and efficient operations at nuclear plants.
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