Operators at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant safely returned Unit 2 to service April 3 following a planned refueling and maintenance outage that began March 10. During the outage, Plant Vogtle installed the world’s first complete, fueled, full-length test assemblies, known as accident tolerant fuel, containing both pellets and claddings.

“This innovative technology is expected to enhance the plant’s already robust safety performance, as well as potentially lower plant operating costs,” said John Williams, Southern Nuclear fuel and analysis director. “The safety and health of our customers and our employees is always our top priority, and we will continue to pursue innovations that enhance safety and offer more operational flexibility.”

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Accident Tolerant Fuel program, Framatome developed the fuel assemblies with Southern Nuclear as part of Framatome’s PROtect program of research and development.

The installation of complete test assemblies marks another significant advancement in the potential commercial deployment of accident tolerant fuel technology, with Southern Nuclear previously installing test assemblies containing fuel segments into Plant Hatch’s Unit 1 as part of a refueling outage in 2018.

View the full press release at Southern Nuclear.