Three of the largest nuclear suppliers in the United States are working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop new accident tolerant fuels for the nation’s fleet of reactors.

These new fuel and cladding mixtures could help improve the overall economics and performance of today’s reactors—and allow for longer response times at high temperatures in severe, beyond design basis, accident situations.

Framatome, General Electric and Westinghouse are currently testing these fuels at DOE’s national labs and in commercial reactors. The goal is to have them commercially available by 2026.

The mid-2020s will be a critical time for the nation’s fleet of reactors.

Many of them have 60-year operating licenses that will expire in the 2030s. Getting these new fuels to market before then would increase the performance of these reactors and ultimately improve their chances of applying for extended operation with the NRC.

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