I have worked at Framatome for more than 27 years in a variety of different roles and locations. In that time, I have worked on projects ranging from reactor core design and safety analyses to project management. However, my current project is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in my career.
When a fuel assembly is completed at our Richland fuel manufacturing facility, it goes into a storage room we call the “forest.” At a facility that churns out more than 2,000 fuel assemblies each year, having fuel assemblies hang like trees suspended from the ceiling, awaiting insertion into shipping containers, is an ordinary occurrence.
Every day, more than 400 employees pass through the doors at Framatome’s fuel fabrication facility in Richland, Wash., to oversee the safe, high-quality and on-time manufacturing and delivery of our world-class fuel products. But one employee, Destinee Rea [Ceramics Process Engineer], comes to work for something extra special.
Time is everything. Especially when you are preventing a potential accident of any kind. In the nuclear energy arena, enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF) started with this in mind. In the quest to make this powerful, efficient, and safe form of energy ever safer, a lot of people in the industry were asking the question – how do we give ourselves more time to react in the unlikely scenario of an accident in the nuclear reactor?