It was about this time last year when I posted an article defining Framatome’s PROtect Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) program. Nearly a year later, thanks to our global team of experts and support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), we have reached several major milestones in our program and are forging ahead with research on additional solutions to improve the nuclear fuel industry.
I was preparing a presentation for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently, and I looked back through some of my previous slides, searching for information. In that search, I found a presentation describing Framatome’s enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF) program launch in 2012. At that time, the goal of the project was to deliver lead test assemblies with accident tolerant fuel characteristics to a U.S. reactor by 2022.
In July 2017, Framatome announced that GAIA lead fuel assemblies (LFAs) would be delivered to Southern Nuclear Company’s Vogtle Unit 2 in the winter of 2019. This was a historic announcement for Framatome – the first PROtect enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF) program contract signed with a U.S. utility. The announcement brought excitement and the opportunity to revolutionize the nuclear fuel industry.
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.