Framatome is teaming with General Atomics to study the application of silicon carbide for boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear fuel designs. Advanced nuclear fuel designs using silicon carbide in the fuel channel will enhance the safety and fuel performance of nuclear plant operations. Framatome is conducting this research as part of its PROtect enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF) program.
Framatome delivered the industry’s first full-length Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) concept containing both pellets and claddings to Georgia Power’s Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant. Southern Nuclear, operator of Plant Vogtle, inserted the GAIA lead fuel assemblies containing EATF during the Unit 2 spring refueling outage. Framatome delivered the fuel to the plant in January 2019.
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.
Framatome recently received a $49 million, 28-month grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accelerate the development and commercialization of enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF). These fuel designs enhance performance during normal operations at nuclear power plants and provide operators with more time to respond in the event of loss of active cooling.