Framatome is introducing the next evolution of nuclear fuel as part of its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) program. We’re leading the industry to provide nuclear operators comprehensive EATF solutions – near-term and long-term – based on our expertise and experience and enhancing our proven products. Framatome’s near-term solution places EATF features – chromia-enhanced pellets and chromium-coated cladding as well as accident-tolerant control components – in its existing fuel designs, offering operators enhanced efficiency and reliability. Our aggressive timeline is ahead of the DOE’s goal for deploying EATF in the U.S. fleet by 2022.

Framatome’s EATF program is built on the collective knowledge, skills and expertise of leaders from across the nuclear sector – utilities, national labs, universities and industry organizations. The expertise and experience of our people are the driving forces behind our EATF program. And our progress is the result of more than a decade of research and testing led by teams in the U.S. and around the world, including an international working agreement with Électricité de France (EDF) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

Framatome’s holistic, core-wide approach to enhance safety and performance:

SolutionBenefitsTarget Deployment
Near-Term Solution:
Cr-coated M5® with Cr2O3-enhanced pellets

  • Quicker licensing, low risk of normal operation fuel failures

  • Improved fission gas retention

  • Improved pellet-clad interaction (PCI) performance

  • Provides improved pressurized water reactor (PWR) water high temperature steam oxidation kinetics

  • Improved performance in normal operation

  • Improved wear resistance

2019 (LFRs/LFAs)
2025 (Batch fuel)
Revolutionary Solution:
SiC-SiC cladding with Cr2O3-doped pellets

  • Larger work scope to implement

  • Significant gains in coping time

  • Very low oxidation kinetics in high temperature steam and light water reactor (LWR) conditions

  • High strength at high temperatures

  • High melting temperature

2022 (LFRs)
Complementary Solution:
Advanced Technology Control Components

  • Necessary to realize full benefits of EATF cladding

  • Increased control component lifetime, supporting FlexOps

2020 (Lead components)