The US Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) reported yesterday that coordination among the various entities involved in the development of accident-tolerant fuels (ATF) has “progressed to the point that all stakeholders now agree on the feasibility of a 2023 timeline”.
Following a planned outage, Unit 1 at the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley in southeastern Georgia returned to service in early March outfitted with first-of-their-kind accident tolerant fuel (ATF) test assemblies. The development marks a major milestone for the advanced fuel technology, which, beyond safety benefits, could furnish the world’s light water reactor fleet with much-needed cost efficiencies to help them stay competitive.
New NP, a subsidiary of AREVA NP, becomes Framatome, a company whose capital is owned by the EDF group (75.5%), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI – 19.5%) and Assystem (5%). Framatome confirms its recognized manufacturer’s ambition: being the supplier of safe and competitive nuclear solutions, supporting its electrical utility customers all over the world.
I would like to take a few minutes to provide an update on where AREVA NP is in our research and development of the next evolution of nuclear fuel – our Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) program. Over the past few months, we have reached several milestones in the drive to place lead fuel rods (LFR) into a U.S. commercial reactor in early 2019.