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.
Unit 2 of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, USA, has returned to service loaded with Framatome’s GAIA fuel assemblies containing the first complete Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) concept. Unit 2 resumed operations on 3 April, following its spring refuelling and maintenance outage that began on 10 March.
An important milestone for the nuclear industry is taking place in Georgia and it’s not the one you might think. When it comes to innovation, it’s easy to think of new plant construction or advanced reactor technology, but the industry also is on the path to beating its own timeline for developing accident tolerant fuel (ATF)—one of several new technologies that will help our current fleet achieve more efficiency.
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.