From Concepts to Cores: Framatome’s PROtect Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel (EATF) Program Demonstrates Commitment to the Nuclear Energy 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.

From Paimboeuf to Richland: The Journey of Framatome’s Chromium-Coated Rods

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.

Fuel for Tomorrow

The two main drivers of materials development in the nuclear fuel domain are safety and fuel cycle cost, says Alain Frichet, vice president of Fuel Products and Technologies at Framatome.