Accident-Tolerant Fuels Could Be a Boon for Nuclear Industry

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.

EATF – Our Drive to 2019

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.

The Next Evolution

In the aftermath of the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi, the nuclear industry undertook a worldwide research and development effort to further increase fuel margins in the case of a severe accident, leading to the development of different enhanced accident tolerant fuel (EATF) programs.