The two companies signed an agreement to use the fuel, which is already in use in standard pressurised water reactors.
Holtec said the agreement would enable completion of all engineering to fuel the SMR-160 with the GAIA assemblies. It said that by using the standard pressurised water reactor fuel it has substantially reduced the amount of first-of-a-kind-engineering for the fuel system.
The decision to use GAIA assemblies also means fuel-related operational experience from the current light-water reactor fleet operating worldwide is relevant to the SMR-160 reactor.
“Critically, the inclusion of Framatome in our SMR-160 programme ensures that a prospective SMR-160 plant owner will have ready access to a robust international fuel supply chain,” Holtec said.
The SMR-160 is a small modular pressurised water reactor with a design electrical output of 160 MW. Development began in 2011. Holtec said work continues to refine the design with partners such as Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, SNC-Lavalin, and Exelon Generation.