Uranium & Fuel

Framatome / US Regulator Accepts Key Topical Report On Nuclear Fuel For Review

By David Dalton
22 July 2021

US Regulator Accepts Key Topical Report On Nuclear Fuel For Review
A Framatome employee inspects an advanced nuclear fuel assembly Courtesy Framatome.
French nuclear company Framatome says it has achieved a significant milestone towards implementing nuclear fuel at higher enrichments and burnups after a key report was accepted for review by the US nuclear regulator.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted for review a topical report to apply the company’s suite of advanced codes and methods to operating conditions with uranium-235 enrichments above the industry standard of five weight percent.

Framatome said the report’s submittal is a critical step towards introducing advanced products with increased enrichments and burnups, which improve fuel use to nuclear plant operators and safety and plant economics.

Framatome’s advanced codes and methods provide significant operational margin gains, the company said. These margins provide nuclear plant operators with the flexibility to extend their reactor performance when coupled with the company’s nuclear fuel technology with characteristics such as higher enrichments and burnup.

This topical report will demonstrate that Framatome can effectively model reactor behaviour in the evaluation of neutronic, thermal hydraulic, loss-of-coolant-accident (Loca), small- and large-break Loca, and thermal mechanical performance at higher enrichments and burnup.

In January, Westinghouse announced that a topical report on its advanced doped pellet technology (Adopt) nuclear fuel had been accepted for review by the NRC, calling the decision a “major achievement for the advanced fuel portfolio Westinghouse is developing as part of our EnCore fuel programme”.

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