US-based Westinghouse Electric Company and Exelon Generation Company have completed a first-of-a-kind installation of EnCore Fuel, Westinghouse's accident-tolerant fuel solution, at Byron 2 in the USA.
The advanced nuclear fuel was installed during the plant's scheduled spring refuelling outage. This marks the first insertion of EnCore Fuel rod assemblies into a commercial reactor. The two lead test assemblies contain chromium-coated zirconium cladding for enhanced oxidation and corrosion resistance, higher density ADOPT™ pellets for improved fuel economics, and uranium silicide pellets.
Westinghouse claims its EnCore Fuel has the potential to significantly increase safety through new materials, while improving the economics of plant operation through longer fuel cycles and enhanced flexible power operation capability.
Westinghouse and its network of partners developed EnCore Fuel as part of the US Department of Energy's (DOE’s) Accident Tolerant Fuel Programme. Westinghouse is currently working on an Accident Tolerant Fuel grant from the DOE totalling more than $93m for the development of EnCore Fuel.
Photo: The first EnCore Fuel assemblies were loaded at Byron 2 (Credit: Exelon)