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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.

Date: Friday, 23 July 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/us-nrc-accepts-key-topical-report-on-nuclear-fuel-for-review-7-4-2021

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted for review a topical report to apply Framatome's suite of Advanced Codes and Methods to operating conditions with uranium-235 enrichments above the industry standard of 5 weight percent. The report is a critical step towards implementing nuclear fuel at higher enrichments and burnups, the company said.

Date: Friday, 23 July 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Framatome-advanced-fuel-technology-reaches-regulat

A Framatome employee inspects a Gaia fuel assembly Courtesy Framatome. The first reload of Framatome’s Gaia advanced accident-tolerant nuclear fuel has been installed in a US pressurised water reactor unit.

The French company said 64 fuel assemblies manufactured at its fuel fabrication facility in Richland, Washington, were loaded into the reactor as part of a standard spring refuelling outage.

It did not name the plant where the fuel had been loaded. In April 2019, Framatome said the first Gaia assemblies had been loaded into the reactor core of Unit 2 at Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear power plant.

Lionel Gaiffe, senior executive vice-president, fuel business unit at Framatome, said Gaia is the company’s most advanced pressurised water reactor fuel design. The fuel has several advanced features that provide added safety and economic benefits to nuclear plant operators.

Date: Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/first-reload-of-gaia-fuel-completed-at-us-pwr-7-2-2021

China's Ministry of Ecology & Environment (MEE) said on 16 June that there had been no leak at the Taishan NPP in Guangdong Province and rejected allegations by CNN that the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) had raised the permitted radiation levels near the plant. NNSA had reviewed specifications for noble gases used in the reactor coolant at Taishan, but this had "nothing to do with the detection of any radiation outside the nuclear plant”, MEE said.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newschina-reports-minor-fuel-rod-damage-but-no-leak-at-taishan-npp-8827632

No radiation release or environmental concern at French-designed EPR plant The Taishan nuclear power station in southern China. Courtesy Framatome. The Taishan-1 nuclear power plant in China’s southern Guangdog province is in “normal condition and operational safety is guaranteed” following a minor fuel rod cladding failure which resulted in increased radioactivity in the unit’s primary reactor coolant, China’s regulator said.

China Atomic Energy Authority, which oversees the development of nuclear energy in China, said fuel rod cladding failure is a common phenomenon in nuclear plant operations and is being dealt with in accordance with accepted standards and procedures.

The unit’s performance indicators, including the radioactivity of the primary reactor coolant, remain within the range of normal conditions and technical specifications, CAEA said.

It also said the reactor unit’s coolant system pressure boundary is intact and containment integrity maintained.

Environmental radiation monitoring has confirmed there has been no radiation release and there is no environmental concern, CAEA said.

Date: Friday, 18 June 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/safety-guaranteed-following-minor-fuel-rod-cladding-failure-says-china-6-4-2021

An increase in the concentration of noble gases in the primary circuit of the Taishan 1 EPR is related to a few damaged fuel rods, China's National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) confirmed today. It said the increase is "a common phenomenon" and is still in accordance with the requirements of the plant's operating technical specifications. Earlier this week, France's Framatome - which designed the EPR - said the unit was experiencing a "performance issue".

Date: Thursday, 17 June 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Fuel-damage-confirmed-at-Taishan-1

Framatome said on 14 June that China’s Taishan Nuclear Power Plant was operating safely. “Framatome is supporting resolution of a performance issue with the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province, China,” a statement said. “According to the data available, the plant is operating within the safety parameters. Our team is working with relevant experts to assess the situation and propose solutions to address any potential issue.”

Date: Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsconflicting-reports-about-leak-at-taishan-npp-8822799

Fuel rod fault suspected as cause The Taishan nuclear power plant has two EPR units in commercial operation since 2018 and 2019. Image courtesy Framatome. The Taishan-1 nuclear power plant in China’s southern Guangdong province is at present operating within safety parameters, a spokesperson for reactor technology provider Framatome told NucNet.

French energy Group EDF said yesterday that it had been informed by operators of the increase in the concentration of certain inert (noble) gases in the primary circuit at Taishan-1, an EPR supplied by EDF subsidiary Framatome.

Taishan-1 made headlines on Monday after CNN reported that the US government had been working to investigate reports of a “leak” at the 1,660-MW pressurised water reactor unit.

EDF said the presence of inert gases in the primary circuit is a known phenomenon, “studied and provided for” in the reactor operating procedures.

Date: Wednesday, 16 June 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/unit-1-operating-within-safety-parametres-inert-gas-build-up-being-investigated-6-2-2021

Unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant is operating at full power and there has been no release of radiation at the plant or in the surrounding area, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced yesterday following media reports of a leak at the plant in China's Guangdong province. France's EDF, which holds a 30% stake in the two-unit plant, said it had been informed of an increase in the concentration of certain noble gases in the EPR reactor's primary circuit.

Date: Tuesday, 15 June 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Chinese-EPR-experiences-performance-issue

France’s Framatome said on 11 May that it had recently signed two contracts to upgrade systems and equipment used to manage operations at the Krško NPP in Slovenia. The company will design, deliver and install new instrumentation and control (I&C) systems and replace the thimble tubes, which are an important part of the plant’s in-core neutron flux measurement system.

Date: Friday, 14 May 2021
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsframatome-to-complete-upgrades-at-krko-npp-8742130