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With nuclear technology set to underpin new developments in space travel, NASA has awarded Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation a contract to manufacture and test fuel and develop the design of a nuclear thermal propulsion engine for near-term missions. Separately, Space Nuclear Power Corporation has partnered with Lockheed Martin Corporation and BWX Technologies for the US Space Force/Air Force's JETSON nuclear electric propulsion demonstration project, while Framatome has announced the creation of a new brand, Framatome Space.

Date: Saturday, 21 October 2023
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Unit 6 of the Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario has resumed operation following its Major Component Replacement (MCR) project, Bruce Power announced. The Candu reactor, which was taken offline for the work in January 2020, is scheduled to resume commercial operation later this year.

Date: Thursday, 10 August 2023
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Companies say commercial agreement is first of kind Ultra Safe said its USNC MMR will deliver cost-effective electricity and process heat to users anywhere. Courtesy Ultra Safe. Urenco USA will supply enriched uranium to Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation to manufacture fuel for its micro-modular reactor (MMR).

Ultra Safe said the agreement marks the first commercial supply of enriched uranium product (EUP) for use in an advanced nuclear reactor in the world.

Ultra Safe said it will buy enriched EUP from Urenco USA for use in the manufacture of tri-structural isotropic (Triso) particles and fully ceramic micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel via Ultra Safe’s planned joint venture with Framatome in the US.

The EUP will be produced and supplied by the Urenco USA uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico.

Kurt Terrani, executive vice-president at Ultra Safe said the company has been working hard to manage and de-risk the front end of our fuel cycle.

Date: Saturday, 04 March 2023
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US nuclear fuel developer Lightbridge Corporation has completed work in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to support the development of Lightbridge Fuel. The work was carried out under the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) voucher programme.

Date: Friday, 03 March 2023
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Companies have ‘concrete plans’ for rapid expansion The new JV plans to begin manufacturing Triso particles and FCM fuel in late 2025. Courtesy USNC. France-based nuclear company Framatome and US-based Ultra Safe Nuclear have signed a non-binding agreement to form a joint venture to bring commercially viable, fourth-generation nuclear fuel to market for USNC’s micro-modular reactor (MMR) and other advanced nuclear power plant designs.

The joint venture expects to begin manufacturing Triso particles and fully ceramic microencapsulated (FCM) fuel in late 2025.

The two companies said they had developed “concrete plans” to support rapid expansion to meet demand growth for advanced nuclear fuel in the US and global markets.

The partnership follows the opening of USNC’s pilot fuel manufacturing facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in August, the first and only privately funded facility in the US to manufacture Triso particles.

Date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023
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A joint venture between Framatome and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) plans to manufacture commercial quantities of TRISO fuel particles and fuel for advanced reactor designs.

Date: Saturday, 28 January 2023
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US nuclear fuel developer Lightbridge Corporation has announced that it has entered into landmark agreements with Idaho National Laboratory (INL), in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), to support the development of Lightbridge Fuel. The framework agreements comprise an “umbrella” Strategic Partnership Project Agreement (SPP) and an “umbrella” Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), each with Battelle Energy Alliance, (BEA), DOE’s operating contractor for INL, with an initial duration of seven years.

Date: Saturday, 17 December 2022
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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
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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
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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
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