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The Art of Innovation: Optimized ZIRLO Cladding

ZIRLO® material is an advanced zirconium-based alloy that has high corrosion resistance to reactor coolant, fuel and fission products. This means that tubing made with ZIRLO can tolerate longer reactor cycle lengths at higher temperatures without reducing a power plant’s operating margins.

Building on almost 25 years of successful in-reactor experience with ZIRLO, Optimized ZIRLO™ cladding delivers excellent performance over other industry-available cladding material. Optimized ZIRLO™ cladding material has been used for more than 900,000 fuel rods in 36 Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) worldwide and provides corrosion resistance while maintaining excellent dimensional stability and predictable growth.

Optimized ZIRLO is being used in new applications including Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) components and demonstrating performance to Zircaloy-2 alloys that have been the BWR standard.

As part of the continuing innovation of cladding materials, Westinghouse is well into the development cycle of our next generation fuel cladding, which is called AXIOM cladding. This innovative fuel cladding is currently being deployed in lead test assemblies and is designed to accommodate even more demanding fuel duties to support higher fuel burnups and increased fuel temperatures.

It’s the art of innovation.

Learn more here.