The Art of Innovation: Westinghouse AGR Fuel

More about Westinghouse Fuel

Westinghouse has been investing in our facilities, technology and people supporting our all of our nuclear fuel products and services for decades and it shows. See why no company is more focused on nuclear fuel reliability.

Westinghouse is proud to be the only vendor to provide licensed fuel products to almost all types of reactors globally, including Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs).

The saying, “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole,” rings true for AGRs, which require round fuel assemblies instead of the traditional square assemblies needed to fuel Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs).

Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors are unique to the United Kingdom; 14 AGRs have been built and operated in the U.K. since 1963. Westinghouse fuels all units, manufacturing the AGR assemblies at the company’s Springfields facility near Preston, Lancashire. Springfields also manufactures PWR fuel and is capable of manufacturing SMR fuel as market needs dictate.

What is AGR Fuel?

AGR fuel is a type of oxide fuel made from uranium dioxide powder. An AGR fuel element is made up of uranium oxide pellets stacked inside stainless steel tubes, which are grouped together in a graphite sleeve to form a fuel assembly. Thirty-six stainless steel tubes, each containing 64 pellets, make up an assembly. The steel tubes are held by a machined brace – a recent innovation that improves fuel performance and nuclear safety.

The energy from just one AGR pellet is equivalent to 1.5 tons of coal.

Did you know?

Westinghouse manufactures more fuel types than any other supplier and fuels 142 plants worldwide. Learn more about Westinghouse’s innovative nuclear fuel products and services.