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Fuel Innovation

As industry needs evolve, nuclear fuel providers are being called upon to deliver more without compromising safety or reliability.

The ability to innovate in the nuclear industry is more critical than ever, as the landscape in which we operate continues to shift more rapidly each day. Today’s utilities require the lowest fuel cycle costs possible, increased operational flexibility, higher burnup capability to generate more power with fewer bundles, diversity of supply, accident-tolerant products that provide resilience and survivability, in addition to robust and leak-free fuel performance.

To meet these challenges Westinghouse is developing advanced technologies, practices and manufacturing methods that enhance our ability to produce and service nuclear fuel and provide greater insight into core performance.

EnCore® Fuel

Our accident tolerant fuel program – EnCore Fuel – features a suite of products to provide not only enhanced accident tolerance, but also improved fuel economics. Having fuel that can withstand the most severe accident scenarios is game-changing for utilities. The right fuel can also lead to significant plant and operational savings by delivering design-basis-altering safety margins and enabling longer fuel cycles.

Westinghouse’s EnCore Fuel program is centered on the use of high-performance features that are being developed and deployed on a strategic timeline so utilities can gain safety and cost benefits quickly. We have begun with an improved chromium-coated cladding that inhibits the zirconium-steam reaction and increases maximum temperature by an additional 300°C. This cladding has been applied to lead test rods (LTRs) loaded with our ADOPTTM fuel pellets – a mature design that increases density, allowing more uranium for a higher burnup, and has been fueling BWRs in Europe for 10 years. These LTRs were inserted into Exelon’s Byron Unit 2 in the spring of 2019.

We are also developing advanced fuel rod materials such as silicon-carbide cladding, which has an extremely high melting point and minimal reaction with water and steam. EnCore Fuel’s long-term portfolio will also include uranium nitride pellets, which offer 40% higher uranium density over UO2 (equivalent to 7% U235 enrichment) and significantly improved thermal properties, with either option translating to higher safety and economic benefits.

Learn more about how you can partner with Westinghouse on EnCore Fuel. Contact Melanie Joseph, Marketing Manager, at +1 (412)374-2663.

TRITON11™ Fuel

With our new TRITON11 BWR fuel, utilities can decrease fuel cycle costs by up to $4 million per cycle while increasing capacity factors. Our innovative, best-in-class TRITON11 design improves nuclear and thermal-hydraulic performance over any existing 11x11 or 10x10 BWR fuel design. With a distortion-resistant fuel channel, superior debris filter and advanced sleeve-type spacer grids that resist debris capture.

Reduced fuel cycle costs while maintaining high-quality performance are achieved by:

  • More efficient use of uranium through better thermal margins
  • Fewer fresh assemblies loaded
  • Increased operational flexibility
  • Improved debris resistance

Our TRITON11 fuel design is built on proven components, mechanical design solutions and materials with known reliability benefits such as a distortion-resistant Low Tin ZIRLOTM fuel channel, effective debris filter and advanced sleeve-type spacer grids that resist debris capture. Lead test assemblies of our TRITON11 design will be inserted into two different reactors in Europe in 2019, with targets for reload introduction in Europe in 2023 and reload introduction in the United States in 2024.

Learn more about how you can harness the power of TRITON11 for your plant by contacting U.S. Marketing Manager Michael Boone at +1-803-647-2112, or Europe, Middle East and Africa Marketing Manager Ulf Benjaminsson at +46-21-347969.