North American Member News September 2023


30 September 2023


Eileen Supko

NRC Authorizes Lead Test Assemblies with LEU+ Fuel Rods

In August, Southern Nuclear received a license amendment for Vogtle Unit 2 to load lead test assemblies (LTA) of Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF), with fuel rods that exceed an enrichment assay of 5 weight percent (wt%) uranium-235. In 2022, Southern Nuclear signed an agreement with Westinghouse to load four LTAs into Vogtle Unit 2. The LTAs use key features that are part of Westinghouse’s High Energy Fuel initiative and the EnCore® Fuel program including: ADOPTTM uranium dioxide pellets, AXIOMTM fuel rod cladding, chromium-coated cladding, and Westinghouse’s PRIMETM fuel assembly design. The LTAs will be installed in Vogtle Unit 2 in early 2025.

The authorization of enrichments greater than 5 wt.% uranium-235 is part of a nuclear industry effort to utilize ATF technologies with higher enrichment assays. The ATF designs are expected to provide better performance during normal operation, transient conditions and accident scenarios. Large pressurized water reactors (PWR) plan to use ATF fuel to allow a shift from 18-month to 24-month operating cycles.

NRC License Amendment

Continue Reading


Already a member? Login.