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Successful Implementation of First-Of-A-Kind Bottom Nozzles

February 3, 2021 by Westinghouse Electric Company
Categories: General Topics

Installations offer unrivaled debris protection in commercial nuclear fuel.

The Challenge
Debris fretting is the primary cause of nuclear fuel leakers around the world. A U.S. nuclear plant recently experienced such an event and decided to lead the industry by implementing next-gen solutions to enhance their protection.

Our Solution
Westinghouse’s advanced debris filter bottom nozzle utilizes innovative side skirt filters on each fuel assembly, providing a revolutionary defense against debris that could otherwise escape between fuel assemblies and cause leaking fuel rods by fretting in peripheral rods.

The bottom nozzle is the latest feature to be added to Westinghouse’s PRIME™ fuel package, which is comprised of optimized enhancements to help utilities improve fuel performance and enable improved fuel cycle economics. The PRIME package includes the bottom nozzle, reinforced dashpots, and Low Tin ZIRLO™ grids.

The Impact
Full-scale, realistic hydraulic loop tests demonstrated zero escapes of even small wires between assemblies when using the advanced debris filter bottom nozzle. As a result, it is anticipated that the utility will realize significant leaker-related cost reductions and decreased exposures.

Learn more about our enhanced PRIME fuel features.