Cranberry Township, PA – March 14, 2023 – Westinghouse Electric Company has received approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to use its Advanced Doped Pellet Technology (ADOPT™) fuel pellets in United States pressurized water reactors (PWRs).
Westinghouse ADOPT™ fuel significantly enhances the safety and reliability of pressurized water reactors as well as enables customers to improve fuel cycle economics and extend their operating cycles.
The approval follows a successful demonstration to the NRC and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) that ADOPT fuel significantly enhances the safety and reliability of PWRs.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Westinghouse further developed its advanced pellet technology to increase the accident tolerance of conventional uranium dioxide fuel pellets. An agreement was announced recently with Southern Nuclear Company for inserting rods using HALEU ADOPT pellets with licensing and manufacturing in 2023. HALEU designates uranium enriched between 5 and 19.75 percent which is above the traditional threshold for commercial reactors. Through its increased uranium density, ADOPT fuel also enables U.S. customers to improve fuel cycle economics and extend their operating cycles.
“With this important milestone, ADOPT fuel becomes the first product within Westinghouse’s EnCore® Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) Program that is licensed for U.S. PWRs,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel. “ADOPT fuel is the result of two decades of in-reactor experience and provides our customers with improved fuel cycle economics and safety margins. This major achievement illustrates Westinghouse’s commitment to the future of nuclear power.”
Westinghouse is contracted to deliver reload quantities of ADOPT fuel for three units beginning in 2025.