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Westinghouse Announces Next-Generation Nuclear Fuel Enhancement at U.S. Plant

January 27, 2022 by Westinghouse Electric Company

First-Ever Installation Provides Utilities with Operational Savings and Efficiencies

Cranberry Township, PA, January 27, 2022 – Westinghouse Electric Company has signed an agreement with Southern Nuclear Operating Company to load four Lead Test Assemblies (LTAs) with next-generation fuel features into Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle Unit 2 in Waynesboro, GA. The installation is the first in Westinghouse’s High Energy Fuel initiative.

Prime fuel

Prime™ Advanced Fuel Package

“Westinghouse solutions are designed with our utility partners in mind – providing safety and economic enhancements for extended operation,” said Pam Cowan, Westinghouse president of Americas Operating Plant Services. “These advancements will enable Plant Vogtle to realize its current operational strategy as well as deliver on its long-term needs.”

ADOPT Fuel Pellets

Adopt™ Fuel Pellets

The LTAs will utilize key components of Westinghouse’s High Energy Fuel initiative, including higher enriched lead test rods of up to 6.0 weight percent – one percent higher than the current licensed limit. They will also contain ADOPT™ uranium dioxide pellets, AXIOM™ fuel rod cladding and chromium-coated cladding combined with Westinghouse’s advanced PRIME™ fuel assembly design. ADOPT pellets and chromium-coated cladding are both part of the company’s EnCore® Accident Tolerant Fuel program that aims to significantly increase fuel durability and temperature tolerance.

Westinghouse’s High Energy Fuel initiative enables utilities to utilize higher enrichment levels, allowing higher fuel burnup and an increase in extracted energy. Additionally, the initiative enables fuel cycles from 18 to 24 months, allowing operators to realize cost savings from reduced planned outages.

Implementation of the LTAs is scheduled to take place in 2023.