Cranberry Township, PA, September 5, 2019 – Westinghouse Electric Company and Exelon Generation Company have successfully completed a first-of-a-kind installation of EnCore Fuel, Westinghouse’s accident-tolerant fuel solution, at Exelon’s Byron Unit 2 nuclear power plant. The advanced nuclear fuel was installed during the plant’s scheduled spring refueling outage.
“Westinghouse’s EnCore Fuel design was created to advance the future of the nuclear industry. We are very proud to have achieved this important program milestone,” said Westinghouse President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Fragman. “Providing innovative products, solutions and services for our customers is at the forefront of all we do, and we are pleased to have partnered with Exelon to ultimately deliver greater efficiency and reliability through our new technology.”
This installation marks the first insertion of EnCore Fuel rod assemblies into a commercial nuclear power plant. These two lead test assemblies contain chromium-coated zirconium cladding for enhanced oxidation and corrosion resistance, higher density ADOPT™ pellets for improved fuel economics, and uranium silicide pellets.
Westinghouse EnCore Fuel has the potential to significantly increase public safety through revolutionary new materials, while at the same time improving the economics of plant operation through longer fuel cycles and enhanced flexible power operation capability.
“Exelon Generation’s industry-leading nuclear energy experts have spent years evaluating Accident Tolerant Fuel to explore its safety and cost benefits,” said Byron Site Vice President Mark Kanavos. “We are continually looking for innovative ways to enhance our exceptional safety standards, including piloting new, safer fuel technologies.”
Westinghouse and its network of partners have developed EnCore Fuel as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Accident Tolerant Fuel Program. Westinghouse is currently working on an Accident Tolerant Fuel grant from the DOE totaling more than $93M for the development of EnCore Fuel.