Recent trends in Advanced Technology Fuel (ATF) in Europe and USA

Since 2018, ENUSA and WESTINGHOUSE have been working together as technological partners on the development of ATF fuels for PWR designs. Nowadays, the ATF concept is not only focused on improving the safety response of the fuel to nuclear accidents, but also on enhancing fuel performance through longer and cost-effective operational cycles.

An outstanding progress has been made on advanced claddings and fuels framed in the Westinghouse EnCore®1 program. Evolutionary Cr-coated Zirconium Alloys along with revolutionary silicon carbide (SiC) tubes as advanced claddings are showing their benefits in experimental and demonstration programs worldwide. Advanced fuel pellet improvements follow international nuclear industry trends towards higher enrichments and densities, also using new additives to achieve higher burnups.

ENUSA and Westinghouse in collaboration with one of the main European nuclear companies, have manufactured and licensed four demonstration fuel assemblies including some of these advanced features.

Furthermore, advanced fuel development means a collateral investment in the study of the design and manufacturing of Small Modular Reactors fuels. These new reactors provide flexibility, in size and power capacity, by operating with fuels based on standard and advanced nuclear fuels, in which ENUSA and Westinghouse experience in ATF will be essential.

1EnCore, ADOPT, Optimized ZIRLO, AXIOM, Low Tin ZIRLO and PRIME are trademarks or registered trademarks of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, its affiliates and/or its subsidiaries in the United States of America and may be registered in other countries throughout the world. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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