Westinghouse Electric Company has been awarded $93.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of their accident-tolerant fuel program, EnCore fuel, the company said Friday. The EnCore Fuel program includes the development of both short- and long-term products that provide advanced safety features, enhanced fuel cycles and economic advantages. The first phase of the program will deliver chromium-coated zirconium cladding for enhanced oxidation and corrosion resistance, and higher density ADOPT pellets for improved fuel economics. The second phase will introduce silicon carbide composite cladding and high-density uranium silicide pellets to offer significantly higher safety and economic benefits. The funding will be used by Westinghouse, in partnership with General Atomics, as well as national laboratory and university partners to accelerate the introduction of lead test rods of silicon carbide cladding into a U.S. commercial reactor by 2022. The funding will also support the implementation of the first load fuel assemblies containing lead test rods of Encore Fuel, currently scheduled to be inserted in Exelon Generation’s Byron Unit 2 in spring of 2019.
On the international front, Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Ihor Nasalyk said that the country had secured permission from Westinghouse to use the appropriate fuel technology to build a processing plant to allow Ukraine to step closer to self-sufficiency in fuel requirements for its VVER-model reactors.
The plant could be completed in three years, Nasalyk said.
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