Contracts signed for Areva advanced fuels

27 June 2017

Areva NP is to supply advanced fuel to four different nuclear facilities from 2020 under recently signed contracts worth $560 million. The contracts involve the company's Atrium 11 boiling water reactor (BWR) and Gaia and HTP pressurised water reactor (PWR) fuel designs.

Atrium 11 BWR fuel (Image: Areva NP)

Robert Freeman, vice president of Areva NP Fuel Unit's North American commercial and customer centre, said continuously improving fuel technologies helped utilities ensure reliability and efficiency, as well as cost certainty for the future. "Areva NP has more than 50 years of experience designing fuel for nuclear reactors around the world. Our latest fuel assembly designs, ATRIUM 11 and GAIA, demonstrate our commitment to continued innovation and operational excellence," he said.

The company describes Atrium 11 as its most advanced BWR fuel, providing cost benefits and greater operational flexibility through enhanced uranium efficiency while meeting the demands of high energy fuel cycles. The 11x11 fuel rod array is particularly valuable for plants that have implemented power uprates or operating strategies to optimise capacity factors. Lead fuel assemblies producing electricity at two US reactors in April 2015, and the fuel is now operating in five reactors around the world.

Gaia PWR fuel, described by Areva as a next-generation fuel, has been developed to provide greater thermal performance and improved mechanical behaviour. It is currently operating in two reactors.

The contract involving HTP fuel is for a modified version of the assembly designed to facilitate the transition of an unnamed plant to longer fuel cycles. Nearly 20,000 assemblies of Areva's HTP PWR fuel have been loaded into 50 reactors around the world.

The fuel assemblies will be fabricated at Areva NP's facility in Richland, Washington.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News