GNF to fuel Entergy BWRs with advanced fuel

23 May 2018

A new long-term contract between Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) and Entergy Nuclear will see Entergy become the first customer to take delivery of GNF3 advanced fuel in reload quantities.

River Bend will refuel with GNF3 in 2019 (Image: US NRC/Entergy)

The contract, which is worth over USD250 million and runs from 2019 to 2031, includes ten reloads of GNF3. Lead assemblies of the fuel have been operating in US nuclear power plants, including Entergy's River Bend plant in Louisiana, since 2015.

In 2019 River Bend will become the first plant in which GNF3 will be installed in reload quantities. The fuel will also be installed in reload quantities at Grand Gulf, Mississippi, in 2020.

GNF3 is manufactured at GNF's Wilmington facility in North Carolina. It has evolved from the company's GNF2 fuel, and according to GNF, provides improved fuel economics, increased performance and flexibility in operation.

The assemblies were first made available to customers in lead use assembly quantities in 2015. GNF3 fuel completed the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's approval process for new fuel product introductions in May last year after operating as designed in three US nuclear power plants.

John Elnitsky, Entergy Nuclear's senior vice president, Engineering and Technical Services, said: "Being able to use one of the newest, most advanced fuel products on the market fits well with our strategies for achieving excellence in fuel reliability and gaining efficiencies for our customers."

GNF has fuelled Grand Gulf and River Bend continuously since 2008.

Entergy's other BWR, a single-unit plant at Pilgrim in Massachusetts, is due to close next year. The company also provides management services to Nebraska Public Power District's single-unit Cooper BWR.

GNF is a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi Ltd, and operates primarily through Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas in Wilmington and Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co Ltd in Kurihama, Japan.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News