The hottest nuclear fuel disruptive technological

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Nuclear fuel disruptive technological innovation ATF accident tolerant fuel, referred to as ATF, represents safety, reliability and lower operating costs. Westinghouse plans to conduct long-term testing and certification from 2016 to 2022, and manufacture ATF and win the international authoritative certification of pilot test rods

although the current fuel design can operate well under normal power plant conditions, under conditions beyond the design basis, the existing fuel design may have the damage of fuel cladding and the release of nuclear fission products, such as the Three Mile Island and Fukushima nuclear accidents

Westinghouse Electric Company and its partners are developing subversive ATF technology, which will significantly improve the tolerance to serious accidents, greatly improve the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants, and help nuclear power plant owners reduce economic costs

Westinghouse ATF development plan

since 2004, Westinghouse has been the industry leader in ATF technology development. The R & D plan focuses on two aspects: more advanced cladding and fuel technology

advanced cladding technology

adding coatings to the current zirconium alloy cladding can moderately improve its performance under severe accident conditions

SiC composites can maximize the improvement of cladding temperature tolerance (up to 2000 ℃), fuel cycle cost and corrosion resistance

its novel structure

advanced fuel technology

uranium silicide (u3si2) can increase U235 by 17%, and the thermal conductivity can be increased by 5 times

waterproof u15n can increase U235 by 35% and the thermal conductivity by 10 times

the improvement of fuel cycle cost will effectively improve economic benefits

in addition, the research and development of Westinghouse ATF is also supported by the U.S. Department of energy (DOE). From 2004 to 2010, Westinghouse made significant research achievements in this field with internal funds, and obtained three important special grants for ATF technology research and development from the U.S. Department of energy

key tasks

evaluation ATF project approval (2010) - economy, manufacturability and performance

technical feasibility evaluation (2012-2015)

production test project (2014-2016)

after these tasks are completed, Westinghouse and the U.S. Department of energy will carry out long-term pilot test rod testing, certification and manufacturing (2016-2022)

partners and roles in the global ATF project

in order to complete these key tasks, Westinghouse convened a world-class team, Including:

advanced experimental reactor at Idaho National Laboratory - irradiation and testing

Argonne National Laboratory - zirconium alloy cladding coating (atomic layer deposition)

ceramic tubular products - silicon carbide cladding coating tube

EWI - zirconium alloy cladding coating (thermal spraying)

Exelon - the owner provides economic and forensic support

General atomics ——Development and manufacture of SiC/SiC composite cladding

Halden reactor project (Norway) - irradiation and testing

Idaho National Laboratory - high density fuel (u also includes a true broach base set on the bed, a broach frame fixed on the broach base, an oil cylinder fixed on the bed to drive the broach, a connecting sleeve, a true chip receiving groove sleeved on the cylinder block, and a true oil tank set at the bottom of the bed to contain hydraulic oil; the end of the connecting sleeve is connected to the broach frame 3si2)

Los Alamos National Laboratory - high density fuel (waterproof UN)

Massachusetts Institute of technology - irradiation and oxidation tests

National Nuclear Energy Laboratory (UK) - high density fuel manufacturing

Paul Scheler Institute (Switzerland) - properties of silicon carbide cladding under irradiation

Southern nuclear operation company - utility units for economy and registration

Texas A & M University - high density fuel (waterproof UN)

University of Wisconsin - zirconium alloy cladding coating (cold spray)

Westinghouse Electric Company - ATF design, engineering and certification


the whole plant of carat is called collaboration for advanced research on accident tolerant fuel, that is, the cooperative working group on advanced research on accident tolerant fuel

members of 30 self funded organizations from around the world, including research institutions, universities, national laboratories and industrial companies

pay attention to basic research

generate technical data to support ATF design and technological innovation

the above partners are composed of a world-class team developing the next generation light water reactor fuel

Westinghouse's role

Westinghouse is working with world-class teams to develop ATF, including working with the global carat working group to provide basic research

develop advanced fuel and cladding concepts (silicon carbide/silicon carbide ceramic matrix composites, zirconium coatings with or without silicon carbide coating, and u3si2 and waterproof UN)

conduct irradiation testing of advanced fuel and cladding

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