WESTINGHOUSE UNVEILS EnCore NUCLEAR FUEL
Westinghouse Electric Company today formally launched its accident-tolerant fuel solution, EnCore Fuel. The announcement was made during the company’s Fuel Users’ Group Meeting, attended by nuclear fuel customers from around the world.
EnCore Fuel is intended to offer design-basis-altering safety, greater uranium efficiency and estimated economic benefits up to hundreds of millions of dollars to Westinghouse’s nuclear fuel customers. Delivered in two phases, the initial EnCore Fuel product is comprised of coated cladding containing uranium silicide pellets, which sets EnCore Fuel apart from other accident-tolerant fuel solutions because of the pellets’ higher density and higher thermal conductivity. The reduced oxidation and hydrogen pickup of the coated cladding during normal operation (250° – 350°C) is intended to prolong cladding life, provide enhanced resistance to wear and increase margins.
The coated cladding also supports extended exposure to high temperature steam and air (1300° – 1400°C) during a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA), reactivity-initiated accident (RIA) and beyond-design-basis conditions.
The second phase of EnCore Fuel features silicon-carbide (SiC) cladding, which is intended to offer significant safety benefits in beyond-design-basis accident scenarios, enabled by its extremely high melting point (2800°C or higher) and minimal reaction with water, resulting in minimal generation of heat and hydrogen in beyond-design-basis accident scenarios. (Source: Westinghouse)