AREVA’s next-generation boiling water reactor fuel design, ATRIUM™ 11, is now in operation for the first time in the United States. The lead fuel assemblies have been producing electricity successfully at two reactors since April.
The ATRIUM™ 11 assembly is the first boiling water reactor assembly to feature an 11x11 fuel rod array, providing enhanced safety as well as fuel cycle savings. Additionally, the new design offers better operational flexibility, which is particularly valuable for plants that have implemented power uprates or optimized capacity factor operating strategies.
“Building on decades of international experience, AREVA has developed the ATRIUM™ 11 fuel to provide customers with a solution that enhances the competitiveness of their reactor operations,” said Marc Chevrel, executive vice president of AREVA’s Fuel Business Line. “The introduction of ATRIUM™ 11 to the U.S. market is another example of how our innovative products support our customers’ operational goals while meeting the ever-increasing industry safety standards.”
The 16 lead fuel assemblies were manufactured at the company’s Richland, Wash., facility and were delivered in line with the project schedule. Under the comprehensive fuel surveillance plan, multiple inspection campaigns have been conducted already by AREVA and its customers, confirming the fuel’s performance. The lead assemblies will be available for inspections in 2017 and reload supplies are expected the following year.
Already operating in five reactors around the world, the ATRIUM™ 11 nuclear fuel design has been garnering international attention, notably as the only fuel design recognized as a finalist at the 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards.