Six U.S. nuclear utilities have established a technical advisory board for the deployment of GAIA, AREVA’s next generation pressurized water reactor fuel assembly design. These six utilities – including Dominion, Duke Energy, Exelon and PSEG – share a common interest in ensuring the technical advancement and demonstration of this fuel for the U.S. market.
As part of this program, one of the utilities will operate a set of eight lead test assemblies starting in spring 2015.
“Developed to meet the ever-increasing needs of nuclear utilities, the GAIA fuel assembly is focused on ensuring the safety and robustness of nuclear fuel operations,” said Guillaume Dureau, senior executive vice-president of AREVA’s Front End Business Group. “Successfully used in 2012 in the Ringhals power plant in Sweden, GAIA offers customers optimal performance and a high burn-up capability.”
The innovative GAIA fuel design provides utilities cost-savings through its high mechanical fretting resistance, better thermal performance and increased tolerance to earthquakes. The design also features advanced cladding which will meet anticipated changes in U.S. regulatory requirements.