GNF introduces new nuclear fuel design

18 May 2015

Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF) has introduced its next generation fuel design, GNF3, for boiling water reactors.

The company says the fuel, which is based on evolutionary design changes to GNF2, will provide customers with improved fuel economics, increased performance and operational flexibility, while maintaining reliability. GNF3 is expected to be available for full reloads in 2018.

"We designed GNF3 to deliver more power while reducing overall fuel cycle costs," said Amir Vexler, chief operator officer of GNF-Americas. "The enhanced GNF3 design will save utilities money by reducing batch fraction, lowering the average enrichment in fuel reloads and extracting more power from the core."

GNF3 is also designed and manufactured to be more resistant to debris capture and for enhanced corrosion resistance.

The new fuel is already available in lead use assembly quantities to customers. In January Entergy's River Bend Station and Exelon's LaSalle County Station each loaded four GNF3 lead use assemblies into their reactors, and GNF says they are currently operating as designed.

The GNF3 fuel is fabricated at the Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.GNF, a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi, Ltd. and Toshiba Corporation, also operates through Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd. in Kurihama, Japan.

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