The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy on 31 January confirmed that it had allocated $111.2 million to three industry entities for the development of accident tolerant fuels (ATF).

General Electric (GE), Westinghouse and Framatome received the funding allotment in late 2018. The performance period runs until end January 2021, with DOE and NE planning additional funding of $55.6 million in fiscal year 2020 and $30 million in fiscal 2021. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said: “The successful development of Accident Tolerant Fuels will enhance the safety and efficiency of the US nuclear fleet, which will, in turn, enhance the overall reliability of our energy system.”

Under the agreements GE will continue the development of Iron Chromium Aluminum alloys Cladding trademarked IronClad, Framatome will develop and deploy chromium-coated zirconium alloy cladding with chromia-doped uranium oxide pellets and Westinghouse will proceed with development of Uranium Silicide and Doped UO2 trademarked ADOPT in chromium-coated zirconium alloy cladding.