Westinghouse has signed a $250 million contract with Arizona Public Service to fabricate and deliver nuclear fuel for three pressurised water reactors at the Palo Verde site in Arizona.

The contract covers the supply of 16×16 Westinghouse next generation fuel assemblies, called CE16NGFTM, as well as the transition engineering and licensing required for deployment of the new fuel design. It is an extension of an existing fuel supply contract.

Westinghouse says its NGF incorporates advanced cladding material and burnable absorbers, as well as advances in structural design that improve the fuel’s efficiency and reliability, and increase its service life. The fuel has been used in two other US nuclear units.

"This contract extension represents a confidence in Westinghouse not only to continue delivering high-performing fuel, but faith in our ability to develop first-of-a-kind products." said Mark Marano, Westinghouse Americas president said.

The three units at Palo Verde started operations between 1986 and 1988, and each have a gross capacity of 1414 MWe.

Photo: Palo Verde nuclear plant