Westinghouse Electric Company has been awarded a grant from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to support the development of advanced nuclear fuel. 

In collaboration with Urenco Ltd, Westinghouse will complete a Pre-Front End Engineering Design study for a secure and reliable supply of advanced TRi-structural ISOtropic (TRISO) fuels to support a range of potential high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technologies in development. Westinghouse will also receive support on this study from TRISO-X, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based X-energy.

“This award is an important step in creating commercial-scale advanced fuel production in the UK at our Springfields facility for the reactors of tomorrow,” said Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse President and CEO. “We look forward to partnering with Urenco for their global leadership in enrichment, in support of UK energy security and net zero carbon goals. We also welcome the support of TRISO-X and their valuable experience in the fabrication of advanced TRISO fuels.”

Boris Schucht, Urenco CEO, said: “Security of energy supply and realising crucial climate change goals requires the evolution of the nuclear fuel cycle. This includes a focus on producing the next generation of fuels. Urenco is committed to this development and is pleased to be collaborating with the UK nuclear industry and Government to achieve an enhanced service for global utilities and wider benefits for society.”

Pete Pappano, TRISO-X President, said: “The deployment of next generation TRISO fuel manufacturing in Springfields is an important step toward the UK’s decarbonization and energy independence goals. TRISO-X is pleased to bring our state-of-the-art process knowledge to support this grant.”

The work will take place at Westinghouse’s Springfields Fuels Ltd facility in Preston, Lancashire, the centre of fuel manufacturing expertise in the UK. Fuel produced at Springfields has supported reactors locally and globally for more than 70 years.

Image: Aerial view of the Springfields Fuels Ltd facility in Lancashire (courtesy of Westinghouse)