Fuel design and products

You need to achieve safe and efficient operation of your plant; Fuel design and assemblies are a key lever to reach this goal.

Framatome uses advanced codes and methods for the design and analysis of our fuel assemblies. We design, manufacture and deliver all fuel-related components and all types of BWR and PWR fuel assembly designs. We can perform all relevant calculations from general fuel management up to dedicated licensing for the highest performance and safety.

Benefit from Framatome’s high-level technical expertise and experience, and from our design engineers who work closely with customers worldwide.

  • Fuel and core analyses / calculation / codes

    The present evolution of fuel assembly and core designs towards greater heterogeneity, higher enrichments and burnup, sophisticated Gadolinium designs, combined Uranium and MOX loading, low leakage, and power uprates imply great challenges to the codes and methods development.

    Energy suppliers are strongly interested in an accurate prediction of the capabilities and behaviors of their reactors. For example, the inability to accurately predict thermal limit margins during reactor start-ups or the onset of reactor coast down at the end of cycle can significantly impact their ability to fulfill their power generation targets and, ultimately, impacts the power generation revenues.

     Anticipating customer’s needs for the future, Framatome took up the challenge to significantly advance the state-of-the-art in nuclear methods: Large Research and Development programs have been launched to prepare the next generation of codes and methods (ARCADIA, GALILEO, ARGOS, AREA, ARITA) capable to handle the challenges in fuel assembly design, core design, safety analysis and core monitoring. Those developments are now approaching maturity and are being rolled out for the benefits of our customers.

  • Fuel products / technologies

    All industries, nuclear and non-nuclear, need some specific raw materials for their activities, such as Zirconium – the reference material for manufacturing of fuel assemblies – or Hafnium. Moreover the nuclear industry requires products for fuel fabrication, e.g. fuel pellets, spacer grids, and beyond sintering furnaces.

    Framatome’s worldwide network of facilities dedicated to nuclear fuel fabrication manufactures from zirconium products (sponges, tubes and flat products) and Hafnium products, via fuel pellets up to complete fuel assemblies. Our teams of manufacturing experts and engineers work in close collaboration with fuel design specialists and their key drivers are safety and quality.

    All industries using zirconium, hafnium or all other nuclear fuel technologies can benefit of proven products, reliable as well as long- term production and delivery, and an international sales network.

  • Fuel assemblies

    PWR operations are increasingly demanding and include significant power up-rates, lower neutron leakage, cycles ranging from 6 to 24 months and challenging water chemistry conditions. The innovative GAIA fuel design offers utilities significant added value through its high mechanical fretting resistance, improved thermal performance, better debris filtering efficiency, enhanced reliability and robustness, increased flexibility, and improved fuel cycle economy.

    BWR operators are under continuous market pressure to maximize generation while driving down operating costs. ATRIUMTM 11 is Framatome’s latest generation BWR fuel. This design combines an 11x11 array with the proven ATRIUMTM 3x3 cell central water channel for optimal moderation. The key advantages are significant reductions in fuel cycle costs and average Linear Heat Generation Rate (LHGR), an increased discharge burnup, enhanced reliability margins, higher flexibility, improved thermal hydraulic stability behavior, and faster power maneuvering for higher capacity factors.

    Framatome’s fuel assemblies and associated core components supply chain supports operators across the world, with more than 220,000 fuel assemblies supplied as of mid-2017.

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