Westinghouse ADOPT Fuel Achieves Regulatory Approval

By Ned Fielder, The Chicago Times

March 14, 2023

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, PA – Westinghouse Electric Company announced that it has received approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to use its Advanced Doped Pellet Technology fuel pellets in United States pressurized water reactors. Westinghouse said the approval follows a successful demonstration to the NRC and the Advanced Committee on Reactor Safeguards that ADOPT fuel enhances the safety and reliability of PWRs.

Westinghouse further developed its advanced pellet technology to increase the accident tolerance of conventional uranium dioxide fuel pellets.  Westinghouse said an agreement was announced with Southern Nuclear Company for inserting rods using HALEU ADOPT pellets with licensing and manufacturing in 2023.   According to Westinghouse, HALEU designates uranium enriched between 5 and 19.75 percent which is above the traditional threshold for commercial reactors. ADOPT fuel is expected to enable US customers to improve fuel cycle economics and extend operating cycles.  

“With this important milestone, ADOPT fuel becomes the first product within Westinghouse’s EnCore Accident Tolerant Fuel Program that is licensed for US PWRs.  ADOPT fuel is the result of two decades of in-reactor experience and provides our customers with improved fuel cycle economics and safety margins. This major achievement illustrates Westinghouse’s commitment to the future of nuclear power.” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse President of Nuclear Fuel in a press release.

Westinghouse is expected to deliver reload quantities of ADOPT fuel for three units beginning in 2025.