Framatome, TVA and ORNL To Load First 3D-Printed Component In Commercial Reactor

Framatome, Tennessee Valley Authority and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently collaborated in a joint project to create a 3D-printed safety component that will be loaded in a U.S. commercial nuclear power plant.

The stainless steel fuel assembly channel fasteners will be inserted in the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant (owned and operated by TVA) during the spring 2021 refueling outage.

The fuel assembly channel fasteners were printed at ORNL using additive-manufacturing techniques (3D printing) as part of the lab’s Transformational Challenge Reactor Program and installed on ATRIUM 10XM fuel assemblies at Framatome’s nuclear fuel manufacturing facility in the US.

Framatome’s initiative to introduce additive manufacturing to nuclear fuel began in 2015 and is focused on stainless steel and nickel-based alloy fuel assembly components.

This initiative is also funded by the European Union and U.S. Department of Energy and relies on several industry partners around the world to progress and advance the use of these technologies.

Read more on Framatome’s Press Release.