Holtec International has selected Framatome to supply nuclear fuel for the SMR-160 small modular reactor. Holtec and Framatome have entered into an agreement to enable completion of all necessary engineering to fuel the SMR-160 with Framatome’s commercially available and well-proven 17 x 17 GAIA fuel assembly. 

Framatome’s 17 x 17 GAIA Fuel Assembly
(courtesy of Framatome)

By adding Framatome as a principal supplier to SMR, LLC and by selecting its widely consumed fuel, Holtec has now substantially reduced the majority of the first-of-a-kind-engineering for the fuel system. By adapting the SMR-160 to utilize standard Pressurized Water Reactor fuel in its core design, Holtec has substantially eliminated risks associated with nuclear fuel, ensuring fuel-related operational experience from the current light water reactor fleet operating world-wide is relevant to our reactor. 

Critically, the inclusion of Framatome in our SMR-160 program ensures that a prospective SMR-160 plant owner will have ready access to a robust international fuel supply chain. Framatome is an international leader in nuclear energy recognized for its innovative solutions and value-added technologies for the global nuclear fleet. With worldwide expertise and a proven track record for reliability and performance, the company designs, services and installs components, fuel, and instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power plants. Framatome initially developed the GAIA fuel assembly to ensure optimal performance and high safety margins for increasingly demanding conditions, including increases in burn-up, lower neutron leakage, cycle lengths of up to 24 months, and challenging water chemistry conditions. The GAIA fuel assembly design has been determined by us to be ideally suited for our reactor.

The executives of Framatome and Holtec International are energized by the recently established agreement for fuel design validation and its salutary impact on SMR-160’s deployment schedule. “We’re excited to offer our proven products and fuel expertise to Holtec in support of their effort to develop and license the SMR-160 with maximum speed,” said Gary Mignogna, President and CEO of Framatome in North America. Echoing Mr. Mignogna’s sentiments, Holtec’s CEO, Dr. Kris Singh stated, “We look forward to leveraging Framatome’s vast reservoir of nuclear fuel know-how accumulated over the past five decades to expeditiously deploy the SMR-160 reactor with truly minimized risk.”

Holtec International’s SMR-160 Small Modular Reactor

The SMR-160 is a light-water based pressurized small modular reactor which generates 160 MWe (525 MWth) and relies upon simple and passive systems to achieve aggressive safety goals and economic performance. The SMR-160 has been developed by Holtec and its subsidiary companies. Work continues to refine the design with world-class invested partners such as Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, SNC-Lavalin, and Exelon Generation. 

Please visit www.framatome.com for additional information about Framatome in the USA and globally.