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First-of-its-kind 3D printed nuclear fuel component to enter use

First-of-its-kind 3D printed nuclear fuel component to enter use

Written by Paul

December 20, 2020

Framatome has announced that 3D-printed fuel assembly channel fasteners manufactured at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in a joint project with Tennessee Valley Authority are to be loaded into a US commercial reactor for the first time. The project is part of the laboratory’s Transformational Challenge Reactor programme. The four components will be loaded into TVA’s Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in early 2021.


The channel fasteners secure the fuel channel to the assembly. They were printed at ORNL using additive manufacturing techniques – also known as 3D printing – and installed on Atrium 10XM boiling water reactor fuel assemblies at Framatome’s nuclear fuel manufacturing facility in Richland, Washington. Channel fasteners have traditionally been fabricated from castings and require precision machining. Additive manufacturing techniques deposit material in layers, following a computer-designed model, to form precise shapes without […]


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