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Global Nuclear Fuel's New Product Completes Regulatory Process

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted May 23, 2017
Global Nuclear Fuel announced Tuesday that its newest fuel product, GNF3, has completed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved process for new fuel product introductions.

Developed by Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF), a GE-led joint venture with Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., the company’s GNF3 fuel assembly is fabricated with GNF materials out of its facility in Wilmington, according to a news release.

The company also operates its Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co. Ltd in Kurihama, Japan. GNF is a world supplier of boiling water reactor fuel and fuel-related engineering services.

GNF3 has been touted by the company as its "next generation fuel design." The GNF3 fuel assembly is based on “evolutionary” design changes and advanced technology developed by GNF, the release stated.

"This represents a significant investment in our future as this product will enable us to continue to meet our customers' needs and position us to effectively compete for new business in the years to come," GE Hitachi spokesman Jon Allen said of the federal regulatory commission's approval.

The GNF3 fuel assembly is designed to offer customers improved fuel cycle economics and increased performance and flexibility in operation and to further improve on the reliability of GNF’s previous product lines, the release stated.

GNF3 lead use assemblies are currently operating in three United States nuclear power plants. Representative assemblies were recently inspected and are operating as designed. The assemblies were reinserted during recent outages for continued operation.

“We designed GNF3 aiming to safely and reliably deliver more power while reducing overall fuel cycle costs, saving utilities money by reducing batch fraction and lowering the average enrichment in fuel reloads,” said GNF CEO Amir Vexler, in the release. “We are seeking to deliver substantially enhanced debris resistance with this newest fuel design, which includes the latest 'Defender' filter technology and an innovative spacer.”

According to GNF's website, GNF3 is available in lead use assembly quantities to customers now and is scheduled to be available for full reloads in 2019.

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