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GE, Global Nuclear Fuel Unveil Nuclear Fuel Improvements

By Vince Winkel, posted Jan 24, 2017
Global Nuclear Fuel's GNF2 rod assembly (Image courtesy of GNF)
Global Nuclear Fuel, a joint venture of GE, Toshiba and Hitachi based in Wilmington, this week unveiled new enhancements to its GNF2 fuel, to further improve its reliability and performance.
 
The newest version of the product, known as GNF2.02 was launched using GNF’s latest process for design iteration including rapid prototyping and testing. Improvements to the Defender PLUS debris filter will significantly improve the chance of stopping debris before it ever reaches the fuel bundle, according to a news release from GE.
 
“This provides an additional fuel option for our North American customers who operate boiling water reactors,” said GE Hitachi spokesman Jonathan Allen.
 
“Fuel bundles are placed in the core of the reactor during service and refueling outages, which typically occur every 18-24 months. During each outage some new fuel is inserted and some of the existing fuel is removed,” Allen said.
 
GNF2.02 fuel filters are designed, engineered and manufactured in Wilmington.
 
“An improved debris filter means that GNF2.02 will offer our customers even better fuel reliability which translates to lower operating costs,” said Amir Vexler, CEO of Global Nuclear Fuel–Americas, in a news release. “The use of 3D printing to prototype fuel filter designs enabled us to reduce the typical design cycle without sacrificing quality or design rigor. Rapid prototyping will enable us to continue to innovate quickly to meet our customers’ needs.”
 
GE said that the new GNF2.02 will reduce costs for customers by offering better fuel reliability
 
GNF has produced nuclear fuel, along with the fuel rod assemblies in which it is contained, at its Wilmington site since 1969, according to Allen.
 
GNF is a GE-led joint venture.
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