Mar 26, 2013– Springfields, UK  (Techreleased) – Westinghouse Electric Company’s nuclear fuel manufacturing plant at Springfields, near Preston, has dispatched its first consignment of Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel assemblies to France.

Gravelines 5 Power Station
Gravelines 5 Power Station

The first fuel assemblies were dispatched to Electricité de France’s (EDF) Gravelines 5 power station in Northern France. The delivery is the culmination of a rigorous extensive product qualification exercise to ensure the manufacturing plant at Springfields meets EDF’s exacting quality and production standards.  This process included all aspects of the fuel manufacturing route.

“We are naturally delighted that the first delivery of LWR fuel for EDF in France has been completed,” said Mick Gornall, Westinghouse Springfields site operations director. “This is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and support by many people at Springfields to ensure that the product qualification was approved by EDF.”

Although Springfields has previously exported finished fuel and intermediate fuel products around the world, this is the first time that LWR fuel has been exported to France and the first time it has supplied EDF, the company’s largest customer, with fuel for export.  Springfields currently supplies EDF with all of the fuel for their Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) in the U.K.

The production of the fuel assemblies follows significant investment by Westinghouse in an extensive refurbishment of the LWR production facilities at Springfields, bringing them up to current safety and operational standards and incorporating many improvements and best practices from Westinghouse’s fuel manufacturing plants elsewhere in Europe and the U.S.  The plant has a capacity to produce 200te of fuel per annum, with the capability to increase this capacity further.

Westinghouse is a single-source fuel provider for Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and AGRs worldwide. Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel has 10 manufacturing locations around the world, including two manufacturing sites in Europe: Springfields Fuels Limited (Preston, Lancashire, U.K.) and Westinghouse Electric Sweden (Västerås, Sweden). Westinghouse is currently fueling 153 PWR/BWR plants worldwide.