BWXT continues TRISO restart activities with kernel

04 May 2020

BWX Technologies, Inc. announced that its TRISO nuclear fuel manufacturing restart activities are continuing to progress ahead of schedule. 

Most recently, BWXT has demonstrated the capability to form and sinter uranium oxycarbide (UCO) fuel kernels that serve as a precursor to the TRISO coating process. With the completion of these activities, BWXT is now focusing on bringing two additional furnaces online (an additional sintering furnace and a coating furnace) to meet projected production demand before restart activities are complete.

BWXT is restarting its existing TRISO fuel production capability and increasing its capacity to position the company to meet emergent client interests in the Department of Defense microreactors, space reactors, and civil advanced reactors.

TRISO refers to a specific design of uranium nuclear reactor fuel. TRISO is a shortened form of the term TRIstructural-ISOtropic. TRIstructural refers to the layers of coatings surrounding the uranium fuel kernel, and ISOtropic refers to the coatings having uniform materials characteristics in all directions so that fission products are essentially retained. TRISO fuel can withstand extreme heat and has very low proliferation concerns and environmental risks.