DUKE POWER GRANTED LICENSE AMENDMENT BY NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION TO USE MOX FUEL
Duke Power routinely conducts lead fuel assembly programs to support fuel design changes. “We plan to use four mixed oxide fuel assemblies in one of the Catawba Nuclear Station reactors alongside 189 conventional uranium fuel assemblies, beginning in spring 2005. This will confirm the good performance of MOX fuel we have already seen in European reactors, and help us obtain regulatory approval for larger-scale use of the fuel in the future,” says Steve Nesbit, Duke Power’s mixed oxide fuel project manager. Operators will shut down one of the reactors at Catawba this spring for a routine maintenance and refueling outage, and the MOX fuel assemblies will be put into the core at that time.
“We are pleased that NRC agrees with our assessment that it is safe to use four MOX fuel lead assemblies at Catawba. This NRC approval is an important step toward the goal of disposing of surplus nuclear weapons material and thereby advancing international nonproliferation efforts,” adds Nesbit.
Mixed oxide fuel is a mature technology in
MOX fuel is a blend of about 95 percent uranium oxide (conventional nuclear fuel) and about 5 percent plutonium oxide.
The MOX fuel program is part of an international initiative to reduce the stockpiles of plutonium in the
“We are proud to be part of this program. In addition to supporting an important national security initiative, MOX fuel will ultimately provide McGuire and Catawba nuclear stations with a long-term, economical supply of nuclear fuel,” says Nesbit.
Catawba Nuclear Station is a two-unit power plant located on
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