GAIA: Evolutionary Improvements to Proven Technologies
AREVA’s next generation 17x17 fuel design, GAIA, builds on the proven HTP™ design platform to optimize fuel Reliability, Robustness, and Performance.
GAIA is a demonstration of AREVA’s long-term commitment to bringing new technology to market, ensuring that our customers’ key market segments are prepared for the future. GAIA addresses the industry’s desires to improve uranium utilization and reduce overall fuel cycle costs without compromising fuel reliability and mechanical performance.
GAIA retains the 8-line contact interface between the grid and the fuel rods, which results in outstanding resistance to grid-to-rod-fretting. The GRIP™ bottom nozzle provides a high level of filtering efficiency while maintaining low thermal-hydraulic pressure drop.
The GAIA grid has improved mechanical behavior, with minimal local deformation and a stable failure mode. High lateral cage stiffness and fuel rod rotational stiffness contribute to resistance against fuel assembly distortion and fuel rod bow.
GAIA structural mixing grids and Intermediate GAIA Mixing (IGM) grids bring improved thermal-hydraulic performance. A high performance fuel rod with increased pellet density and a high pitch spring increases uranium loading and improves thermal mechanical margins.
Delivering Innovative Fuel Designs as Promised
Four GAIA Lead Test Assemblies (LTAs) were first inserted in a European reactor in June 2012, with three cycles of irradiation already complete. A second U.S.-based GAIA Lead program is now under way, with the delivery of eight lead assemblies in March 2015. The GAIA LTAs will complete irradiation in the U.S. reactor by 2019, concurrent with the NRC licensing approvals for related Topical Reports in order to demonstrate U.S. market readiness.
For more information on how AREVA can help your organization deliver more value please contact:
AREVA Fuels – North America