BWXT Marks Start of Nuclear Fuel Production for US Microreactor Project

BWX Technologies (NYSE: BWXT) has commenced the production of a new nuclear fuel product that will power the Department of Defense’s deployable microreactor and support NASA’s space exploration initiatives.

The company said Wednesday it will manufacture a core for the Project Pele microreactor, produce TRISO fuel for additional reactors and develop coated nuclear fuel technology for NASA under a $37 million contract from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory.

BWXT will produce the TRISO fuel at a facility in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The process involves downblending Project Pele’s highly enriched uranium to high-assay low-enriched uranium, which will be fabricated into TRISO fuel.

TRISO is the shortened term for tristructural isotropic. Tristructural refers to the layers of coating surrounding HALEU fuel, while isotropic means the coatings have uniform material characteristics in all directions.

Jay Dryer, director of the Department of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office, said the fuel “is capable of providing years of zero-carbon 24/7 energy in a safe and rugged form, with strategic implications for the DoD toward both its energy resilience and climate-change goals.”

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