2005 R&D 100 Winner
Over the past decade, nuclear power production has increased by over 20%. Fulfilling this need, however, has had its own unique set of challenges, one of which has been. Among them has been how to effectively remove buildup of deposits on the surface of the fuel itself during operation.

Researchers at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Palo Alto, Calif., Dominion Engineering, Inc., Reston, Virg., AmerenUE, Fulton, Mo, Exelon Corp., Warrenville, Ill., and South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co., Wadsworth, Texas., have devised a solution with the EPRI UT Nuclear Fuel Cleaning Technology.

This patented process removes corrosion products deposited on irradiated nuclear fuel pins in nuclear power plants, using ultrasonic technology. With this technology, 80-90% of crud deposits are removed with no damage to the integrity of fuel.

Ultrasonic technology process

Electric Power Research Institute
Dominion Engineering, Inc.
Exelon Corp.
South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co.