Westinghouse’s AXIOM® alloy is our next generation of fuel rod cladding material developed for demanding fuel duties and higher burnups. AXIOM cladding provides improved corrosion resistance and hydrogen pick-up performance, while maintaining excellent dimensional stability and superior resistance to aggressive coolant chemistry conditions.
AXIOM cladding is being licensed for use in all approved Westinghouse and Combustion Engineering (CE) Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel designs and corresponding rod dimensions.
AXIOM cladding was developed based on the successes of Westinghouse’s Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding, and was achieved through extensive materials research, optimization and robust testing.
AXIOM provides additional benefits compared to the Optimized ZIRLO product. These include:
The advantages of AXIOM cladding are fully realized in PWR high-burnup conditions. At low to intermediate burnups, AXIOM cladding performs similarly to other successful Westinghouse cladding products.
Westinghouse has successful global experience with AXIOM lead test rods (LTR) and lead test assemblies (LTA) in Europe and in United States, with successful completion of production qualification. AXIOM cladding fuel rods have been irradiated in reactors globally achieving burnup levels up to 75 GWd/MTU.
AXIOM fuel tubes
AXIOM fuel tubes
AXIOM fuel tubing on oxide coater
The submittal of a licensing topical report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to generically license AXIOM cladding in early 2021 results in an anticipated NRC approval in 2023/2024. The AXIOM cladding program is in the final stage of lead use assembly irradiation demonstration.
AXIOM, Optimized ZIRLO and ZIRLO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, its affiliates and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and may be registered in other countries throughout the world. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.