Nuclear Power

13 Mar 2023

Framatome Makes First TRIGA Fuel for U.S. Research Reactors

13 Mar 2023  by   

TRIGA International successfully made its first fuel element in more than ten years at its recently restored manufacturing facility in Romans, France. The fuel will be used to support university research reactors in the United States and a microreactor nuclear test platform planned for operation at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

The first batch of fuel is expected to be shipped to the U.S. this summer.


TRIGA International, a joint venture between Framatome and General Atomics, is the world's only supplier of TRIGA fuel.

The company completed a major renovation project in 2021 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to restart its fuel production.

The successful fabrication of this first metallic fuel element is a key step in relaunching a dependable fuel supply for TRIGA reactors worldwide for the first time since 2012.

"DOE is committed to developing a workforce that supports our nation and our planet in our transition to a clean energy economy," said Dr. Kathryn Huff, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy. "A dependable fuel supply for the world's university research reactors enables our future nuclear energy professionals to receive the hands-on experiences they need to help propel nuclear energy forward."

"Training and research reactors play a significant role in the evolution of nuclear energy and in particular in the development of young generations of nuclear engineers and researchers," said François Gauché, president of TRIGA International. "We are proud to supply safe and reliable fuel for the research reactor community worldwide in support of carbon-free electricity while developing expertise for generations to come."

DOE expects to purchase more than 660 new fuel elements to support TRIGA reactors in the United States. DOE also plans to purchase additional fuel for MARVEL a unique nuclear test platform that will demonstrate microreactor operations and end-use applications.


Maryland University Training Reactor // University of Maryland

TRIGA stands for Training, Research, Isotopes General Atomics.

There are currently 35 TRIGA reactors operating in the world, including 17 in the United States.

DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy provides and coordinates the nuclear fuel elements provided to 12 of the 17 TRIGA research reactors located at U.S. universities.

The first batch of TRIGA fuel will support the operation of three university research reactors.


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