Banner for Accident Tolerant Fule that depicts a reactor cavity and reads Accident Tolerant Fuel Regulatory Activities

What is Accident Tolerant Fuel?

Accident tolerant fuels (ATF) are a set of new technologies that have the potential to enhance safety at U.S. nuclear power plants by offering better performance during normal operation, transient conditions, and accident scenarios.

On January 14, 2019, the President signed the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA). NEIMA, Section 107, "Commission Report On Accident Tolerant Fuel," which provides a definition of ATF as a new technology that:

(1) makes an existing commercial nuclear reactor more resistant to a nuclear incident (as defined in section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2014)); and

(2) lowers the cost of electricity over the licensed lifetime of an existing commercial nuclear reactor.

Why the Interest Now?

What is the NRC's Role?

The NRC's role with ATF is to review the new fuel technologies and their associated enrichment, fabrication, transportation, and storage aspects to ensure that they maintain public health and safety when implemented by NRC licensees.

The NRC reviews the technologies against all applicable guidance, available data, and past precedent applications to determine if the new fuel design continues to meet the NRC's regulations.

Is the NRC ready for applications?

Accident Tolerant Fuel Technologies

Reviewing Accident Tolerent Fuel

NRC Interactions

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, February 09, 2023