Westinghouse to install 3D printed fuel component

12 November 2017

Power company Westinghouse, which is headquartered in Pennsylvania, plans to be the first company to install a 3D printed fuel component in a commercial nuclear reactor. By fall of 2018, Westinghouse plans to install a thimble plugging device made of 3D printed 316L stainless steel as well as non-3D printed 304 stainless steel.

Westinghouse is looking to lower the cost of replacement parts as well as to speed up the qualification of 3D printed materials. The company has been using additive manufacturing for casting molds to produce large replacement brackets and bearing housings for electric motors, and now it plans to use the technology to directly manufacture parts.