US regulators requests information from 11 nuclear plants

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced that it had issued a request for information to the owners of 11 nuclear power plants using Westinghouse Electric Company-produced nuclear fuel.

The agency is taking precautions against the possibility of "thermal conductivity degradation", industry terminology for when "older fuel has a reduced capacity to transfer heat, potentially changing its performance during various accident scenarios, including loss-of-coolant accidents."

The NRC press release goes on to state the agency's concern that thermal conductivity degradation may not have been accounted for properly in computer performance models; it therefore wants the probability that the phenomenon will occur evaluated by the nuclear plant owners by 19 March.

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