Six U.S. nuclear utilities have established a technical advisory board for the deployment of GAIA, AREVA’s next generation pressurized water reactor fuel assembly design. These six utilities – including Dominion, Duke Energy, Exelon and PSEG – share a common interest in ensuring the technical advancement and demonstration of this fuel for the U.S. market. As part of this program, one of the utilities will operate a set of eight lead test assemblies starting in spring 2015. The GAIA fuel design provides utilities cost-savings through its high mechanical fretting resistance, better thermal performance and increased tolerance to earthquakes. The design also features advanced cladding which will meet anticipated changes in U.S. regulatory requirements.