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Title: Fuel Fabrication Capability Research and Development Plan

The purpose of this document is to provide a comprehensive review of the mission of the Fuel Fabrication Capability (FFC) within the Global Threat Reduction Initiative Convert Program, along with research and development (R&D) needs that have been identified as necessary to ensuring mission success. The design and fabrication of successful nuclear fuels must be closely linked endeavors. Therefore, the overriding motivation behind the FFC R&D program described in this plan is to foster closer integration between fuel design and fabrication to reduce programmatic risk. These motivating factors are all interrelated, and progress addressing one will aid understanding of the others. The FFC R&D needs fall into two principal categories, 1) baseline process optimization, to refine the existing fabrication technologies, and 2) manufacturing process alternatives, to evaluate new fabrication technologies that could provide improvements in quality, repeatability, material utilization, or cost. The FFC R&D Plan examines efforts currently under way in regard to coupon, foil, plate, and fuel element manufacturing, and provides recommendations for a number of R&D topics that are of high priority but not currently funded (i.e., knowledge gaps). The plan ties all FFC R&D efforts into a unified vision that supports the overall Convert Program schedule inmore » general, and the fabrication schedule leading up to the MP-1 and FSP-1 irradiation experiments specifically. The fabrication technology decision gates and down-selection logic and schedules are tied to the schedule for fabricating the MP-1 fuel plates, which will provide the necessary data to make a final fuel fabrication process down-selection. Because of the short turnaround between MP-1 and the follow-on FSP-1 and MP-2 experiments, the suite of specimen types that will be available for MP-1 will be the same as those available for FSP-1 and MP-2. Therefore, the only opportunity to explore parameter space and alternative processing is between now and 2016 when the candidate processes are down-selected in preparation for the MP-1, FSP-1, and MP-2 plate manufacturing campaigns. A number of key risks identified by the FFC are discussed in this plan, with recommended mitigating actions for those activities within FFC, and identification of risks that are impacted by activities in other areas of the Convert Program. The R&D Plan does not include discussion of FFC initiatives related to production-scale manufacturing of fuel (e.g., establishment of the Pilot Line Production Facility), rather, the goal of this plan is to document the R&D activities needed ultimately to enable high-quality and cost-effective production of the fuel by the commercial fuel fabricator. The intent is for this R&D Plan to be a living document that will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis (e.g., annually) to ensure that FFC R&D activities remain properly aligned to the needs of the Convert Program. This version of the R&D Plan represents the first annual review and revision.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
PNNL-22528 Rev. 1
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
GTRI; Convert Program; Nuclear Fuel; Fabrication