skip to main content

Title: Advanced Fuels Campaign Light Water Reactor Accident Tolerant Fuel Performance Metrics

The safe, reliable and economic operation of the nation’s nuclear power reactor fleet has always been a top priority for the United States’ nuclear industry. As a result, continual improvement of technology, including advanced materials and nuclear fuels, remains central to industry’s success. Decades of research combined with continual operation have produced steady advancements in technology and yielded an extensive base of data, experience, and knowledge on light water reactor (LWR) fuel performance under both normal and accident conditions. In 2011, following the Great East Japan Earthquake, resulting tsunami, and subsequent damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex, enhancing the accident tolerance of LWRs became a topic of serious discussion. As a result of direction from the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) initiated an Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) Development program. The complex multiphysics behavior of LWR nuclear fuel makes defining specific material or design improvements difficult; as such, establishing qualitative attributes is critical to guide the design and development of fuels and cladding with enhanced accident tolerance. This report summarizes a common set of technical evaluation metrics to aid in the optimization and down selection of candidate designs. As used herein,more » “metrics” describe a set of technical bases by which multiple concepts can be fairly evaluated against a common baseline and against one another. Furthermore, this report describes a proposed technical evaluation methodology that can be applied to assess the ability of each concept to meet performance and safety goals relative to the current UO2 – zirconium alloy system and relative to one another. The resultant ranked evaluation can then inform concept down-selection, such that the most promising accident tolerant fuel design option(s) can continue to be developed for lead test rod or lead test assembly insertion into a commercial reactor within the desired timeframe (by 2022).« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; accident tolerant fuel; fuel metrics; LWR fuel