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Title: Overview of the U.S. DOE Accident Tolerant Fuel Development Program

The United States Fuel Cycle Research and Development Advanced Fuels Campaign has been given the responsibility to conduct research and development on enhanced accident tolerant fuels with the goal of performing a lead test assembly or lead test rod irradiation in a commercial reactor by 2022. The Advanced Fuels Campaign has defined fuels with enhanced accident tolerance as those that, in comparison with the standard UO2-Zircaloy system currently used by the nuclear industry, can tolerate loss of active cooling in the reactor core for a considerably longer time period (depending on the LWR system and accident scenario) while maintaining or improving the fuel performance during normal operations and operational transients, as well as design-basis and beyond design-basis events. This paper provides an overview of the FCRD Accident Tolerant Fuel program. The ATF attributes will be presented and discussed. Attributes identified as potentially important to enhance accident tolerance include reduced hydrogen generation (resulting from cladding oxidation), enhanced fission product retention under severe accident conditions, reduced cladding reaction with high-temperature steam, and improved fuel-cladding interaction for enhanced performance under extreme conditions. To demonstrate the enhanced accident tolerance of candidate fuel designs, metrics must be developed and evaluated using a combination of designmore » features for a given LWR design, potential improvements to that design, and the design of an advanced fuel/cladding system. The aforementioned attributes provide qualitative guidance for parameters that will be considered for fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. It may be unnecessary to improve in all attributes and it is likely that some attributes or combination of attributes provide meaningful gains in accident tolerance, while others may provide only marginal benefits. Thus, an initial step in program implementation will be the development of quantitative metrics. A companion paper in these proceedings provides an update on the status of establishing these quantitative metrics for accident tolerant LWR fuel.1 The United States FCRD Advanced Fuels Campaign has embarked on an aggressive schedule for development of enhanced accident tolerant LWR fuels. The goal of developing such a fuel system that can be deployed in the U.S. LWR fleet in the next 10 to 20 years supports the sustainability of clean nuclear power generation in the United States.« less
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Conference: Top Fuel 2013,Charlotte, NC,09/15/2013,09/19/2013
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS accident tolerant fuel; advanced LWR fuel