When a new nuclear fuel design is introduced to the market an extensive set of tests and analyses is required in order to demonstrate the fuel meets internationally accepted safety standards. Generally this evaluation is termed “Fuel Qualification”.
Studsvik’s experience with Fuel Qualification uniquely positions Studsvik as valuable resource in the mission of developing Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) Roadmap. The ATF roadmap is to develop the next generation of LWR fuels with improved performance, reliability, and safety characteristics during normal operations and accident conditions and with reduced waste generation.
Significant out-of-reactor testing will be required to fully characterize the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of the ATF fuel. New PIE (Post Irradiation Examination) capabilities will have to be developed to meet new requirements of advanced design aspects of ATF fuel.
Studsvik has extensive experience in developing test equipment, as well as examining and testing light water, and advanced gas cooled reactor fuel, under a variety of operating conditions (real and simulated normal operation and anticipated transient conditions). Studsvik’s capabilities are based on well-developed experimental techniques and state-of-the-art competence within this area, especially with respect to cladding performance under mechanical load during power ramps as well as under reactivity initiated accident and loss-of-coolant accident conditions.