SCIP I / II
In the first years detailed studies were made of how cladding properties affect fuel failures. Fuel rod damage occurring during operation is costly for the industry, as it could lead for example to reduced reactor efficiency. It was clear from early on that studies of fuel damage and cladding were central. At the same time many fuel manufacturers were developing new advanced pellets, aiming to reduce the risk of this costly damage, which contributed to the great interest in these questions and a SCIP II (2009) on this theme could be successfully launched with an increased number of members.
In parallel with SCIP II, Studsvik, on behalf of the American regulatory body U.S.NRC, carried out a LOCA test series and shared the results with SCIP members. The conclusions, which to some extent were not in line with expectations, brought the subject to the fore and when it was time for SCIP III (2014) the focus of the project moved to LOCA.
The fourth phase, SCIP IV, which has been in progress since 2019, aims to use advanced fuel testing to improve understanding of fuel rod behavior. Studies are performed both on accident scenarios such as LOCA and on fuel properties during storage after operation. Common to all phases of SCIP is the opportunity for experience feedback between the participating organizations, an important component for competence assurance within this complex area.
SCIP V continues the successful series of multilateral joint research projects operated by Studsvik Nuclear AB. The next 5-year stage of the project will start in July 2024 with a planned budget of around 15 MEUR. The scope will be divided into four main tasks; Task 1 focus on fuel and cladding performance issues related to interim storage, Task 2 aims to study fuel and cladding in Loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA) scenarios. Tasks 1 and 2 represent a continuation and extension of work performed in SCIP IV. Task 3, Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF), is a new area for SCIP. The main tasks are all divided into subtasks with clearly specified objectives and limited scope to assure efficient and progress and delivery of the project. As in SCIP IV, Task 4 is a task dedicated to modelling efforts supporting the planning and interpretation of experiments.