The Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project SCIP (Studsvik Cladding Integrity Program), is an OECD/NEA supported international program operated by Studsvik, launched in 2004 and now prolonged to 2024, with participants from Europe, Japan, the US, China and Korea. The participants represent four categories; those who supply and manufacture the fuel, the power companies themselves, regulators and laboratories with similar assignments to Studsvik’s.
The Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project, SCIP, is an international OECD/NEA project that started in 2004. The project is being run in five-year phases with the participation of 40 organizations from 15 different countries.
In the first years detailed studies were made of how cladding properties affect fuel failures that may arise during operation. Fuel rod damage 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 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 onclusions, 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 basic simulations to improve understanding of fuel rod behavior in accident scenarios similar to LOCA and 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.
Within the project, Studsvik conducts advanced experiments on irradiated nuclear fuel in our laboratories. Most of the test rigs have been customized to meet the requirement specifications of project members. The experiments simulate for example nuclear fuel accidents and storage conditions which, together with advanced microscopy and other characterization technologies, provide the nuclear industry with important reference data for modelling of fuel behavior and decision support to regulatory bodies.