Nuclear fuel diagnostics for generation IV
The Swedish Research Council has reached a decision on Research Project Grants and Starting Grants within New Nuclear Technology for the period 2017-2021.
Project title: Nuclear fuel diagnostics for generation IV
Main applicant: Peter Andersson, Division of Applied Nuclear Physics
Grant amount: 4 900 000 SEK for the period 2017-2020
Funder: Starting Grant within New Nuclear Technology from the Swedish Research Council
Generation IV reactor concepts may contribute to improved sustainability of nuclear power. However, due to the early stage of development, the knowledge of the behavior of their fuel upon irradiation is still limited. Thus, an accelerated irradiation testing program in material test reactors is required to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the fuels in the demanding environment of a reactor core.
The novel fuel diagnostics technique of gamma-emission tomography (GET) has been demonstrated in the Halden Reactor Project for nuclear fuels, and has shown to be a viable tool for the studies of many important topics, such as studies of fission-gas release and behavior in design-basis transients.
This project will enable faster development of Generation IV fuels, by allowing for increased data generation about fundamental fuel properties or fuel behavior aspects. In this project a second generation GET system is proposed, where the instrument is optimized for high spatial resolution. The aim is to reach a resolution close to microscopic levels, less than 100 μm. In addition, transmission measurements are planned using the same geometry. These modifications will enable vast non-destructive data generation capabilities at material test reactors.
This development of the technique will allow for replacing or postponing destructive assay, and in turn, enable a faster evaluation and validation of Generation IV fuel concepts.