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New CRP: Spent Fuel Characterization (T13018)

New Coordinated Research Project

SKB, Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company manages "Clab", the Swedish interim storage facility in Oskarshamn, Sweden. (Photo: SKB)

To ensure the fulfilment of design and safety requirements, technical assessments are regularly required when moving spent fuel through different steps of the nuclear fuel cycle’s back end. To complete these assessments, certain data and characteristics need to be identified about the spent fuel by use of suitable techniques. These techniques can be divided into three categories:

  • Destructive Analysis: involves the examination and characterization of fuel assemblies and fuel rods within a dedicated hot cell. Such facilities are investment intensive, require specialized instrumentation and personnel and are limited globally.
  • Non-Destructive Analysis (NDA): performed without damaging the fuel assemblies. This can be undertaken at the fuel storage location, within the spent fuel pool, for example. While not as expensive to perform as the destructive analysis technique, it can still be costly in terms of investment, time, and dose to workers.
  • Performance Modelling: modelling codes enable analysis with no fuel handling and a much reduced cost. However, to ensure the codes are reliable, validation through experimental means is needed to ensure its reliability.

A collaborative approach between these disciplines is an effective means to support experimental design and model validation, and to build up nuclear staff’s capability.

CRP Overall Objective

The overall objective of this CRP is to share information between and support concerned Member States on issues related to the characterization of spent nuclear fuel in the various steps of its management.

Specific Research Objectives

  • Enhanced CRP partners' understanding of the issues related to the characterization of spent nuclear fuel in the various steps of its management:
    • Participation from different stages of the fuel cycle will help highlight benefits of integrated approach to characterization;
    • Bringing together participants from experimental and modelling backgrounds to improve capabilities;
    • Identify areas for further development;
    • Contribute to education, training and building of competence in the subject.
  • Enhanced CRP partners' knowledge and application of the techniques available for spent fuel characterization:
    • Destructive Analysis, NDA and Modelling.
  • Strengthened technical collaborations between the CRP partners through transfer of knowledge and know how:
    • E.g. looking for opportunities for validation of models with results from experimental work, synergies between NDA and destructive analysis works.

How to join the CRP

Please submit your Proposal for Research Contract or Agreement by email, no later than July 31, 2020 to the IAEA’s Research Contracts Administration Section, using the appropriate template on the CRA website.

The first research coordination meeting is planned to be held in Oskarshamn, Sweden, from 28 September to 2 October 2020.

For further information related to this CRP, potential applicants should use the contact form on the CRP page.


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