Improved Understanding of the Irradiation Creep Behaviour of Nuclear Graphite

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

27 April 2009


Active - Ongoing

Start Date

6 November 2009

Expected End Date

31 May 2016

Completed Date

1 November 2016


Member States have shown interest in High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors (HTGRs), using graphite as a moderator. If successfully demonstrated, HTGRs will achieve higher thermal efficiencies (45%- 48%) than current evolutionary LWRs and HWRs (34-36%), and thereby promise improved economics.

This CRP promotes international collaboration among IAEA Member States for the development of Gas-Cooled Reactors in the areas of graphite behaviour under irradiation.

The CRP has been planned on the advice and with the support of the IAEA Nuclear Energy Department’s Technical Working Group on Gas-Cooled Reactors (TWG-GCR). The CRP will be conducted by IAEA’s Nuclear Power Technology Development Section, in cooperation with the Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Nuclear Data Section.

Coordination has been agreed with the OECD-NEA, which also provides the Technical Secretariat services to the Generation-IV International Forum (GIF).


The objective of the CRP is to Support the Operation and Design of graphite cores by:-
Improving the prediction of stresses within graphite parts
Improving the Prediction of deformation of graphite parts
Specifically, the work will focus on the phenomenon of irradiation induced creep in graphite.

Specific objectives

Based on the mechanisms of irradiation damage to graphite, propose a model for irradiation creep (modified dimensional change) that is consistent with the data.”

Perform lab-scale scientific/mechanistic experiments to elaborate data already collected

To collate historical data on all available creep models and perform an assessment of their performance and their short-coming.

To support the design of structural graphite components for use in the construction of HTGR cores and to justified continued operation for the existing AGR cores through the development of an improved understanding of the irradiation induced creep of graphite.

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