Standardization of Subsized Specimens for Post-Irradiation Examination and Advanced Characterization of Fuel and Structural Materials for Small Modular Reactor and Advanced Reactor Applications

Open for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

16 November 2022


Active - Ongoing

Start Date

8 December 2023

Expected End Date

30 November 2028

Participating Countries

Czech Republic


The proposed Coordinated Research Project (CRP) will support interested IAEA Member States in their efforts to support new or advanced fuel developments for use in innovative reactors. Post-irradiation examination (PIE) has remained a vital component in the understanding, development, qualification and continued surveillance of irradiated reactor fuels and related structural materials. Considering that it usually takes a long period to generate PIE data and more work is still required to develop the PIE data for new or advanced fuel types for innovative reactors, multi-laboratory collaboration has been proposed as an effective means of developing such PIE data for new or advanced fuel developments and thus obtaining adequate fuel/fuel assembly qualification information to support the safe operation of specific new or advanced fuel types. Under this CRP, a multi-laboratory round-robin PIE plan will be developed and executed to assess the feasibility of expanding PIE capabilities of an individual laboratory that may suffer equipment availability issues, resource issues, etc., through the application of multi-laboratory collaboration, to support advanced characterization of advanced/next-generation fuels and structural materials for innovative reactors. Effective multi-laboratory collaboration strategies can be realized through efficient and standardized sample preparation and testing, packaging and radioactive material shipping/transport mechanisms from one laboratory to another.  


To support Member States by demonstrating that collaborative efforts for advanced characterization of innovative fuel types can be performed and the required fuel performance parameters for a given fuel type or material can be properly assessed, sample preparation guidelines are well defined and similar across laboratories, and irradiated sample transport is viable.

Specific objectives

To develop a ‘PIE roadmap’ (for a given fuel and/or structural material type such as TRISO, SiC, graphite, new or existing alloys) that incorporates advanced characterization techniques and harmonizes manufacture, preparation, testing, and characterization methods across collaborating laboratories.

To execute the round-robin PIE exercise for a given fuel and/or structural material type that includes both non-destructive examination (NDE) and destructive examination (DE).

To demonstrate and look for efficiencies associated with transport of small /sub-sized samples to and from collaborating laboratories.

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