Two projects within the Euratom Research and Training Programmes 2014–2018 and 2019–2020 are focused on the innovation and qualification of novel nuclear fuels for conversion from highly-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium (LEU) and for securing the supply chain of EU research reactors into the future. The LEU-FOREvER project is drawing to a close and has made significant progress in developing and demonstrating the uranium-molybdenum fuel system, demonstrating the viability of a high-density uranium-silicide fuel for EU high-performance research reactors (BR2, RHF, FRM-II, JHR). This project has significantly increased the fabrication know-how and fuel performance understanding of the uranium-molybdenum and high-density uranium-silicide dispersion fuel systems. Further, a new, innovative and increased performance design for the LVR-15 research reactor fuel assembly has been engineered and a demonstration is planned in 2022. In the EU-QUALIFY project, which began in 2020, the planning of four demonstration irradiation tests has been nearly completed and fabrication development of the various fuel systems is ongoing, including the establishment of an EU monolithic uranium-molybdenum fabrication capability. It is expected that the results of this project will begin or complete the data gathering necessary for generic fuel qualification of the LEU uranium-molybdenum dispersion and monolithic fuel systems, and the LEU high-density uranium-silicide fuel system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering