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Testing and Simulation for Advanced Technology and Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATF-TS)
Nuclear Fuel Engineering Network

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  • Begin date: 6 April 2020
  • Expected end date: 1 August 2024
  • Project code: T12032

The proposed CRP will support interested IAEA Member States in their efforts to design and develop Accident Tolerant and Advanced Technology Fuels (ATF) for light water reactors (LWRs) to enhance the safety and sustainability of nuclear power. The design, fabrication and in-pile behaviour of currently operated and innovative nuclear fuels and materials to enable a reliable and safe operation of nuclear power plants is a recurrent priority of IAEA’s sub-programme "Nuclear Power Reactor Fuel Engineering". Development and validation of computer codes for fuel design and in-pile behaviour analysis under normal and off-normal conditions (including Design Extension Conditions, DEC) are possible only if high-quality experimental data are made available. That is why international cooperation in this area is highly desirable, and in particular among IAEA Member States interested in enhancing their computer code capabilities to predict nuclear fuel behaviour under Design Basis (DB) and Design Extension (DE) Conditions.

The CRP will bring together specialists from IAEA MSs with active ATF R&D programmes to share their national efforts and to contribute in any of the following objectives of the CRP:

  • Round Robin tests on different ATF cladding concepts (e.g. coated Zr cladding, FeCrAl, SiC);
  • Bundle tests under DB/DEC with ATF materials (e.g. with coated Zry-4 rods under SA and/or LOCA conditions);
  • Collection of irradiation tests data;
  • Code benchmarking against existing data, relevant for advanced fuel and cladding concepts from other experimental Programmes, as well as new tests data obtained during the CRP;
  • LOCA evaluation methodology development for NPP applications including uncertainty and sensitivities studies.

Overall Objectives:

  • To support Member States to understand and address factors affecting the design, fabrication and in-pile behaviour of currently operating and innovative nuclear fuels and materials for power reactors, to increase technology readiness for candidate ATF materials. 

Specific Objectives:

  • To perform experimental tests including single rod and bundle tests on ATFs' performance under normal, DB and DE conditions   
  • To benchmark fuel codes against new test data either obtained during the CRP or from existing data relevant to advanced fuel and cladding concepts from Member States' experimental Programmes.  
  • To develop LOCA evaluation methodology for ATF performance with a view for NPP applications.


  •  Improved knowledge for innovative fuel designs   
  •  Extending and validating fuel  codes that support advanced fuels deployment


  • ATF performance dataset based on round robin tests and bundle tests for normal operating conditions, DBAs and DECs.   
  • Experimentally validated fuel codes and modelling methods for ATF.   
  • A demonstration case for the application of the new ATF materials and validated fuel models for assessing fuel performance and quantifying fuel margins for LOCA.

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