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Spent Fuel Characterization (T13018)

 Content Editor


Moving spent fuel between the different steps of the fuel cycle back end requires the completion of technical assessments to ensure that design and safety requirements are met. To complete these assessments, certain characteristics of the spent fuel need to be known using suitable techniques to determine the required data.

The techniques available fall into three categories:

  • Destructive analysis techniques: these techniques involve 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) techniques: these techniques are performed without damaging the fuel assemblies. It is possible for some techniques to be undertaken at the fuel storage location, for example within the spent fuel pool. While not as expensive to perform as the destructive techniques, they can still be costly in terms of investment, time and dose to workers.
  • Performance modelling: modelling codes enable analysis to be undertaken with no requirement to handle the fuel and incur a much-reduced cost. However, to ensure the codes are reliable, validation through experimental means is needed to ensure their reliability.

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

CRP Overall Objective:

The overall objective of this CRP is to support and share information between 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.

Please submit your Proposal for Research Contract or Agreement by email to the IAEA's Research Contracts Administration Section, using the appropriate template on the CRA web portal

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