Nuclear Energy Agency Online Bulletin

July 2000

Nuclear Safety Information

The first meeting of the Special Expert Group on Fuel Safety Margins took place at NEA headquarters on 21-23 June.

This group has been established in accordance with the CSNI Strategic Plan in order to address cross-cutting issues related to fuel behaviour in accident conditions. Some 26 people from 14 NEA Member countries and two international organisations attended the meeting.

The group elected its Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen: Dr. Wolfgang Wiesenack (OECD Halden Reactor Project), Dr. Willem van Doesburg (HSK, Switzerland) and Dr. Ralph Meyer (US NRC) respectively. Dr. Willem van Doesburg presented in detail results of the CSNI/PWG2 Task Force on Fuel Safety Criteria as contained in the CSNI report "Fuel Safety Criteria Technical Review" [CSNI/NEA/R(2000)25]. The final version of the report was distributed to participants. A number of in-depth presentations on ongoing and planned international and national fuel safety research projects were given, including by representatives from the OECD Halden Reactor Project, France, the US NRC, Japan and Germany.

Regarding future activities, the group agreed to organise a series of topical meetings devoted to high-priority, unresolved fuel safety issues. The first topical meeting should be devoted to LOCA criteria, in particular to the 17% oxidation criterion and its applicability to high burnup fuel with different cladding materials. Fuel relocation should also be addressed during this meeting. The second topical meeting should focus on RIA-related fuel safety criteria, in particular as related to high burnups.