Objective: Investigate the performance of Gd-doped fuel in LOCA conditions
Facilities: MIR.M1 reactor and hot cells (the Russian Federation)
Core Group: RIAR and TVEL (the Russian Federation) and IRSN (France)
The goal of the LOCA-MIR experiments is to study the behaviour of high burnup, gadolinia-doped fuel under design-basis LOCA conditions. Gadolinia dopants have been used by the nuclear industry for over 30 years to suppress excess reactivity and support longer fuel cycles. With anticipated higher burnup and increased enrichment reload core designs, the role of integral burnable absorbers will likely become even more vital. The empirical database characterizing the irradiated properties and performance of gadolinia bearing UO2 fuels, especially under design-basis accident conditions, is limited compared to that for standard UO2 fuels.
The LOCA-MIR test was conducted at RIAR’s MIR.M1 reactor in the Russian Federation on 6 February 2022. The results include online measurements to capture the moment of rod failure. Post-test examinations will be completed by the end of 2022 and will characterise the degree of fuel fragmentation and dispersal of gadolinia-doped fuel following LOCA conditions.
Image: MIR.M1 Reactor / RIAR