Accident tolerant claddings tested against severe transients at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


The Nuclear Energy Agency’s joint project QUENCH-ATF aims to assess the bundle behaviour of advanced technology cladding, notably chromium-coated zircaloy tubes, under accident scenarios such as loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) and severe accident (SA) transients. Launched in 2021, the project comprises a set of three full-scale tests at the QUENCH facility at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, and examinations of the samples both before and after the transient. The data obtained are to support safety demonstration and licensing for accident tolerant fuels as well as the validation of code systems simulating accident scenarios.

The project participants, who come from 19 organisations in 8 countries, met in December 2023 in Karlsruhe in conjunction with the annual QUENCH workshop organised by KIT. The participants reviewed the complete post-test examination of the first bundle test, QUENCH-ATF#1, and prepared the second test, which is scheduled for the first half of 2024 and will follow a transient typical of severe-accident scenarios.

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