Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project: 20 years of nuclear fuel behaviour and cladding failure research


Around 130 participants from 14 countries met on 11-13 June 2024 in the Swedish History museum in Stockholm to mark the conclusion of phase 4 of the Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project (SCIP) and to launch the next phase continuing and expanding the investigations on nuclear fuel behaviour under various operating, transient and accidental conditions for another five years.

The SCIP project, operated by Studsvik Nuclear AB (Sweden), was launched in 2004 and has since then provided high-quality data of nuclear fuel and cladding behaviour under different conditions. Examples of the investigated areas during the last 20 years include amongst others pellet-cladding mechanical and chemical interaction, fuel fragmentation dislocation and dispersal during loss-of-coolant accident claddins (LOCA), or the change of cladding properties due to hydrogen pick-up and distribution. The investigations considered different fuel and cladding types, were conducted with advanced analytical techniques and supported by modelling activities by the project members to assist the interpretation of the data. 

Phase 4 of the project included for the first time investigations related to the back-end of the fuel cycle simulating conditions related to normal and off-normal storage conditions. Phase 5 (2024-2029) will continue the research and include a new task on accident tolerant fuel and its behaviour in comparison to current fuel types, depending on available samples.  

Over the years, the SCIP project has fostered international co-operation and continues to establish a common understanding on key nuclear fuel safety issues between regulators, technical support organisations, and different members from the nuclear industry. The project has expanded its membership from 21 signatory members in the first phase to expected 44 signatory members in phase 5, underscoring the relevance and importance of project activities in the nuclear safety research field.   

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