NEA Halden Reactor Project

The Halden Reactor Project has been in operation since 1958 and is the largest NEA joint project. It brings together an important international technical network in the areas of nuclear fuel reliability, integrity of reactor internals, plant control/monitoring and human factors. The programme is primarily based on experiments, product developments and analyses carried out at the Halden establishment in Norway, and is supported by more than 130 organisations in 19 countries.

The programme of work is in general split into two areas. The first one – The Fuel and Materials programme includes:

The second one – The man, technology and organisation programme contains:

While offering a stable and well-experienced organisation, the technical infrastructure and the project objectives have undergone substantial upgrades and continual adaptation to users' needs over the years.

The 2012-2014 work programme in the nuclear fuel area emphases on fuel behaviour and properties after prolonged in-core service and at burn-ups in excess of current discharge levels, as extended fuel utilisation remains an industry priority. The programme also addresses LOCA issues and the response of high burnup fuel to fast power and temperature transients, focusing on in-reactor effects that are different from those obtained in out-of-reactor tests.

The materials programme aims to contribute to the knowledge on plant ageing and degradation required for lifetime extension. The programme addresses radiation induced failure, embrittlement and corrosion processes which are active in in-reactor component materials together with corrosion and creep testing of Gen IV reactor internal and cladding material.

The human factors research supports both design and safety assessments of new solutions for existing plants, upgrades and new builds. Emphasis is put on empirical research with focus on experiments in Halden Man-Machine Laboratory (HAMMLAB). The Project will continue its research on control centres, innovative HSIs, design methods, training, outage and future operational concepts to meet demands of the nuclear industry.

Existing and new reactors are expected to rely in increasing degree on digital systems in general and on software systems in particular. The activities will focus on three central aspects of digital systems research, namely the dependability of software systems, the development and application of software systems for condition monitoring and maintenance support, and the development and application of software systems for operational support.

The project organises a regular summer school programme to encourage the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how to the younger generation. The summer school programme is supported by the NEA Division of Nuclear Safety Technology and Regulation.

Participating organisations

Programme period

January 2015 to December 2017


NOK 415 million (~ EUR 55 million)

Recent publications of general interest and press releases

Related links

Last reviewed: 14 November 2017