Under the guidance of the OECD-NEA Nuclear Science Committee, the expert group will primarily act as a forum for scientific and technical information exchange on advanced light water reactor (LWR) fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. The expert group will focus on the fundamental properties and behaviour under normal operations and accident conditions for advanced core materials and components (fuels, cladding, control rods, etc.). The materials considered will be applicable to Gen II and Gen III Light Water Reactors, as well as Gen III+ reactors under construction.
The objective of the expert group will be to define and coordinate a programme of work to help advance the scientific knowledge needed to provide the technical underpinning for the development of advanced LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance compared to currently used zircaloy/UO2 fuel systems, as well as other non-fuel core components with important roles in LWR performance under accident conditions.
In particular, the expert group will foster information exchange on material properties and relevant phenomenological experiments, carry out state-of-the-art reviews, organise benchmark studies and foster international collaborations regarding the development of core materials and designs which provide an improved tolerance to accidents. Conditions such as those experienced during the Fukushima incident will be considered but the considerations will not be limited to only Fukushima-like events.
Ideally, the new fuel designs will provide enhanced tolerance to extended station blackout conditions with loss of active cooling, while maintaining or improving the fuel performance and safety characteristics during normal operations and for other DBA/BDBA scenarios.
Last reviewed: 26 May 2015