Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 21,65 million

Official Journal Reference

L 153 of 1973-06-09

Legislative Reference

73/124/Euratom of 1973-05-14
To explore the limits of application of plutonium bearing fuels in nuclear reactors and to contribute to the better understanding of chemical bonding in actinide metals and compounds.


The programme was drawn up in accordance with the Council Resolution of the 17 December 1970 concerning the procedures for adopting research and training programmes (Official Journal No L 16 of 20.1.1971).

The multiannual programme on plutonium and transplutonium elements was implemented in view of the increasing scientific, technical and public interest in the man-made elements that are formed in ever increasing amounts in operating nuclear reactors. Of greatest importance is the utilization of plutonium bearing fuels in fast breeder reactors.

The Commission centralized its activities in relation to its research in this field at the European Institute for Transuranium Elements at Karlsruhe, where special facilities were established for the safe handling of, and experimentation with, a range of transuranium elements (both irradiated and non-irradiated). The work of the Institute fell into two main categories:
- Fuel science and technology;
- Actinide research, in which the Institute played a central role within the Community both by contributing its own experimental and theoretical work and by coordinating an increasing number of cooperative research efforts from laboratories in various parts of the world.


Eight projects:

- Phase diagrams, thermodynamic properties and structures of ceramic compounds of plutonium (carbides, nitrides and their contributions);

- Energy transport processes (thermal conductivity and diffusibility);

- Mechanical properties of ceramic compounds in their microscopic aspects and the effects of irradiation on these properties;

- Processes and kinetics of material transport phenomena and the effects of irradiation thereon;

- Physical properties of certain very high purity actinides and their compounds;

- Behaviour of advanced fuels in a fast reactor;

- Development of the manufacture of advanced fuel samples for irradiation;

- Analysis of irradiated materials and fuels in existing power plants.


The Commission, assisted by the board of governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), was responsible for the implementation of the programme by means of the services of the JRC (Karlsruhe).


Nuclear Fission
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