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Low Enriched Uranium Fuels fOR REsEarch Reactors

Objective

Securing the nuclear fuel supply for European research reactors is the overall objective of the LEU-FOREvER project. Our analysis points out two main risks of shortage: (i) the very challenging conversion of High Performance Research Reactors (HPRRs) from High to Low Enriched Uranium fuels (LEU), (ii) the ROSATOM monopoly to fuel medium power research reactors (MPRRs) with original Soviet design.
On HPRRs, a multi-disciplinary consortium composed of fuel/core designers, operators and fuel manufacturer has been built to tackle both issues. Five European organisations (AREVA NP, CEA, ILL, SCK•CEN, TUM), which compose the HERACLES group, have been strongly involved for almost 20 years now in the development of LEU fuels. To enter the qualification phase in 2021, HERACLES is pushing towards the completion of an understanding phase. The baseline lies on the development of UMo fuels and their variants. Within LEU-FOREvER, optimisation of both manufacturing process (up to the design of pilot equipment) and modelling of the in-pile behaviour of these fuels are proposed. As a result of an independent review undergone in 2015, an alternative to UMo fuels has to be considered: this will be high-loaded U3Si2. Within LEU-FOREvER, it will be optimised to prepare an ambitious in-pile test (“High PROSIT”).
For European MPRRs, the ultimate goal is to design a new core which could work with both the original ROSATOM and European elements that would be developed, licensed and qualified (“4EVERTEST”) within LEU-FOREvER. The Czech LVR-15 reactor (CV Rez) has been selected as a case study, and preliminary design by AREVA-TA is based on U3Si2/Al flat fuel plates. To improve economic competitiveness, AREVA NP will reinvestigate its manufacturing process and propose optimisations.
Strong synergies are expected between both activities.
The modernization of research reactors appears as a key element in the mitigation of the risks surrounding the supply of isotopes, as expressed in the NFRP-11 topic.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels

Call for proposal

NFRP-2016-2017-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
Address
Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 857 375

Participants (9)

AREVA NP SAS

Participation ended

France
EU contribution
€ 4 042,50
Address
1 Place Jean Millier Tour Areva
92400 Courbevoie
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
SOCIETE TECHNIQUE POUR L'ENERGIE ATOMIQUE TECHNICATOME SA
France
EU contribution
€ 658 380
Address
Rte St-aubin Lieudit Hautes Rives
91190 Villiers Le Bacle
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
CENTRUM VYZKUMU REZ SRO
Czechia
EU contribution
€ 749 916,25
Address
Hlavni 130
250 68 Husinec-rez
Activity type
Research Organisations
INSTITUT MAX VON LAUE - PAUL LANGEVIN
France
EU contribution
€ 128 725
Address
71 Avenue Des Martyrs
38000 Grenoble
Activity type
Research Organisations
NARODOWE CENTRUM BADAN JADROWYCH
Poland
EU contribution
€ 194 365
Address
Ulica Andrzeja Soltana 7
05 400 Otwock
Activity type
Research Organisations
STUDIECENTRUM VOOR KERNENERGIE / CENTRE D'ETUDE DE L'ENERGIE NUCLEAIRE
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 1 244 592
Address
Avenue Herrmann Debroux 40
1160 Bruxelles
Activity type
Research Organisations
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 473 210
Address
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
LGI CONSULTING
France
EU contribution
€ 161 952,50
Address
6 Cite De L'ameublement
75011 Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
FRAMATOME
France
EU contribution
€ 2 125 590
Address
1 Place Jean Millier Tour Areva
92400 Courbevoie
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)