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HERACLES-CP: Towards the Conversion of High Performance Research Reactors in Europe

Objective

In the framework of the joint international efforts to reduce the risk of proliferation by minimising the use of highly enriched uranium, a new research reactor fuel based on uranium-molybdenum (UMo) alloys is being developed by the HERACLES group. HERACLES is composed of AREVA-CERVA, CEA, ILL, SCK•CEN and TUM, all organisations with a long-standing history in fuel manufacturing and qualification. HERACLES works towards the qualification of UMo fuels, based on a series of “comprehension” experiments and manufacturing developments.
There are two types of UMo fuel fine particles dispersed in an Al matrix, and monolithic foils. The qualification phase of these fuels is scheduled to begin in 2019; the project will prepare the way with an initial comprehension phase, to improve our understanding of the fuels’ irradiation behaviour and consequent the manufacturing/industrialisation process. One of the key components in the project is the SEMPER FIDELIS irradiation test, which aims at investigating the fuel swelling phenomenon and the effects of coating, with a view to arriving at procedures for fuel engineering.
The challenges as regards manufacture lie in the basic elements of both fuel types’ production process and plate manufacturing. For the dispersed fuel, this includes the pin casting for the rotating electrode process and the atomization process itself. For the monolithic fuel, this concerns the development of coating for the foils. All these components are essential to prepare the fuel qualification phase.
High-performance research reactors are at the start of the supply chain for medical isotopes like 99Mo. Successful conversion to lower enriched and where possible LEU fuel is therefore a key element in the mitigation of the risks surrounding the supply of isotopes as demanded by NFRP 8. However, the role of the HPRRs is far broader, as they are providing scientific and engineering solutions to questions of high societal importance.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/coating and films
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particles
  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels

Call for proposal

NFRP-2014-2015
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Address
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 494 266,15

Participants (5)

AREVA NP SAS

Participation ended

France
EU contribution
€ 1 873 333,41
Address
1 Place Jean Millier Tour Areva
92400 Courbevoie
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
STUDIECENTRUM VOOR KERNENERGIE / CENTRE D'ETUDE DE L'ENERGIE NUCLEAIRE
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 1 837 500
Address
Avenue Herrmann Debroux 40
1160 Bruxelles
Activity type
Research Organisations
INSTITUT MAX VON LAUE - PAUL LANGEVIN
France
EU contribution
€ 460 000
Address
71 Avenue Des Martyrs
38000 Grenoble
Activity type
Research Organisations
COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES
France
EU contribution
€ 557 949,23
Address
Rue Leblanc 25
75015 Paris 15
Activity type
Research Organisations
FRAMATOME
France
EU contribution
€ 1 126 624,32
Address
1 Place Jean Millier Tour Areva
92400 Courbevoie
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)