In-pile Creep Studies of ATF Cladding (INCA) - FIDES-II Joint ExpErimental Programme (JEEP)

Objective: Provide comparative data on the irradiation induced creep of current Zr alloys and Cr coated samples

Facilities: LVR-15 Reactor and hot cells (Czechia)

Core Group: CVR and UJV REZ (Czechia), VTT (Finland), CEA (France), CRIEPI and MHI (Japan)

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mceclip0 - 2022-06-15 11h53m45s

In the first phase of INCA experiments (2022-2024), accident tolerant fuel (ATF) cladding materials coated with chromium were irradiated in the LVR-15 reactor at the Research Centre Rez (CVR) in Czechia. The creep properties of the coated cladding are being compared to the creep properties of standard claddings to determine if the coating changes anything. In the second phase of INCA experiments (2024-2027), more advanced ATF fuel cladding materials will be tested, including SiC and FeCrAl alloys. Irradiation induced creep has a significant impact on reliable and safe fuel rods performance during operation. Power plant operators and fuel designers need to be able to accurately predict cladding creep and therefore it is essential to investigate whether new creep models are needed for ATF designs. 

Within INCA, efforts are also underway to develop advanced methods, equipment, and innovative instrumentation for in-pile creep studies of cladding and guide tube materials. This takes the form of the in-pile qualification of the second Mechanical Loading Device for Irradiation Experiment (MeLoDIE-II) device.

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Members visit the LVR-15 reactor (top) and hot cell facilities (bottom) being used in the INCA experiments. Photo credit: Michal Safranek

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