The NEA Second Framework for Irradiation Experiments (FIDES-II) is a multilateral effort established to preserve and strengthen the global fuel and materials experimental capacity. Being the centre of gravity in the area of fuels and materials, this joint undertaking facilitates high-priority safety and operations-related experiments that benefit a broad community of users around the world.

Members of FIDES-II from 14 countries assembled in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 15-19 April 2024 for meetings of its Technical Advisory Group and Governing Board. The meeting marked an important transition for the framework to the second triennial with the launch of four new Joint Experimental Programmes (JEEPs), creating a programme of work of eight JEEPs. The project also recently welcomed a consortium of new member organisations from Korea and introduced discussion of a new cross-cutting activity on advanced instrumentation for irradiation experiments.

Members have been keen from the beginning of the framework to develop a deeper understanding of the few remaining fuel and material test reactors and their capabilities. For this meeting, the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) provided the opportunity for a site visit, allowing members to see first-hand the High Flux Reactor (HFR) and hot cell facilities operated by NRG, where In-Core Real-Time Mechanical Testing of Structural Materials (INCREASE) Phase 2 and HIgh-TEmperature Creep (HITEC) Joint Experimental Programmes (JEEPs) of FIDES-II will be conducted.

FIDES meeting site visit 2 FIDES meeting site visit 

FIDES-II members during a field trip to visit to the High Flux Reactor (HFR) operated by Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) where INCREASE Phase 2 and HITEC experiments will be conducted. Photo curtesy of NRG.

During the meeting, the project members reviewed the status of each JEEP and tackled strategic planning elements. In connection with the FIDES-II progress meeting, members organised a workshop jointly with the NSC Working Party on Fuel and Materials (WPFM) entitled, “Smarter Experiments Through Advanced Instrumentation”, to consider ways to optimise the instrumentation strategies for ongoing and future JEEPs in FIDES-II and beyond.

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