United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Technologies: Coated Cladding | Doped Pellets | FeCrAl Cladding | Increased Enrichment | Higher Burnup | Longer Term Technologies

FeCrAl Cladding

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Iron-Chromium-Aluminum (FeCrAl) cladding is one of the three near-term technologies being pursued by nuclear fuel vendors.

As an alternative to zirconium alloys that have been used for fuel rod cladding for the past 40 years, an FeCrAl-based alloy is being developed by Oak Ridge National Labs and Global Nuclear Fuel – Americas.

The possible advantages of FeCrAl cladding are:

  • Improved high-temperature steam oxidation, which may result in longer coping times and less hydrogen generation under design basis accident and severe accident conditions
  • Improved strength at normal operating conditions and high-temperature accident conditions. Fuel cladding thickness could be reduced to provide more fuel volume to improve cycle economics
  • Improved normal operation corrosion performance and no hydrides (which may improve cladding ductility)

Lead test assemblies containing FeCrAl cladding have been inserted into U.S. power reactors.

FeCrAl cladding-related licensing actions received by the NRC can be found on the ATF-related licensing actions page.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 23, 2020