Fuel Qualification

The term “fuel qualification” is not explicitly defined or used in NRC regulations. However, there are regulatory requirements applicable to reactor applications that are generally associated with nuclear fuel behavior under conditions of normal operation, anticipated operational occurrences, and accident conditions. The information needed to understand fuel behavior under these conditions is generally obtained as part of a fuel qualification process.

The NRC has released the following guidance on fuel qualification for advanced reactors.  The graphic is taken from NUREG-2246, “Fuel Qualification for Advanced Reactors, Final.”  Select the graphic to view separately and enlarge.

Fuel Qualification Assessment Framework

Document Description Type
NUREG-2246, “Fuel Qualification for Advanced Reactors, Final.” Identifies criteria that will be useful for advanced reactors through an assessment framework that would support regulatory findings associated with nuclear fuel qualification. official NRC guidance
Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), “Regulatory Perspectives on Nuclear Fuel Qualification for Advanced Reactors (DRAFT),” (in-press).  A predecessor to NUREG-2246, this report describes the regulatory perspectives on nuclear fuel qualification and identifies topics that should be investigated in the frame of advanced reactor regulation. This report develops a fuel assessment framework that is consistent with that provided in NUREG-2246. unofficial draft report
NUREG/CR-7305, "Metal Fuel Qualification: Fuel Assessment Using NRC NUREG-2246, "Fuel Qualification for Advanced Reactors" This report documents the current state of available experiment measurements, simulation capability, and historic knowledge and lessons learned required for evaluating sodium-cooled fast-spectrum metallic fuel, specifically U-10wt%Zr, up to 10at% burnup.  

Types of Advanced Reactor Fuel

The NRC is using this guidance to assess select fuel types and is reviewing the qualification of advanced reactor fuels.  We are actively engaged with the fuels community on generic topics related to fuel qualification. See the folloiwng for more information on these reactor types categorized by fuel type.