Fuel Qualification for Advanced Reactors, Final (NUREG-2246)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2022
Date Published: March 2022

Prepared by:
T. Drzewiecki
J. Schmidt
C. Van Wert
P. Clifford

Jordan Hoellman, NRC Project Manager

Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Proposed advanced reactor technologies use fuel designs and operating environments (e.g., neutron energy spectra, fuel temperatures, neighboring materials) that are significantly different from light water reactors for which existing fuel assessment guidance was developed. As such, the purpose of this report is to identify criteria that will be useful for advanced reactor designers through an assessment framework that would support regulatory findings associated with nuclear fuel qualification. The report examines the regulatory basis and related guidance applicable to fuel qualification, noting that the role of nuclear fuel in the protection against the release of radioactivity for a nuclear reactor depends heavily on the reactor design. The report considers the use of accelerated fuel qualification techniques and lead test specimen programs that may shorten the timeline for qualifying fuel for use in a nuclear reactor at the desired parameters (e.g., burnup). The assessment framework particularly emphasizes the identification of key fuel manufacturing parameters, the specification of a fuel performance envelope to inform testing requirements, the use of evaluation models in the fuel qualification process, and the assessment of the experimental data used to develop and validate evaluation models and empirical safety criteria.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, March 07, 2022