M. Floyd (CNL)
R. Beier (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
J.S. Bell (Royal Military College of Canada)
A. Bergeron (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
E. Bulumela (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
G. Cota-Sanchez (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
R.S. Dixon (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
K. Leeder (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
S.J. Livingstone (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
A. Quastel (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
M. Saoudi (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL; formerly AECL) has more than 50 years of
experience in developing thoria-based fuel that supports PHWR reactor fuel
technology. This includes several CANDU type irradiation tests having 19, 28
and 37-element geometries and ThO2 (thoria), (Th, U)O2 and (Th, Pu)O2 pellets.
Much of this experience has been published in the open literature, including
papers associated with the CANDU Fuel Conference.
In recent years, CNL’s Thoria Roadmap Project has conducted a review of
science and technology (S&T;) requirements to support water-cooled reactor
designs incorporating cylindrically-clad ceramic fuel pellets.
spanned eleven different S&T; areas including fuel fabrication, irradiation
testing and post-irradiation examination, materials properties, fuel modelling,
fuel safety (including defected fuel behaviour), reactor physics, radiation
protection and dosimetry, waste management, reprocessing, thorium supply
(resource) and non-proliferation (safeguards).
the project was the identification of knowledge “gaps” in each of the
aforementioned S&T; areas, and the development of a roadmap (plan) to address
them. Collaboration with domestic and international organizations is integral
to the on-going development and execution of the roadmap.
This paper will describe recent CNL efforts to address identified thoria fuel
S&T; gaps that are of interest to the CANDU community, including the development
of supporting collaborations. In particular, recent advances in pellet
fabrication, ceramography, materials properties characterization, performance
modelling, safety-related testing, defect behaviour and reprocessing will be