PROGRESS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THORIA FUEL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel - 2016 Aug. 15-18


Presented at:
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel
2016 Aug. 15-18
Location:
Kingston, ON Canada
Session Title:
None

Authors:
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)
  

Abstract

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. This review 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). One of the primary outcomes of 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 presented.

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