Reactor fuel performance
Nuclear fuel pellets are stacked vertically in long metal tubes to power commercial nuclear reactors. Photo: Areva/US NRC.

Understanding fuel performance is a key condition for successful reactor operation. Scientific knowledge in this domain was conceived by experimental tests encoded into software routines to ensure accurate prediction of fuel performance properties at steady-state and off-normal conditions.

As the first safety barrier reactor operating margins are linked to the underlying mechanisms of fuel-clad barrier phenomena such as fission gas release (FGR), fuel gas swelling, pellet-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI) and stress corrosion cracking (SCC), they all play an important role in fuel rod integrity and need a strong scientific basis to support predictions.

Publications and reports
NEA work on this topic

A community of fuel performance experts was formed within the Expert Group on Reactor Fuel Performance (EGRFP) and is responsible for advancing reactor fuel performance activities.

Under the EGRFP, the NEA has undertaken activities aimed at verification and validation of fuel performance codes and collecting the experimental data that underpins this work. The NEA works closely with the IAEA in collecting experimental data, which led to the creation of the joint International Fuel Performance Experiments (IFPE) collection of experimental data.

Data Bank computer package (completed benchmark)

DOE WG-MOX Fuel Irradiation Experiment Benchmark (NEA-1774 IFPE/FMDP-MOX4-5)


EGRFP members' area (password protected | reminder)


Michelle Bales