Photo credit: Jan Trejbal

The NEA Second Framework for Irradiation Experiments (FIDES-II) is a multilateral effort established to preserve and strengthen the global fuel and materials experimental capacity. This facilitates high-priority safety and operations-related experiments that benefit a broad community of users around the world.

Members of FIDES-II from 12 countries assembled in Prague, Czech Republic, on 17-21 April 2023 for meetings of its Technical Advisory Group and Governing Board.

During the meetings, the members received updates on the progress of four ongoing Joint Experimental Programmes (JEEPs), including one that was added to the FIDES Programme of Work earlier in 2023. The new JEEP, In-Core Real-Time Mechanical Testing of Structural Materials (INCREASE), expands the scope of technical areas covered under FIDES-II and re-establishes key capabilities lost with the closure of the Halden Reactor.

The practice of holding FIDES-II meetings around the world offers members the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the capabilities available for research under the framework. Centrum výzkumu Řež, s.r.o., the research institute that hosted the meeting, provided the opportunity for a site visit, allowing members to see first-hand the LVR-15 reactor being used in In-pile Creep Studies of ATF Cladding (INCA), as well as some of the other unique experimental capabilities at the research complex. 


FIDES-II members during a field trip to see the LVR-15 reactor and hot cell facilities being used in the INCA experiments. Photo credit: Michal Safranek

During the meeting, the project members were informed of the technical progress of each JEEP. They also discussed ideas for new areas of work, many of which would support fuel for advanced reactors, including TRISO fuel. The project members finalised a 10-year strategic plan, in which members laid out strategic objectives for building and maintaining a robust framework.

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