Strategic use of nuclear fuel and materials research facilities – a pioneering output of the FIDES-II Framework


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

As an international research collaboration, FIDES-II is unique in its ability to consider research opportunities independent of a specific research facility. The design of FIDES-II allows members to benefit from a portfolio of in-pile facilities. In this context, FIDES-II members have prepared a 10-year strategic plan that defines their key research needs in a variety of technical disciplines.

The strategic plan leverages perspectives of experts from from utilities, fuel vendors, safety authorities, technical support organisations and research organisations. The plan outlines the research capabilities needed to answer pressing safety questions as well as research needed to support innovation in the nuclear industry. The plan also consideres how to best utilise existing irradiation testing infrastructure and how to safeguard the knowledge required to conduct nuclear fuel research.

For FIDES-II members, the strategic plan serves as a tool for guiding their decisions and operations for the near future. For non-members, especially research facility operators and national governments, the strategic plan communicates the priorities of the community and invites proposals on these topics. With a work scope value of approximately EUR 8 Million per year and many key nuclear stakeholders embarked in the Framework, FIDES-II is quickly becoming a centre of gravity for fuel and materials research and an enabler of an experimental support for licencing.

The FIDES-II Strategic Plan is maintained by the members and with solicitation of input from the relevant expert communities operating under the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and the Nuclear Science Committee. The strategic plan will be a major input to future efforts by the CSNI to prepare nuclear safety research road maps (with regard to the definition of irradiation needs), as suggested in the conclusions of the NEA Nuclear Safety Research Joint Projects Week: Success Stories and Opportunities for Future Developments.

See also