Experts discuss scientific issues of nuclear fuels and materials


The WPFM meeting in Paris, May 2024.

The Working Party on Materials Science Issues in Nuclear Fuels and Structural Materials (WPFM), operating under the auspices of the NEA Nuclear Science Committee (NSC), was established in 2021 with the objectives to address materials science aspects of nuclear fuel, cladding and structural materials, including supporting development and selection of innovative and advanced fuels and materials.

Experts from NEA member countries and one international organisation convened in Paris on 21-24 May for the meetings of the WPFM and its two expert communities: the Expert Group on Fuel Materials (EGFM) and the Expert Group on Structural Materials (EGSM).


EGSMMembers of the Expert Group on Fuel Materials (EGFM) and the Expert Group on Structural Materials (EGSM).

A joint session between the EGFM and EGSM focused on best practices for specialised material microstructural characterisation techniques – a discussion which is important to advance confidence for separate laboratories to exchange and compare measurements with some basis that the measurements were conducted in the same way, but also for modelers to have a rich understanding of how experimental results were obtained in order to apply them in an appropriate way in modelling applications. Experts from around the world in various techniques expressed that the platform to exchange on this topic in an international collaborative way met a clear, long-standing need.

The EGSM advanced their plans for the Seventh International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems (SMINS-7), which will be held on 31 March 2025 - 3 April 2025 in Madrid, Spain, and will include a topical discussion on “Materials challenges for advanced and small modular reactors (SMRs): From the need for innovation to licensing.”

During the week, participants also discussed means to further develop synergies with the NEA Second Framework for Irradiation Experiments (FIDES-II) and also ideas to complement the previous efforts of the Expert Group of Reactor Fuel Performance’s (EGRFP) on the International Fuel Performance Experiments (IFPE) data collection with a mindset of advanced modelling and simulation fuel performance tools.

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