NEA Mandates and Structures

Expert Group on Accident-tolerant Fuels for LWRs (EGATFL)

Chair(s): Kemal O. PASAMEHMETOGLU, United States
Secretary:  Davide COSTA
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:11 June 2014
End of mandate:30 June 2017

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document [NEA/SEN/NSC(2016)2]



Under the guidance of the Nuclear Science Committee, the expert group will primarily act as a forum for scientific and technical information exchange on advanced light water reactor (LWR) fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. The expert group will focus on the fundamental properties and behaviour under normal operations and accident conditions for advanced core materials and components (fuels, cladding, control rods, etc.). The materials considered will be applicable to generation II and generation III light water reactors, as well as generation III+ reactors under construction.


The objective of the expert group will be to define and co-ordinate a programme of work to help advance the scientific knowledge needed to provide the technical underpinning for the development of advanced LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance compared to currently used zircaloy/UO2 fuels, as well as other non-fuel core components with important roles in LWR performance under accident conditions.

In particular, the expert group will foster information exchange on material properties and relevant phenomenological experiments, carry out state-of-the-art reviews, organise benchmark studies and foster international collaboration regarding the development of core materials and designs which provide an improved tolerance to accidents. Conditions such as those experienced during the Fukushima Daiichi accident will be considered, but the considerations will not be limited to events similar to Fukushima.

Ideally the new designs will provide enhanced tolerance to extended station blackout conditions with loss of active cooling, while maintaining or improving the fuel performance and safety characteristics during normal operations and for other design-basis-accident (DBA) or beyond-design-basis-accident (BDBA) scenarios.

Desired characteristics of these enhanced materials and designs include:

The following items may be included in the programme of work:

It is anticipated that the expert group may organise the programme of work through activities carried out by individual task forces dedicated to specific technical issues such as:


A detailed technical programme of work will be identified by the established expert group.

Key deliverables during the first phase of work may include multiple reports such as state-of-the-art reports on candidate materials/designs, the available data on fundamental properties, technical readiness level definition and evaluations, modelling methods, definitions of standard scenarios for evaluation of candidates’ performance, availability of experimental data and experimental facilities, desired characteristics/performance metrics.

The preparation of these reports, along with the outcomes of periodic discussions at information exchange meetings will form the basis of the overall programme of work.

Links with other activities

Synergistic links may be established (participation to common meetings, expert advice and/or review of reports, joint membership in multiple groups, etc.) with other bodies and stakeholders within and outside the OECD/NEA:

Key external non-governmental stakeholders include vendors, utilities, independent research organisations (such as EPRI) and academic institutions.