The Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project (SCIP) was initiated in 2004 as an OECD/NEA project with Studsvik Nuclear as the operating agent. Since its start, 27 signatories from 13 countries joined the programme representing more than 40 organisations (nuclear safety organisations, vendors, utilities and research laboratories). The programme concluded in July 2009.
The SCIP programme generated extensive experimental data on irradiated BWR and PWR claddings by conducting ramp testing of 11 rodlets, comprehensive non-destructive examinations (NDE), destructive examinations (DE), mechanical testing and extensive microstructural characterisation by means of SEM and TEM. With respect to pellet-cladding interaction (PCI), a modified mandrel testing technique to study iodine induced stress corrosion cracking (ISCC) under well controlled test conditions, was developed and mechanical test techniques were modified to better simulate the in-reactor behavior.
Three failure mechanisms were studied within three corresponding project tasks and the driving force for the failure mechanism was studied separately. The overriding objective of the project was to improve the understanding of the dominant failure mechanisms for LWR fuel cladding that can arise during normal operation or anticipated transients, focusing on high burn-up claddings.