This technical report describes the regulatory perspectives on safety aspects related to the fuel qualification for advanced sodium fast reactors (SFRs) and identifies topics that should be investigated in the frame of SFR safety regulation, potentially involving additional research and development needs.
Fuel qualification has been identified in recent years as a subject of increasing importance in relation to regulatory and research activities in the area of advanced reactors and associated nuclear installations. Work thus far has focused on the following technical topics: general issues; regulatory requirements and guidance for sodium fast reactor (SFR) fuel qualification; fuel assembly design and qualification; fuel operational experience; and reporting requirements.
In 2017, a questionnaire was distributed to members of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Working Group on the Safety of Advanced Reactors (WGSAR) to gather information on fuel qualification, and responses were provided by seven countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Russia and the United States). These responses have contributed to the development of the present report, which ultimately benefits from countries’ experiences in licensing and in ongoing work on future SFR projects.