The FIDES-II framework is designed to do more than just produce data on transient fuel behavior and safety related issues. The FIDES-II framework is supported by three cross-cutting pillars:
P2M experimenters have collaborated with over 40 modelling experts in an exercise using archive data to assess their code’s ability to predict fuel melting. Through this modelling exercise, a better understanding of the boundaries of existing models has been developed. The exercise also allowed experimenters to identify specific measurement and examination activities that could produce data to improve fuel melting behavior models. An "open access" publication synthesizes the exercise, while a full special issue in the Journal of Nuclear Technology is under preparation dedicated to the exercise outcomes.
A second phase was launched, which is devoted to the prediction and the interpretation of the pressure measurement during the P2M qualification test. The modelers will study the fission gas release and axial transfer of released fission gas towards the plenum. They will also evaluate the gas plenum temperature evolution during the test by modeling the thermo-dynamic conditions of the test capsule used in the experiment.
HERA experimenters are also collaborating closely with modelers. A modeling exercise is being conducted alongside the HERA experiments, beginning with blind simulation of the planned experiments. The results will help experiment designers finalize the details of the experiment. The exercise will also help modelers see where their models are good at predicting the complicated behavior of fuel during an RIA and reveal where the models need improvement.
As an international research collaboration, FIDES-II is relatively 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. With this in mind, the members of FIDES-II have prepared a 10-year strategic plan that defines at a high level their key research needs in a variety of technical disciplines.
The strategic plan leveraged 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 experts also considered how to best utilise existing irradiation testing infrastructure and how to safeguard the knowledge required to conduct nuclear fuel research.