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30/01/15 The fourth ARCHER Newsletter was released on 30 January 2015. Read online here

21/01/15 The second ARCHER EUROCOURSE, hosted by NRG, was held in Petten from 19-20 January 2015. Click here for more info

26/11/14 The third ARCHER Newsletter was released on 26 November 2014. Read online here

28/10/14 The ARCHER final meeting was held on 21-22 Jan 2015 at NRG in Petten (NL).

27/10/14 The High Temperature Reactor (HTR) Conference was held from 27-31 October 2014 in Weihai, Shandong Province, China. Click here for more info

29/03/14 The second Newsletter was released on 28 March 2014. Read online here

Supported by

European Commission

Workshop on Operation of Furnace Systems used in safety testing of TRISO Fuel

Originally built in response to the German reactor designer’s requirement for a passively safe HTGR, a set of facilities is now available to demonstrate the robustness of the HTR fuel in DLOFC (Depressurisation and LOss of Forced Circulation) accident scenarios.

In order to exchange on this topic, a meeting was held last year in Idaho Falls to present the different set-ups used for the HTR fuel qualification of either prismatic (ORNL, INL) or pebble fuel (JRC-ITU). In addition to promoting discussions among participants, the aim was to collect safety furnaces specialists’ comments on the Korean and Japanese plans in this field.

Initially built in FZJ (Juelich), the KüFA (Cold finger Facility), which demonstrated the capability of the German spherical fuel elements to withstand a severe depressurisation accident with minimal release of fission product was upgraded and installed in the hot cells of the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU). It is in operation since 2006 and assesses the effects of accident scenarios up to 1800 0 C on various pebbles by condensing nongaseous volatile fission products (e.g. Ag, Sr, Cs, Eu) released on a water cooled stainless steel plate and trapping fission gases (i.e. mainly 85Kr) in a liquid nitrogen cooled charcoal system. Up to now and despite intensive IC-PMS efforts, no significant release of 90Sr has been detected on the last tested pebble (HFR-EU1bis5).

For the fuel evaluation of the NGNP programme, similar facilities were developed in the US (i.e. the “fuel accident condition simulator” (FACS) furnace at INL and “Core Conduction Cool down Test Facility” (CCCTF)) and extensively discussed during the workshop.



Further information about the KüFA studies can be found in the following articles:

  • O. Seeger, M. Laurie, P.D.W. Bottomley, V.V. Rondinella, H.-J. Allelein, “Fission product release from accident tested irradiated High Temperature Reactor fuel pebbles”, Progress in Nuclear Energy xxx (2013) 1-5.
  • O. Seeger, K. Knebel, W. de Weerd, P. Carbol, P.D.W. Bottomley,V.V. Rondinella, H.-J. Allelein, “Simulated accident testing of a fuel element from the HFR-EU1bisirradiation campaign”, Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2013)