PRESENT CLADDING UNDER CRITICISM

After the reactor accidents of Three Mile Island (1979, US), Chernobyl (1986, former SU) and Fukushima (2011, Japan) several measures for improved safety features were discussed (like core-catcher) to mitigate the consequences after a loss-of-coolant-accident.

According to the principle “Strike the problem at its roots!” the authors believe, that the viability of innovative reactor concepts stands and falls with the properties of fuel elements.

The lessons learnt from light water reactor accidents and the HTR operation can be stated as:

  • AVOID METALLIC FUEL CLADDING!
  • AVOID NUDE GRAPHITE ELEMENTS!

We started with some basic investigations to find an appropriate solution for the HTR pebbles. Our approach stems from this work:

Use SiC hollow bodies for fuel encapsulation!