Letter of Intent Deadline:
Silicon Carbide Cladding Development
Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent by January 7, 2022.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) sponsors a program focused on supporting commercialization activities of U.S. nuclear fuels to enhance the accident tolerance of light water reactor (LWR) fuel in severe accident situations. A goal of the program, named Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) program, is to assist U.S. commercial implementation of advanced LWR fuel concepts in the mid-2020s time-period, and for which several concepts, identified as Coated Cladding concept, are already being pursued. Applications are invited to provide a proposed five-year project that supports the objective of achieving a continuation of the silicon carbide ceramic matrix composite fuel cladding development concept for use in commercial U.S. LWR reactors.
BACKGROUND In the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress appropriated funds to DOE for the research and development of advanced ATF in response to the incident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The Fukushima Daiichi incident, along with progress in the development of advanced materials, provided the impetus to improve nuclear fuel performance and safety, thereby mitigating the effects of a severe accident. To support the research and development of advanced ATF, NE, under 2012 guidance, initiated an industry-oriented program to accelerate improvements to LWR fuel performance and safety. The goal of this ATF development effort is to have one or more LWR advanced fuel concepts in commercial implementation in the late 2020’s time period. Toward that end several concepts are being pursued that involve either coating on existing LWR clad material or a new non-metallic type of cladding. The silicon carbide ceramic matrix clad concept is an example of the latter.