Nuclear Fuel Performance and Design

ANATECH has developed effective methods and computer codes for the analysis of nuclear fuel behavior under conditions of normal operations, off-normal transients, and postulated accidents. These tools, developed with the support of EPRI, are based on four decades of experience in fuel-behavior modeling and simulation; they include the well-known FALCON/FREY/DEFECT/RETRIEV family of codes, which are used for the diagnostic evaluation of LWR fuel performance issues. The FALCON code, and its predecessor FREY, have unique capabilities for steady-state analysis of nuclear fuel operating under power-ramp-rate restrictions due to Pellet Cladding Interaction (PCI) and Crud-Induced Localized Corrosion (CILC), and for transient analysis under Reactivity Initiated Accidents (RIA) and Loss of Coolant Accidents (LOCA). The DEFECT code is a special derivative of FALCON developed for the evaluation of the degradation behavior and core residence time of defective fuel rods.  The RETRIEV code provides power history input to FALCON by reconstructing the Pin-Power from Nuclear-Methods/Core=Follow Data.

These codes, combined with the advanced experience and support of ANATECH staff, ensure that nuclear power utility facilities achieve their goals of zero fuel failures. ANATECH has also emerged as a leader in safety measures related to these areas:

  • Revised fuel rod acceptance criteria for PWR control rod ejection accidents
  • BWR control rod drop accidents
  • PWR/BWR LOCA events, including characterization of the operative mechanisms in cladding failure and loss of coolable geometry

A Structural Integrity Company