In Russia, until 2020, it is planned to present the so-called tolerant nuclear fuel, the use of which helps prevent accidents like those that occurred at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima-1. As RIA Novosti notes , the development of tolerant nuclear fuel is also conducted in France, China and the United States.
The incentive to develop a new type of fuel was the accident at the Japanese nuclear power plant “Fukushima-1” in 2011. Then, after the tsunami, the power units of the station were de-energized and the supply of cooling water to the active zones of their reactors stopped. As a result of the increase in the temperature of the zirconium claddings of fuel elements, a so-called parcyrconium reaction arose, accompanied by the release of an additional large amount of heat and the destruction of fuel rods.
Then the development of the prevention of the possibility of a steam zirconium reaction was activated.
In 2018, the United States began testing the pilot lot of tolerant fuel Global Nuclear Fuel. The batch includes fuel cassettes, in which samples of fuel element claddings of iron-chromium-aluminum alloy, as well as cassettes, where zirconium-coated casings are used for fuel elements, will be tested.