Framatome and TUM will design and install a fuel manufacturing production line, and develop, produce and irradiate new fuel prototypes.
The project will take place at the Cerca Research and Innovation Lab (CRIL), Framatome’s new research and development laboratory for the fabrication of nuclear fuels for medical, research and sterilisation applications.
UMo fuel has a higher level of uranium density than uranium-silicon fuel, so it can use LEU instead of HEU. The fuel can also improve the performance of research reactors, according to Framatome.
The manufacturing line will be installed in early 2021 with the production of the first prototypes planned for 2022. TUM, Framatome, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble and the Belgian nuclear research centre SCK-CEN will be involved in irradiation activities.
Framatome said the development of UMo fuel is a major challenge, which several international teams are tackling.