The HERACLES consortium follows the LEONIDAS (2010 - 2014) and ALPS (2008 - 2013) collaborations on the research on the Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) High Density (HD) fuel. LEONIDAS focused on the dispersed UMo fuel technology, ALPS on the monolithic UMo fuel technology.
The consortium brings together operators of High Performance Research Reactor (HPPR), R&D organizations and the European nuclear fuel manufacturer Framatome (CERCA). The HPPR are devoted to test materials, to produce radioisotopes and for fundamental research in physics, chemistry, medical applications and nuclear physics.
The consortium concentrates most of the experience and knowledge available in Europe on the development of HD HPRR fuels:
- TUM has large experience in fuel coating, monolithic fuel development and in using heavy ions to simulate the effects of in-pile irradiations. TUM is the operator of the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II).
- Framatome (CERCA) is the industrial European research reactor fuel manufacturer with unique experience and capabilities in manufacturing of plate-type fuel of highest quality and reliability.
- ILL has a deep understanding of condensed matter physics, for fresh and irradiated systems, with unique experience in the necessary instrumentation and methods to study them. ILL is the operator of the HFR reactor.
- SCK·CEN has the material test reactor BR2 and large experience in performing the necessary analyses concerning test irradiations. SCK·CEN is the operator of the BR2 reactor.
- CEA has extensive knowledge in nuclear fuel development and has experimental capabilities for fresh and spent fuel analysis. CEA is the operator of the OSIRIS and ORPHEE reactors which will be shut down in 2015 and 2019 and of the JHR reactor in construction.
are mainly material testing reactors devoted to development, qualification and safety studies for the electronuclear reactors. ILL/HFR
and FRM II
are mainly neutron sources for fundamental researches.
The consortium members have also active and fruitful international collaborations with USA (Idaho National Laboratory
and Argonne National Laboratory
) and with Republic of Korea (KAERI