EDF has signed a five-year research contract with Russia’s Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad, part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, RIA Novosti reported on 2 July. 

The contract, for research into the effect of hydrogen on the thermal stability of radiation and deformation defects in model zirconium alloys, provides for irradiation of experimental samples made from model zirconium alloys in NIIAR’s BOR-60 fast reactor. The investigations of fuel rod cladding are intended to improve the reliability and safety in operation of nuclear fuel at nuclear power plants. 

The contract also allows for the joint publication of the results by NIIAR and EDF as well as other mechanisms for the dissemination of theoretical knowledge about the properties of zirconium alloys, which are obtained in the course of research. Ria Novosti said various areas of cooperation are under discussion in the field of in-reactor and post-irradiation examination of nuclear fuel.