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The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation.
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The CEA publishes various scientific and technical periodicals and videos. Through them, you can discover the CEA’s major research topics and the latest technological innovations produced by its laboratories.
Monograph | Nuclear energy | Fuel Cycle
Fuel is one of the essential components in a nuclear reactor. It is within that fuel that nuclear reactions take place, i.e. fission of heavy atoms, uranium and plutonium. Fuel is at the core of the reactor, but equally at the core of the nuclear system as a whole. Fuel design and properties influence reactor behaviour, performance, and safety. Even though it only accounts for a small part of the cost per kilowatt-hour of power provided by current nuclear power plants, good utilization of fuel is a major economic issue. Major advances have yet to be achieved, to ensure longer in–reactor dwell-time, thus enabling fuel to yield more energy, and improve ruggedness. Aside from economics, and safety, such strategic issues as use of plutonium, conservation of resources, and nuclear waste management have to be addressed, and true technological challenges arise. This monograph surveys current knowledge regarding in-reactor behaviour, operating limits, and avenues for R&D. It also provides illustrations of ongoing research work, setting out a few noteworthy results recently achieved.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.