PWR Fuel Advanced

Advanced course for PWR fuel engineers and technical managers | taught by A.N.T. International

Course description


Welcome to this course which gives an overview of topics relevant to  PWR Fuel Engineers and Technical Managers. In this course you will read  several reports, watch online lectures and test your knowledge in online  tests. You may do your studies at any time or pace convenient for you.  Please note that your license for the course expires after one year.

The course comprises four technical areas: Structural Material Degradation, Coolant Chemistry, Fuel Thermal-Hydraulics (T-H) and Fuel Materials. The principal focus of this course, Fuel Materials,  covers the entire lifespan of fuel assemblies from manufacturing,  mechanical, T-H and nuclear design as well as performance during  operation, design basis accidents and post-irradiation interim dry  storage.

This course involves reading technical reports, watching webinars and participating in online assessments (tests). To pass the tests you need to complete it with at least 70% correct answers. You have one hour (60 minutes) to finish the exam. If you fail to reach the 70% you may redo the test (up to 3 times). Once you have passed the exam you have completed this course. Well done! You will automatically receive an email with your certificate that you can print or share on social media including LinkedIn. If you need a printed certificate, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will send it to you via regular mail. You reach us at

The PowerPoint-presentations are available for download on almost all lectures. You will find them just before the lecture starts. (Some presentations are only partial. We apologize for any inconvenience.)

Please note that these PowerPoint-presentations are the actual file from the seminar that has been recorded. Therefore, there may occur spelling errors and/or less perfect pictures or slides. As the presentations are the expert’s own material we have not edited them before making these lectures available online.

If you have any questions regarding this course, please contact support at


The authors/lecturers of the report/webinars are World Class Experts in their fields and are as follows:

For issues of Structural Material Degradation:For issues of Coolant Chemistry and Corrosion:For issues of Thermal Hydraulics:For issues of Fuel Materials:

Course duration

The below listed time for the lectures is the actual running time. More time may be needed to digest the information provided in this course and you may have to watch some lectures more than once.

  • Total time: around 180 hours (around 4,5 weeks for full time studies)
  • Reading: 145 h
  • Webinars: 36 h
  • 6 Exams: 6 h

Course parts

Structural Material Degradation

The information below gives a brief overview of the phenomenology and mechanisms of the various modes of degradation and the effect of various interactions of material, environment and, in many cases, stress on the extent of degradation. This information is important since the plant coolant chemistry is selected partly to minimize structural material degradation while the coolant chemistry also affects fuel performance.

Primary PWR Coolant Chemistry and Corrosion

Reactor coolant chemistry impacts:

  • the integrity of the Reactor Coolant System (RCS) materials
  • fuel cladding behaviour and performance
  • radiation field and amount of waste.
Fuel Design and Design Criteria

The regulators specify the mechanical, T/H and nuclear design criteria of the fuel assembly to ensure satisfactory behaviour during normal operation and accident conditions. The fuel vendors needs to comply with these design criteria.

PWR Thermal-/Hydraulics and Nucleonics

The following topics are covered:

  • Neutronics
  • Thermal Hydraulics
  • Fuel Rod Mechanical
  • Application of Fundamentals to Operating Anomalies
PWR Fuel

Fuel Materials

This section covers fuel design, fuel fabrication, fuel performance during normal operation, AOO, accident conditions and interim dry storage. PWR control rods are also included in this section.

Fuel Design

The following topics are covered:

  • The fuel suppliers and their design offices
  • Structure and components of the fuel assembly
  • Mechanical design
  • Thermal hydraulic design
  • Nuclear design

Fuel Fabrication

The following topics are covered:

  • Structure and Components of the Fuel Assembly
  • Fuel and Fuel Pellet Fabrication
  • Zirconium Alloy Component Fabrication

Fuel material performance during normal operation and anticipated operational occurrence

The following topics are covered:

  • Performance of Zr alloys
  • Overview of fuel reliability and consequences of fuel failures, methods to detect fuel failures during operation and outage (poolside and hot cell)
  • Secondary degradation of failed fuel
  • Performance of UO2 and MOX
  • Performance of stainless steel and nickel-base alloy fuel assembly components
  • Fuel performance codes, margins, treatment of uncertainties

Other topics

The following topics are covered:

  • Fuel Performance during accident conditions, LOCA and RIA
  • Fuel Performance during interim dry storage
  • Performance of PWR control rods


The information presented in this course has been compiled and analysed by Advanced Nuclear Technology International Europe AB (ANT International®) and its subcontractors. ANT International has exercised due diligence in this work, but does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information. ANT International does not assume any responsibility for any consequences as a result of the use of the information for any party, except a warranty for reasonable technical skill, which is limited to the amount paid for this course.

A.N.T. International
A.N.T. International

ANT International Academy supportteam can be reached at

Course Curriculum

Test: Structural Material Degradation
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Test: Primary PWR Coolant Chemistry and Corrosion
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Test: Fuel Design and Manufacturing
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Test: Fuel Performance during Normal Operation & Anticipated Operational Occurrences, part 1
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Test: Fuel Performance during Normal Operation and Anticipated Operational Occurrences, part 2
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