In order to ensure HTR fuel qualification, as well as reactor safety, particles need to satisfy a set of specifications including particle integrity. To achieve this goal, AREVA NP has been engaged for several years in a R&D program aiming at the development of innovative industrial non destructive evaluation methods for HTR fuel as alternatives to destructive methods. After investigating a number of potential techniques, development has been focused on vision and eddy currents, both aiming at crack detection. High resolution Phase Contrast X-Ray imaging was also studied for structural defects characterization. For all these techniques, besides the development of HTR fuel dedicated control methods, equipment and probes were specifically designed, tested and optimized thanks to experiments conducted on real and artificial flaws, yielding for some of the methods to potential industrialization and quality control performed over 100% of the fuel production.

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