The latest hero in China: Super ATF

The latest hero in China: Super ATF

On December 21, as China Mianyang Research Reactor (CMRR) operated its reactor for the very last time this year, CGN Candidate Materials for Accident Fault-tolerant Fuel (ATF) officially began neutron irradiation test. The candidate materials for accidental fault-tolerant fuel cladding and pellets will be selected by means of neutron irradiation, and obtain a large amount of valuable in-pile performance data and provide strong support for subsequent research and safety review of the reactor.

China ATF started its research and development in 2015 with CGN leading the National Science and Technology Major Project – “Research on Key Techniques of Fault-tolerant Fuel Incidents”, together with several research institutes such as Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Xi’an Jiaotong University.

After three years, CGN successfully completed the concept design and preliminary analysis and evaluation of ATF fuel, broke through the component design and preparation process of advanced cladding and pellet materials in laboratory scale, and is fully developing the Super Safety Fuel (S2FTM) now.


This new type of super-safety fuel is supposed to resist to serious nuclear accidents for a long time, prolong the non-intervention time under reactor accident conditions, greatly reduce the risk of hydrogen explosion until it is clear, and relieve the consequences of losing cooling water accident obviously. The system offers the ultimate in safety of light water reactors, both for fuel replacement of the nuclear units and for the design of fourth and more advanced nuclear energy systems.


* Since its concept was proposed in 2012, ATF has experienced rapid development over the past five years, making it the benchmark for the development of international nuclear fuel technology and the core area competing between the nuclear power giants in the United States, Japan, and Europe.

About Author

Elaine Li

Elaine Li (李益楠) is Marketing Manager for the Chinese Market. With ten years of experience in the nuclear power market, Elaine is experts for the certification of safety equipment (HAF 604 and 601) and marketing intelligence.