Centre of excellence for nuclear materials



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 LECA-STAR hot facility (nuclear fuel research)


Located at CEA Cadarache, the LECA-STAR facility, which belongs to the Fuel Studies Department (DEC), is a hot laboratory used for destructive and non-destructive examination of irradiated fuel rods. The facility also develops characterization methods for hot laboratories, prepares instrumented rods with irradiated fuel, and performs fuel processing and reconditioning operations.


  • The LECA facility consists of 12 shielded cells that can accomodate fuel rods up to 2.5 m in length. It is devoted to fuel post-irradiation characterization (destructive and non-destructive): SEM, EPMA, SIMS analyses, image analysis, density and porosity measurements, gamma spectrometry, XRD structural studies, and thermal treatments. The MERARG testing equipment is dedicated to the study of fission products and helium release from irradiated nuclear fuels submitted to thermal transients.
  • The STAR facility consists of 3 shielded cells that can accomodate fuel rods up to 4.4 m in length. It is dedicated to the processing and reconditioning of irradiated fuels and supports survey programs for irradiated fuels in reactors. The STAR facility can receive transport casks of up to 60 tons. In this facility, the VERDON testing device, with its two shielded cells and a glove box, is also used to study severe accident scenarios.

Micro-analysis laboratory (SEM, EPMA, SIMS, XRD) at LECA facility (CEA Cadarache)




STAR shielded cells for fuel processing

and reconditioning operations


VERDON: a testing device to investigate accidental scenarios (STAR facility)



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#115 - Last update : 12/17 2013

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