2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 47 the components have been received and assembled. Figure 3 shows the overview of the assembled prototype machine.The first test under vacuum was performed and did not reveal any leaks. Initial coatings performed on flat samples showed a uniform coating over the whole length of the prototype machine. Fabrication of sample holder to coat the first tubes is underway.The first tubes are planned to be coated during GFY 18, followed by a parametric evalua- tion of coating conditions to obtain the best quality coatings over the full-length.The prototype manu- facturing and production of tubes is on schedule for the fabrication and insertion of lead test rods in a commercial reactor by 2019 Several activities are ongoing to implement the manufacturing line for chromia-doped pellets at the HRR fuel fabrication facility in support of the EATF LTA insertion Figure 4: Cr2O3-doped UO2 pellets (green) manufactured for the ATF-2 rodlets. into a commercial reactor in 2019. A small batch of Chromia-doped UO2 pellets were manufactured for AREVA’s ATF-2 rodlets (see Figure 4).These pellets will be loaded into 6-inch Cr-coated rodlets for expo- sure in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) – ATF2 in early 2018. In support of developing a stable SiC/ SiC cladding design, many explor- atory studies have been performed in GFY 2017. A SiC/SiC clad model was implemented in an AREVA NP fuel rod thermal-mechanical code. Preliminary calculations revealed that during normal operation significant thermal stresses exist along the thickness of the cladding, which are high enough to generate cracks in the cladding.To address this, various options are being considered for improving the thermal conductivity of the base SiC cladding.