ICN - Pitesti



  • Preserving and developing the capacity to ensure the technical-scientific support for the safe operation of Cernavoda NPP during it entire lifetime operation
  • Out of pile studies on nuclear use structural materials behavior under normal, abnormal and severe accident conditions
  • Development of technologies for the fabrication of experimental fuel elements and advanced nuclear fuels

Activities in the field of advanced fuel development

  • Laying down technologies for obtaining sintered UO2 powders
  • Laying down technologies for obtaining sintered UO2  pellets with controlled microstructure
  • Establishing cap-grid and cap-sheath welding technologies for advanced fuel experimental bundles
  • Establishing TRIGA – LEU fuel fabrication technologies
  • Developing materials for extreme conditions – pressure, temperature and high neutron fluxes
  • Manufacturing experimental advanced fuel bundles for out of pile tests
  • Laying down a targets manufacturing technology

Manufacturing equipment

  • Laboratory facilities for manufacturing  UO2 powders
  • Equipment for obtaining metallic powders
  • DEGUSSA sintering furnace
  • Furnace for controlled hydriding HEREUS
  • MAYER Isostatic press
  • KOMAGE Hydraulic presses
  • Centerless grinding machine
  • Simtex cap-sheaths welding machine
  • Simtex cap-grid welding machine

Main achievements

  • Manufacturing experimental elements tooled for irradiation in the TRIGA ICN -Pitesti reactor
  • Manufacturing the experimental advanced fuel bundle model
  • Manufacturing technology for UO2 sintered powders
  • Manufacturing technology for UO2 sintered pellets with large grains for advanced fuel
  • Manufacturing technology for TRIGA fuel (U Er Zr H alloy)

Activities in the field of material mechanical testing

  • Thermo-mechanical tests on structural and fissionable materials in the active core of CANDU reactor under conditions of thermo-mechanical use specific to normal operation and accident operation
  • Micro-structural analysis and of breaking surfaces
  • Controlled hydriding of zirconium alloys
  • Obtaining material laws useful in predicting the behavior evolution of nuclear materials and lifetime
  • Studies of breaking mechanics, analysis of crack initiation and propagation
  • Predicting the structural integrity of nuclear materials, through experimental techniques and finite element method
  • • Evaluation of mechanical properties of structural materials for Generation IV nuclear systems by tensile tests in liquid lead environments at various temperatures.

Experimental facilities

  • Universal Mechanical Testing System for testing materials under static and dynamic Regime, Walter+Bai, with accessories (high temperature oven- 1000°,thermostat room, max. 600°C, axial extensometers and COD type, for temperature);
  • Mechanical Testing Machine INSTRON;
  • Creeping machine ADAMEL;
  • Hydriding facility;
  • H2 and O2 analyzer OH-900 ELTRA type;
  • Tube furnace for heat treatment;
  • Cycling facility under LCF regime;
  • Ultrasonic measurements stand equipped with transducers and ultrasonic flaw detector;
  • Universal drilling and milling machine for samples with accessories;
  • WOLPERT hardness tester;
  • ZEISS OBSERVER metallographic microscope;
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) TESCAN with EDX module (AXS Bruker);
  • Burst test facility for thin wall tubes;
  • Experimental facilities for tensile and creep tests in heavy liquid metal.

Camera termostată Montaj experimental test Integrala J
Universal testing system Walter+Bai (Switzerland) Drilling and milling specimens used in mechanical tests

Main achievements

  • Development and configuration of the integrated, performant, trials, testing and analysis system for nuclear materials, within the National Programme PNII, Capacities Module, 2008 Competition by MEdCTS-ANCS and ICN, CPI 166/2008 Contract, “Integrated trials, testing and nuclear materials analysis system – TIAMAT-N“;
  • Manufacturing of experimental facilities for tensile and creep tests in heavy liquid metal;
  • Tensile testing for Generation IV nuclear applications materials;
  • Analysis and diagnosis of degraded components from NPP Cernavoda;
  • Study of DHC phenomenon and crack mechanisms;
  • Assessment of the structural integrity of metallic components in various operating and environmental conditions;
  • Study of thermo-mechanical behavior of metallic and ceramic materials in various operating and environmental conditions;
  • Statistical processing of experimental data, modeling of different phenomena and predicting structural integrity of nuclear materials, by means of experimental techniques and finite element method;
  • Metallographic and electron microscopy analysis of metal structure and cracking surfaces.

Activities in the field of material corrosion

  • Investigation of localized corrosion mechanisms of structural components in various nuclear and industrial installations;
  • Corrosion experiments at high temperature / high pressure in static and dynamic regime in simulated operating conditions of the CANDU reactor;
  • Investigation of release, transport and corrosion products deposition in primary and secondary circuits of CANDU reactor;
  • Environment chemistry optimization to reduce the corrosion of structural components from nuclear installations;
  • Analysis of corroded components in nuclear installations, identification of causes and establishment of measures for diminishing / preventing corrosion phenomena;
  • Studies and experiments on microbiological corrosion in nuclear power plants;
  • Chemical cleaning experiments of metallic components coated with corrosion products;
  • Corrosion behavior assessment of candidate materials for Generation IV reactors.
Dynamic corrosion testing facility


The laboratory is notified by CNCAN through CNCAN NOTIFICATION LI-013-2010

Experimental facilities

  • Recirculation loop for corrosion tests under high temperature and pressure conditions;
  • Static autoclaves for corrosion tests under high temperatures and pressures (6000C, 250 atm);
  • Static autoclaves for high temperatures and pressures (310°C, 100 atm);
  • Electrochemical autoclave for determining the corrosion potential in aqueous media at temperatures up to 3000 C;
  • SSRT autoclave for traction tests under high temperature/high pressure.

Main achievements

  • Failure analysis of corroded metallic components in Cernavoda power plants, identification of the failure causes and correction recommendations;
  • Analysis of the causes leading to erosion / corrosion in the water chambers of the heat exchangers at Cernavoda NPP and recommendations for reducing the causes;
  • Identifying the causes of corrosion on BSI 71900/71940 pipeline systems at Cernavoda NPP and correction recommnedations;
  • Assessment of degradation mechanisms for pipes from the U1 Cernavoda HP heaters and recommendations for reducing the defects;
  • Methodology for attenuation of the concrete reinforcement corrosion in the structure of the CANDU reactor building, using corrosion inhibitors;
  • Identification of the degradation mechanisms specific to the steam generator tubing;
  • Identification of the SCC causes and occurring conditions on the steam generator tubing;
  • Determination of corrosion behavior of tube materials (Incoloy 800) and tubular plates (SA 508) in the presence of complex combinations of impurities that may be present in the cooling water in the secondary steam generator circuit;
  • Assessment of corrosion behavior under operating conditions specific to the steam generator secondary circuit of the steam generator components after chemical cleaning and optimization of the chemical cleaning composition;
  • Determination of oxides layer and protective coating thickness on metallic samples;
  • Pitting corrosion tests for welded samples qualification according to ASTM G-48.

X-ray diffractometer type X 'pert Pro MPD

Main measurement and control equipment in NMC

  • X ray diffractometer - X’Pert PRO MPD;
  • WOLPERT hardness tester;
  • H2 and O2 analyzer OH-900 ELTRA type;
  • ZEISS OBSERVER metallographic microscope;
  • OLYMPUS GX 71 metallographic microscope;
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) TESCAN;
  • PAR 2273 Overall electrochemical potentiostat - galvanostat;
  • Quantachrome 60 mercury porosimeter;
  • Ceramic and metallic powders granulometer;
  • TESA MICRO-HITE BD profilometer;
  • HOMMEL TESTER T1000 roughness tester;
  • X-ray fluorescence spectrometer  ARL ADVANT’X;
  • ICP ToF-MS mass spectometer with inductively coupled plasma;
  • Microhardness tester OPL.

Last modified: 19-02-2019.


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