ICN - Pitesti

ADVANCED REACTORS AND FUEL CYCLES

Main research areas:

  • Worldwide evolution trends in the field of nuclear reactors;
  • Support analysis regarding the sustainable development and nuclear energy;
  • Advanced CANDU nuclear fuel cycles;
  • Methods, programs and calculus for the assessment of the characteristics of the advanced CANDU reactor core;
  • Materials and nuclear fuels for Generation IV reactors;
  • Nanostructured complex materials and nanotechnologies for Advanced Systems for Nuclear Energy Production(ASNE);
  • Reactor physics and thermo-hydraulics studies, assimilation and development of advanced reactors technologies and infrastructure.

Main research results:
Romania represents the reference option for hosting the Lead cooled Fast Reactor (LFR) demonstrator ALFRED, based on the advantages arising from the possibility of accessing European structural funds, the existing technical capabilities, the experience in the field of nuclear energy, the public acceptance of nuclear energy. At European level it is accepted idea to build the demonstrators ALFRED (LFR) and ALLEGRO (GFR) in new member states to reduce the gap in the development of technological infrastructure.

  • Worldwide evolution trends in the field of nuclear reactors
    • Summary analysis of the worldwide evolution of advanced nuclear reactors;
    • Assessment of CANDU reactors capability to ensure an optimal use of the fuel resources in terms of satisfying the requirements of non-proliferation.
    • Study regarding the issue of spent nuclear fuel transmutation in Gen IV reactors;
    • Studies regarding EPR reactor characteristics and performances (European Pressurized Reactor), general EPR characteristics relevant for severe accidents and PSA2; generic PSA project for a EPR plant;
    • Study regarding the location of a NPP equipped with advanced modular reactor (SMR) for the replacement of a thermo-electric power plant.
  • Support analysis regarding the sustainable development and nuclear energy
    • Overall plan optimization on the types of nuclear power plants for the construction of new nuclear power plants;
    • Analysis of the possibilities for sustainable development of nuclear energy at the national level taking into account the development trends at international level;
    • Studies regarding the identification of sustainable solutions for Romania in the field of nuclear safety and security offered by the advanced nuclear reactors of small and medium power.
  • Advanced CANDU nuclear fuel cycles:
    • Assessment of the characteristics of the CANDU core containing advanced fuel;
    • Studies regarding the Thorium fuels use in CANDU reactors;
    • Studies on the behavior of CANDU fuel containing mixed oxides of Th/ U/ Pu;
    • Decay time evolution study of the Thorium based burnt nuclear fuel characteristics.
  • Methods, programs and calculus for the assessment of the characteristics of the advanced CANDU reactor core:
    • Applications in the advanced reactor core physics (TSUNAMI code);
    • Studies and analyses dedicated to ACR advanced reactor: preliminary thermo-hydraulic analysis for a fuel channel, sub-channel thermo-hydraulic analysis for fuel bundles SEU43; estimation of the temperature effects at cell level (DRAGON program);
    • Preliminary model of advanced CANDU reactor core for the DIREN code;
    • Methodology for neutronic - thermo-hydraulic coupled calculus using the DIREN and RELAP programs; coupled neutronic - thermo-hydraulic calculus for normal transient regimes and accident conditions (DIREN-RELAP programs);
    • Coupling program cell and super cell DRAGON with the 3D diffusion DIREN.
  • Materials and nuclear fuels for Generation IV reactors:
    • Candidates materials for lead cooled fast reactors (LFR) and gas cooled (GFR): studies of the mechanical properties for austenitic and ferritic-martensitic steels hardened by oxides addition; thermo - mechanical behavior of steels candidate for LFR structures; influence of alloying elements on the physico- chemical and thermo-mechanical properties of Vanadium; o studies of Tantalum and Niobium alloys candidates for GFR; ferritic/martensitic T91 steel behavior in LFR extreme operation conditions; methods and technologies for obtaining LFR specific fuel matrix; exploratory experiments for obtaining Vanadium-based refractory alloy V-4Cr-4Ti; identification and characterization of materials used for LFR steam generators; materials candidates for LFR specific fuel cladding;
    • Thermo-mechanical testing of materials used for LFRs: developing the concept for materials thermo-mechanical testing; installation for thermo-mechanical testing in molten Lead (project);
    • Studies addressing the irradiation effects on the materials candidates for LFRs: modification of V-Cr-Ti and Molybdenum alloys microstructure due to irradiation; modification of Vanadium-based refractory alloys mechanical properties due to irradiation; material defects in metals and metallic alloys induced by irradiation at fast neutrons very high fluencies;
    • Studies on Pb utilization in LFRs: technological aspects; corrosive interactions between the materials candidates for reactor vessel and Pb cooling agent; Lead chemical behavior in LFR's specific operation conditions; corrosion of the materials candidates for fuel cladding in LFR's specific operation conditions; methods for obtaining the protective layers on LFR's components;
    • Study on methods used for the separation of Polonium resulting from LFR's operation; criteria for selection of methods used for Po separation from LFR's cooling agent;
    • Synthesizing formula and basic properties relevant for developing techniques of ultrasonic measurements in heavy liquid metals; investigation of the acoustic parameters of the liquid metal by the pulse-eco method
  • Nanostructured complex materials and nanotechnology for Advanced Systems of the Nuclear Energy production(ASNE):
    • Evaluation and integration of resources existing in the institute to be used for researches applied in Nanostructured complex materials and nanotechnologies for Advanced Systems for Nuclear Energy production
    • Development of new techniques for surface engineering;
    • Development of new methods for microscopic characterization of the superficial structure developed on materials of interest for nuclear energy;
    • Evaluation of the institute's existing potential and additional resources needed for carrying-out the research activities in the field of surface science, related to obtaining and evaluating nuclear materials of interest for Lead cooled fast reactors;
    • Developing a database for the XPS characterization of structures of interest in surface engineering research in order to support the process of obtaining of structural materials resistant to LFR's specific operation conditions;
    • Assessment of the behavior in LFR's specific operation conditions for some materials samples treated by surface engineering techniques using the facilities offered by the LECOTELO testing installation;
    • Development of the concept "Intelligent processing system for obtaining advanced materials by surface electrochemical engineering techniques"
  • Physics and thermo-hydraulic studies, assimilation and development of technologies and infrastructure for advanced reactors:
    • Assessment of the EPR reactor core characteristics using WIMS-DRAGON-DIREN codes;
    • Studies corresponding to European research projects (ELSY, LEADER) for LFR: Monte Carlo neutronic analyses for LFR configurations; Monte Carlo shielding computations for ELSY configuration; Monte Carlo simulations for the design of the LFR reactor core (LEADER concept); DPA (displacements/atom) and activation computations for ALFRED components (LEADER project) using MCNP/ MCNPX, FISPAC codes;
    • Analysis of the behavior in fast neutron flux for some structural materials candidates for LFR (European research projects FP7: MATTER, SEARCH);
    • Testing installation for the Lead pumps corrosion, LECOTELO: preparation, construction and operation of installations for heavy liquid metals technology (collaboration with SCK-CEN MOL, Belgium); installation's general thermo-hydraulic characterization in different operation regimes; realization of the data acquisition and control software needed installation needed commissioning; LECOTELO execution project; manufacturing installations components, conservation of components for installation; tightness tests for welding and sealing surfaces; installation assembling and preparation for commissioning tests; installation testing in various operation regimes with H2O as working fluid;
    • Reactor physics analyses, specific computer codes, neutronic analyses for LFRs: synthesis of reactor physics aspects specific for LFRs; ERANOS code installation and documentation on the code's options; analysis of the available methodologies for LFR neutronic characterization using ERANOS code; investigation on the possibility to perform neutronic calculus for a LFR fuel cell using ERANOS code; preliminary neutronic calculus for a LFR fuel assembly using ERANOS code; study on the present situation regarding the nuclear data used in neutronic computations for LFR;
    • Thermo-hydraulic analyses and CFD studies (Computational Fluid Dynamics) for LFRs: synthesis of thermo-hydraulics aspects characterizing LFRs; CFD study on differential debitmeters (Nozzle, Ventury, Orifice) from the LECOTELO loop; establishing the operational parameters for electromagnetic debitmeter from testing loop; preliminary CFD analyses for the main temperature exchanger from the corrosion testing installation; thermo-hydraulic analysis through CFD methods for the fluid flow in the corrosion testing vessel and in the filling-draining vessel from the corrosion testing installation;
    • Studies of nuclear safety for LFR reactors: aspects of probabilistic assessment for the nuclear safety of Gen IV fast reactors; LFR's nuclear safety characteristics; identification of structures, systems and components for the development of probabilistic analysis applied to advanced reactors LFR; preliminary studies on the initiation events and accident sequences specific to LFRs; PSA analyses for process/security systems from the LFR configuration -systems configurations, specific codification and case studies; problems in the authorizing process of ALFRED demonstrator;
    • Analyses regarding the spent fuel issues specific to LFRs: investigation on the evaluation methodologies of the isotopic inventory when unloading the spent nuclear fuel from the LFR core; analysis of the assessment methodologies of the characteristic parameters of the spent fuel specific to LFR; Pb implications on the storage of the radioactive waste specific to LFR; impact assessment of the ALFRED project on the geological disposal of the radioactive waste;
    • Control problem applied to LFRs: dynamics and control studies; preliminary concept for the architecture of the control system; specifications regarding the specific instrumentation for the reactor core and the primary cooling circuit;
    • Innovative solutions for enhancing the security of advanced nuclear reactors to earthquakes without affecting the physical and technological aspects imposed by the reactors performances

Contact: Dr. Elena Daniela GUGIU; e-mail: daniela.gugiu@nuclear.ro

Last modified: 18-03-2015.


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