Title: The EuropeanResearch on Severe Accidents inGeneration-II and -III Nuclear Power Plants
Citation: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS vol. 2012 no. Article ID 686945 p. 1-12
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC69382
ISSN: 1687-6075
URI: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2012/686945/
DOI: 10.1155/2012/686945
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Forty-three organisations from 22 countries network their capacities of research in SARNET (Severe Accidents Research NETwork of excellence) to resolve the most important remaining uncertainties and safety issues on severe accidents (SA) in existing and future water-cooled nuclear power plants (NPP). After a first project in the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) of the European Commission, the SARNET2 project started in April 2009 for 4 years in the FP7 frame. It includes a large majority of European actors involved in SA research plus a few important non-European ones. At mid-term of the project, some main outcomes of joint research done by the network members on the highest priority issues are presented. The Joint Programme of Activities concerns performance of new experiments, joint analysis of the results of past or new experiments, elaboration of physical models, in order to achieve a common understanding of the physical phenomena. There is a significant progress on simulation of in-vessel core coolability, with 2D/3D simulation codes, focussing on the enhanced coolability of debris beds by lateral water inflow, especially via the lower regions. These effects are also investigated by several multi-dimensional experimental programmes such as PRELUDE/PEARL. About molten-corium-concrete-interaction, a better understanding of anisotropic ablation observed in experiments has been reached, notably through new experiments using real materials (such as VULCANO) or simulant materials, and through improved modelling in simulation codes. Several benchmarks on containment phenomena were launched among simulation codes (Lumped-Parameter or Computational Fluid Dynamics) on different physical phenomena such as water spray, hydrogen combustion, steam condensation, plus a theoretical benchmark on a generic NPP containment including the most important components. Progress has been made on source term issues, by understanding the volatile iodine formation from painted surfaces and the oxidation of gaseous iodine species in the containment atmosphere, through new dedicated experiments and models. As a central tool for integration of research, the ASTEC integral computer code, jointly developed by IRSN and GRS to predict NPP behaviour during a postulated SA, capitalizes in terms of models the knowledge produced in the network. The main features of the version ASTEC V2.0rev1 are summarized and a few validation results are presented. For dissemination of knowledge in SA area, an educational 1-week course was organized in January 2011, and the next one is planned mid-2012 for staff in regulatory authorities, utilities or NPPs. Mobility between the European partners of young researchers or master/PhD students is being promoted. An important action is the periodic organization of the European Review Meeting on Severe Accident Research (ERMSAR) that has become one of the major worldwide conferences on SA research.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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