Title: RAPHAEL: The European Union's (Very) High Temperature Reactor Technology Project
Other Contributors: FUETTERER MICHAEL
Citation: The 2006 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP'06)
Publisher: American Nuclear Society
Publication Year: 2005
JRC N°: JRC31121
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC31121
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In April 2005, as part of its 6th Framework Programme, the European Union has started a new 4-year Integrated Project on Very High Temperature Reactors (RAPHAEL: Reactor for Process Heat and Electricity). The European Commission together with the more than 30 participating companies, R&D organizations and universities from different European countries finance the project together. The project was approved because of its ambitious technical objectives and its value for education and communication. Such a reactor was found to have a large potential in terms of safety (inherent safety features), environmental impact (robust fuel with no significant radioactive release), sustainability (high efficiency, potential suitability for various fuel cycles), and economics (simplifications arising from safety features). After the successful performance of related projects in the EU’s 5th Framework Programme which included amongst others the recovery of some of the past German experience and the re-establishment of important areas of R&D in Europe, RAPHAEL focuses now on remaining key technology needs for an industrial VHTR deployment, both specific to very high temperature and generic to all types of modular HTR with emphasis on combined process heat and electricity generation. Advanced technologies are explored in order to achieve the challenging performances required for a VHTR (900-1000°C, up to 200 GWd/tHM). RAPHAEL is structured in a similar way as the corresponding GIF VHTR projects: • Material selection and qualification for very high temperature components, graphite internals and vessel; • Component development, in particular the intermediate heat exchanger; • Fuel tests up to very high temperature and burn-up including modeling, safety tests to qualify the fuel in accidental conditions, fabrication of advanced fuel with potentially higher performance, and behavior of irradiated fuel in representative disposal conditions; • Code qualification for reactor physics and safety analysis through comparison with experimental data; • Adaptation of the safety approach to the VHTR specifics; • System integration to evaluate the feasibility and performance of the entire reactor; • Education and communication to foster understanding of the growing needs for nuclear power in general and for the technology of the VHTR in particular. RAPHAEL together with additional national contributions to this technology relies on strong links with related EU projects which are underway or proposed, e.g. on high temperature materials, waste management (graphite and fuel), hydrogen production, GFR technology and others. The well-established European High Temperature Reactor Technology Network HTR-TN serves as the platform for the coordination of the various projects. Significant parts of RAPHAEL may be shared with the signatories of the GIF VHTR projects.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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