Nuclear Safety Research Joint Projects
Ongoing
Halden Reactor, figure source IFE

One of the major achievements of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is the knowledge it has helped to generate through the organisation of joint international research projects. Such projects, primarily in the area of nuclear safety, enable interested countries, on a cost-sharing basis, to pursue research or the sharing of data with respect to areas or issues of high nuclear safety relevance.

The primary motivation for Joint Safety Research Projects is to support the safe operation of nuclear installations. Typical safety research projects include:

  • The conduct of a set of experiments that addresses a safety issue and closes a safety knowledge gap;
  • The creation and maintenance of a shared database of operating experience that can be used to identify adverse trends and good practises; or
  • The exchange of experimental information and modelling results to better understand safety-related phenomenology.

These Joint Safety Research Projects, while distinct from the programme of work executed through the NEA Standing Technical Committees, have been of particular interest to the members of the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), and have complemented the CSNI’s programme of safety research activities. Joint Safety Research Projects principles and benefits are described in the below video and in the brochure Guidance and Principles for the Initiation and Conduct of Joint Safety Research Projects

 

In addition to addressing important safety issues, Joint Safety Research Projects have also contributed to the preservation and operation of essential research facilities and capabilities. Over the past two decades, the CSNI has conducted reviews of the status of essential research facilities and capabilities, and Joint Safety Research Projects have been established to support continued availability and operation of key facilities including the maintenance of the human resources needed to conduct high quality experimental research. The latest such review is available in the report Nuclear Safety Research Support Facilities for Existing and Advanced Reactors: 2021 Update.

Joint Safety Research Projects also contribute to the development and preservation of technical capability. Together with experts, students or young professionals are also involved in projects and benefit from the sharing of knowledge and different approaches. Furthermore, participants are encouraged to use staff visits and assignments for the transfer and further development of knowledge and capability.

One of the main purposes of the Joint Safety Research Projects is the reduction or closure of knowledge gaps by obtaining unique and high-quality experimental data whose production often require significant financial and in-kind investments from the involved Parties. Special attention is paid to ensure long-term availability and usability of the received information. This is why, the project partners are asked to consider the preservation of information from the beginning and to develop a retention plan for the project information. Recognising the shared responsibility and benefits of nuclear safety, the results of Joint Safety Research Projects are generally made available after a non-disclosure period (typically three years) following the completion of a project. Once the non-disclosure period expires, the results are made available, upon request to the NEA Data Bank (list of available projects data packages), to individuals with a professional affiliation to the NEA member countries organisations.

Over the years, close to 50 joint safety research projects have been completed (Figure 1) with wide participation of both NEA member countries and non-NEA member countries (Figure 2).

Countries have benefitted from the output of joint projects for a number of decades. This is particularly true in the area of safety research where the completed projects have addressed a wide range of high-priority safety issues (NEA Nuclear Safety Research Joint projects list objectives) in different technical areas (Figure 3, complete list of Nuclear Safety Research Projects provided below) and helped preserve key safety research capability.

Accomplishments of the international community over the last four decades, through the successfully completed nuclear safety projects, have been reviewed in January 2023 during the Nuclear Safety Research Joint Projects Week webinar. The week was also the occasion to discuss how the established framework, research platforms, and networks could support future developments in the nuclear energy sector, thereby facilitating innovation and greater harmonisation.

Contact

Didier JACQUEMAIN

 

Nuclear Safety Research Projects

Nuclear fuel safety projects

HALDEN, Halden Reactor Project (1958-present), Fuel and Material part, current mandate 2021-2023

CIP, Cabri Water Loop International Project (2000-present), current mandate (2000-2026)

PAKS, OECD-IAEA Paks Fuel Project (2004-2007), completed

SCIP, Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project (2004-2009), completed

SCIP-2, SCIP Phase 2 (2009-2014), completed

SCIP-3, SCIP Phase 3 (2014-2019), completed

SCIP-4, SCIP Phase 4 (2019-present), current mandate 2019-2024

SFP, Sandia Fuel Project (2009-2012), completed

QUENCH-ATF (2021-present), current mandate 2021-2025

FIDES-II (2022-present), current mandate 2022-2024

FIDES INCA (2022-present), current mandate 2022-2024

FIDES P2M (2022-present), current mandate 2022-2024

FIDES HERA (2022-present), current mandate 2022-2024

FIDES INCREASE (2022-present), current mandate 2022-2024

FIDES LOCA MIR (2021-present), current mandate 2021-2024

Primary and secondary circuit thermal-hydraulics projects

LOFT, Loss-of-Fluid Test Project (1983-1989), completed

SETH, SESAR Thermal-hydraulics Project (2001-2006), completed

PSB-VVER Project (2003-2008), completed

PKL, Primärkreislauf-Versuchsanlage PKL facility Project (2004-2007), completed

PKL-2, PKL Phase 2 Project (2008-2011), completed

PKL-3, PKL Phase 2 Project (2012-2016), completed

PKL-4, PKL Phase 2 Project (2016-2020), completed

ETHARINUS, Experimental Thermal Hydraulics for Analysis, Research and Innovations in NUclear Safety Project (2020-current), current mandate 2020-2024

ROSA, Rig of Safety Assessment Project (2005-2009), completed

ROSA-2, ROSA Phase 2 Project (2009-2012), completed

ATLAS, ATLAS Project (2014-2017), completed

ATLAS-2, ATLAS Phase 2 Project (2017-2020), completed

ATLAS-3, ATLAS Phase 3 Project (2021-current), current mandate 2021-2024

RBHT, Rod Bundle Heat Transfer Project (2019-2022), completed

RBHT-II, Rod Bundle Heat Transfer Project (2023-present), current mandate 2023-2026

Containment thermal-hydraulics, systems and hydrogen risk management

BUBCON, Bubbler Condenser Project (2001-2002), completed

THAI, Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols, Iodine Project (2007-2009), completed

THAI-2, Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols, Iodine-Phase 2 Project (2011-2014), completed

THAI-3, Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols, Iodine-Phase 3 Project (2016-2019), completed

THEMIS, THAI Experiments on Mitigation measures and source term issues to support analysis and further Improvement of Severe accident management measures Project (2020-current), current mandate 2020-2024

SETH, SESAR Thermal-hydraulics Project (2001-2006), completed, maintaining TH facilities

SETH-2, SETH Phase 2 Project (2007-2010), completed

HYMERES, HYdrogen Mitigation Experiments for REactor Safety Project (2013-2016), completed

HYMERES-2, HYMERES Phase 2 Project (2017-2020), completed

PANDA, PANDA experiments addressing complex safety issues for current water reactors and small modular reactors (2021-current), current mandate 2021-2025

Severe accident projects

Accident progression and melt coolability in-vessel and ex-vessel

RASPLAV project (1994-2000), completed

OLHF, OECD Sandia Lower Head Failure Project (1998-2002), completed

MASCA, Material Scaling Project (2000-2003), completed

MASCA-2, MASCA Phase 2 Project (2003-2007), completed

SERENA, Steam Explosion Resolution for Nuclear Applications Project (2007-2012), completed

MCCI, Melt Coolability and Concrete Interaction Project (2002-2005), completed

MCCI-2, MCCI Phase 2 Project (2006-2010), completed

ROSAU, Reduction of Severe Accident Uncertainties Project (2019-current), current mandate 2019-2024

Source term projects

LOFT, Loss-of-Fluid Test Project (1983-1989), completed

BIP, Behaviour of Iodine Project (2007-2011), completed

BIP-2, BIP Phase 2 Project (2011-2014), completed

BIP-3, BIP Phase 3 Project (2016-2018), completed

THAI, Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols, Iodine Project (2007-2009), completed

THAI-2, Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols, Iodine-Phase 2 Project (2011-2014), completed

THAI-3, Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols, Iodine-Phase 3 Project (2016-2019), completed

THEMIS, THAI Experiments on Mitigation measures and source term issues to support analysis and further Improvement of Severe accident management measures Project (2020-current), current mandate 2020-2024

STEM, Source Term Evaluation and Mitigation Project (2011-2015), completed

STEM-2, STEM Phase 2 Project (2016-2019), completed

ESTER, Experiments on Source Term for delayed releases Project (2020-current), current mandate 2020-2024

Major accidents (TMI-2 and Fukushima-Daiichi) projects

TMI-VIP, TMI-2 Vessel Investigation Project (1988-1993), completed

BSAF, the OECD-NEA Benchmark Study of the Accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station Project (2012-2015), completed

BSAF-2, BSAF Phase 2 Project (2016-2018), completed

PreADES, Preparatory Study on Fuel Debris Project (2017-2021), completed

ARC-F, Analysis of Information from Reactor Buildings and Containment vessels of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Project (2019-2022), completed

TCOFF, Thermodynamic Characterization Of Fuel debris and Fission products based on scenario analysis of severe accident progression at Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station Project (2017-2020), completed

TCOFF-2, TCOFF Phase 2 Project (2022-current), current mandate 2022-2025

FACE, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident Information Collection and Evaluation Project (2022-current), current mandate 2022-2025

Material ageing projects and events databases projects

HALDEN, Halden Reactor Project – material ageing part (1958-present), current mandate 2021-2023

SMILE, Studsvik Material Integrity Life Extension Project (2021-current), current mandate 2021-2025

SCAP, Stress Corrosion Cracking and Cable Ageing Project (2006-2010), completed, integrated in CODAP

CADAK, Cable Ageing Data and Knowledge Project (2011-2014), completed

CODAP, Component Operational Experience, Degradation and Ageing Programme (2011-current), current mandate 2021-2023

COMPSIS, Computer-based Systems Important to Safety Project (2006-2011), completed, integrated in ICDE

ICDE, International Common-cause Failure Data Exchange Project (1994-current), current mandate 2023-2026

OPDE, Piping Failure Data Exchange Project (2002-2011), integrated in CODAP  

Fire research projects (experimental and fire events database)

PRISME, Fire Propagation in Elementary, Multi-room Scenarios Project (2006-2011), completed

PRISME-2 Project (2011-2016), completed

PRISME-3 Project (2017-2022), completed

FAIR, Fire Risk Assessment through Innovative Research Project (2013-current), current mandate 2023-2026

HEAF, High Energy Arcing Fault Events (2012-2017), completed

HEAF-2, HEAF Phase 2 (2018-current), current mandate 2018-2024

FIRE, Fire Incidents Records Exchange Project (2002-current), current mandate 2023-2025

Human and organisational aspects of safety

PLASMA, Plant Safety Monitoring and Assessment System Project for VVERs (1998-2000), completed

HALDEN Reactor Project, Man Technology Organization part (till 2020), Halden HTO since 2021

HALDEN HTO, Halden Human, Technology, Organization Project (2021-current), current mandate 2021-2023

High Temperature Gas Reactor projects

DRAGON, DRAGON HTGR Reactor Project (1958-1975), completed

LOFC, Loss of Forced Coolant Project (2011-present), current mandate 2011-2024

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