Experimental thermal-hydraulics play a crucial role in advancing nuclear safety by providing valuable insights into the behavior of fluids and heat transfer within nuclear reactors.
The Nuclear Energy Agency’s (NEA) Experimental Thermal-Hydraulics for Analysis, Research and Innovations in Nuclear Safety (ETHARINUS) project aims to investigate phenomena where the knowledge base for safety assessment is not sufficiently developed. Additionally, the project aims to provide qualified data for thermal-hydraulics code model development and validation. This research helps with the advancement of analysis to improve of key safety issues in nuclear reactors.
The 6th meeting of the Program Review Group (PRG) and Management Board (MB) was recently hosted over two days, with around 50 experts from 13 countries coming together at CEA in Saclay, France on 12-14 June 2023.
The meeting participants had the opportunity to visit the CEA labs and to observe the activities of the CATHARE team, including 3D visualizations of the experiments and the experimental facilities.
During the meeting, the group discussed several activities related to the experiment being performed at the Primärkreislauf-Versuchsanlage Primary Coolant Loop Test Facility (PKL), a facility owned and operated by Framatome GmbH in Erlangen, Germany. These topic activities included:
- Current steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) experiments;
- Capabilities of system codes to simulate the relevant phenomena associated with cool-down transient under extended loss-of-AC-power condition by means of a passive heat removal system;
- New International Standard Problem (ISP) test organised by the Working Group on Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA), to investigate the effectiveness of procedures on primary depressurization and core cooling under simultaneous multiple failures.
Photo: PKL facility - FRAMATOME, Germany
The participants also agreed on the organisation of a Joint Workshop on Analytical Activities related to ATLAS3 and ETHARINUS projects, which will be held in November at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. The intention of the workshop will be to report on the progress in the area of thermal-hydraulic safety issues and accident management issues.
These projects and workshops are important for advancing the improved safety around the design, construction, and operation of experimental facilities which can produce the results and data required to improve the safety of nuclear reactors.
Visit this link for more information on the NEA's work on nuclear safety research.