NEA Mandates and Structures

Expert Group on Liquid Metal Technology

Chair(s): Paul SCHUURMANS, Belgium
Secretary:  Stéphanie CORNET
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:30 June 2015
End of mandate:29 June 2021

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document [NEA/SEN/NSC/WPFC(2019)2]


The former Expert Group on Heavy Liquid Metal (HLM) technology was active for several years. Its main objective was to issue a handbook with a collection of theoretical approaches and experimental data in order to deliver recommendations relevant for the design of HLM nuclear systems. After the second version of the handbook was issued, the EGHLM has re-discussed its scope and future related activities. In particular, as suggested by the Working Party on Scientific Issues of the Fuel Cycle (WPFC), it has been decided to include liquid sodium (Na) activities in the future work plan of the expert group. Secondly, the expert group will aim to take the next step in the assessment of available data to bring it closer to application in design, construction and licensing issues on the one hand and operation, in-service inspection, handling and maintenance on the other hand.

Objectives & Scope

Under the guidance of the WPFC, the Expert Group on Liquid Metal Technology (EGLM) will undertake activities, with the goal to "translate" fundamental scientific understanding to application in support of (1) the development of construction codes used for design (design rules); (2) key technical issues for licensing; and (3) recommendations for operation, inspection and handling.

The topical areas and objectives of the expert group are:

The objective for this topical area is to assess the environmental effects relevant for construction standards via a fundamental understanding of materials behaviour (corrosion and mechanical properties in the liquid metals and under irradiation). The possibility of experimental data sharing among participants and analyses is to be investigated.

The objective for this topical area is to answer key technical issues to address radiological impact, operation, handling, maintenance and inspection as relevant for licensing.

The objective for this topical area is to collect and assess experimental data in order to improve knowledge of the environmental conditions for materials and the coolant behaviour.

Working Methods

Two taskforces will be established on Na and HLM. To improve efficiency, the taskforces will meet in parallel. At each meeting, a plenary session will be organised to discuss and compare results in order to identify potential commonalities and synergies.

The activities of the two taskforces are to:


The deliverables of the EGLM will be the following:

Relationship with other bodies

The expert group will liaise closely with other NEA working groups, especially the Expert Group on Innovative Structural Materials (EGISM) and those operating under the guidance and the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) in order to ensure the respective work programmes are complementary and to provide advice and support, where required, and undertake common work, where appropriate. The EGLM will also work in co-operation with the IAEA Nuclear Power Technology Development Section and in particular the Technical Working Group on Fast Reactors (TWG-FR) and with the Sodium Properties and Safe Operation of Experimental Facilities in Support of the Development and Deployment of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors project (NAPRO). Key sources of experimental data to be reviewed include (but are not limited to) output from NAPRO and the Material Database of the European Commission (MatDB).