atw - October 2017

EURATOM Achievements and Challenges
Sustainable Operations in Nuclear Research Reactors
Seismic Hazard Assessment for a Research Reactor
Nuclear Waste Management in South Korea
AMNT 2017: Workshop Preserving Competence in Nuclear Technology

GAO Report and EDF Cost Revisions – Debate on Hinkley Point C


The announcement by French state-controlled utility EDF that it has added £ 1.5 bn (€ 1.7 bn, $ 1.9 bn) to its estimated costs for two new reactors at Hinkley Point C, has led to questions about whether the government should rethink the project, with some politicians calling for it to be abandoned. EDF’s announcement came less than two weeks after a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the government’s deal for the two EPR units, now estimated to be costing £ 19.6 bn (€ 22.3 bn, $ 25.5 bn), has locked consumers into a risky and expensive project with uncertain strategic and economic benefits.  The UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), in a report prepared before the EDF announcement, had already said the requirement to improve the predictability and affordability of new nuclear power plants has never been stronger.

EURATOM Achievements and Challenges in Facilitating Pan-European Infrastructure Collaborative Efforts

Roger Garbil

The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) Research and Training framework programmes are benefiting from a consistent success in pursuing excellence in research and facilitating Pan European collaborative efforts across a broad range of nuclear science and technologies, nuclear fission and radiation protection. To fulfil Euratom R&D programmes keys objectives of maintaining high levels of nuclear knowledge and building a more dynamic and competitive European industry, promotion of Pan-European mobility of researchers are implemented by co-financing transnational access to research infrastructures (RIs) and joint research activities. ‘Euratom Achievements and Challenges’ show the benefits of research efforts in key fields, of building an effective ‘critical mass’, of promoting the creation of ‘centres of excellence’ with an increased support for ‘open access to key research infrastructures’, exploitation of research results, management of knowledge, dissemination and sharing of learning outcomes.

Liability of German Suppliers and Service Providers for Foreign Projects

Christian Raetzke

Main topic is the question of the extent to which German plant constructors, suppliers, engineering consultants, experts or operators expose themselves to liability for the delivery of their products and services abroad. In principle, in almost all nuclear power countries, liability is channelled to the operator; suppliers and service providers are exempted from liability. However, there are conceivable cases in which this principle does not apply. This can occur, for example, if a major accident is assumed to have an impact on neighbouring countries of the country of destination; here, depending on the applicable law, the German supplier or service provider could be ordered to pay for damages. The risk of liability remaining in this way can be reduced if necessary by means of an exemption clause in the supply contract. The regulation of the operator’s recourse to the contractor, insofar as the latter is responsible for the accident, and the – controversial –question of to what extent damage to the plant itself gives rise to claims for damages by the operator against the contractor are also discussed.

Sustainable Operations in Nuclear Research Reactors – A Bibliographical Study

Eduardo Kibrit, Afonso Rodrigues de Aquino, Adriana Marotti de Mello and Paulo Tromboni de Souza Nascimento

Sustainability is gaining prominence in the area of operations management. By means of a bibliographical research, we identified in literature sustainable operations carried out by operating organizations of nuclear research reactors. The methodology applied consisted in gathering material, descriptive analysis, selection of analytical categories and evaluation of the material collected. The collection of material was performed by a search made on academic and nuclear databases, with keywords structured for the subject of the research. The collected material was analysed and analytical categories on the theme sustainable operations were established. The evaluation of the collected material resulted in references accepted for the study, classified according to the pre-established analytical categories. The results were significant. From then on, a theoretical review on the topic under study was structured, based on pre-defined analytical categories. Thus, we were able to identify gaps in the literature and propose new studies on the subject.

Re-assessment of RELAP/SCDAPSIM/MOD3.X Using Historical Integral Experiments

Chris M. Allison and Judith K. Hohorst

The RELAP/SCDAPSIM code, designed to predict the behaviour of reactor systems during normal and accident conditions, is being developed by Innovative Systems Software (ISS) as part of the international SCDAP Development and Training Program (STDP). The ISS developed RELAP/SCDAPSIM uses the publicly available SCDAP/RELAP5 models and correlations developed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in combination with proprietary features developed by ISS and STDP members. Experimental versions contain improved models for LWRs including improved SCDAP models and correlations. This paper summarises and describes the new models that were incorporated into the experimental versions of RELAP/SCDAPSIM along with the extensive assessment and verification activities that are currently underway at ISS and various universities and institutes around the world along with examples of thee assessment results.

Investigating Effects of Near Fault Rupture Directivity on Seismic Hazard Assessment of the Site of Tehran Research Reactor (TRR)

Kamran Sepanloo, Majid Alinejad, Ehsan Bazarchi and Reza Saberi

It is estimated that the occurrence of a majorearthquake in Tehran, Iran, which is not far-fetched, would face the country with a huge amount of collapsed structures, economical losses and fatalities. The issue becomes more important while the site of interest is attributed to the nuclear facilities and any under-estimation in predicting the design ground motion may cause a real disaster. In this study, using calculations coded in MATLAB, PSHA was conducted for the site of TRR. It was concluded that most of the hazard for considered site in a 10000-year period comes from distances lower than 20 km and considering rupture directivity effects of the North Tehran fault, as the nearest seismicity source to considered site, using narrowband method affected the response spectrum significantly. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate the near fault rupture directivity effects into the higher levels of seismic hazard assessment attributed to important sites.

Conventional resin cation exchangers versus EDI for CACE measurement in power plants – Feasibility and practical field results

Manuel Sigrist

The conductivity measurement after a cation exchanger in power plants with steam turbines was introduced soon after 1950 by Larson and Lane. Due to the simple measuring principle, the sensitivity to ionic contaminations and to its high reliability, the conductivity measurement after a cation exchanger (CACE) has become the most commonly used online analytical method in power plants with steam generators. Swan has investigated electro deionisation (EDI) as substitution of the conventional cation exchange resin and has developed a new conductivity instrument using this principle. This paper provides a description of the conventional method for cation conductivity measurements as well as of the new AMI CACE using EDI method.

Nuclear Waste Management and Implication for Geological Disposals in South Korea

Tae Ho Woo and Kyung Bae Chang

The master plan of permanent nuclear waste repository had been published in South Korea. The high-level nuclear waste repository should be availble in 2053. In this study, six possible nuclear waste forms are simulated by Helium ions. The geological repository is comparative easy and cheap considering the international nuclear act of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty (NPT). However, there could be some new technologies of the nuclear waste treatment like the pyroprocessing. Transmutation is another option, which is very expensive with current technology.

AMNT 2017: Workshop Preserving Competence in Nuclear Technology

Wolfgang Steinwarz

On the 19th workshop “Preserving Competence in Nuclear Technology” 17 young scientists presented the results from their thesis work for a diploma, mastership or a PhD covering a broad spectrum of technical areas. This demonstrated again the strong engagement of the younger generation for the nuclear technology and the significant support by the involved German institutions. The jury awarded Thomas Schäfer (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf) with the Siempelkamp Competence Price 2017.

Clean Energy Stakes Too Important for Nuclear to be Blown Off Course

John Shepherd

New figures indicating that offshore wind farms could be built for a record low price in the UK – and produce cheaper electricity than nuclear – sent an initial chill through the nuclear energy industry. Wind lobbyists were quick to trumpet the figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (UK), which were unveiled following a ‘contracts for difference’ auction for subsidies. The spokesperson’s comments were more astonishing than the data that emerged from the report. As the chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), Tom Greatrex, pointed out: “Reports that the cost of future offshore wind projects may fall (if they are constructed) is good news, but as the UK renewable trade body, informed commentators and industry experts have made clear, one technology alone can’t solve the UK’s power challenge.”


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