NFRP-01-2014 - Improved safety design and operation of fission reactors
Specific challenge: The European Union (EU) has a strong leadership in reactor design and operation responding to stringent safety requirements from regulators and seeks to foster convergence of nuclear safety approaches. The EU is also at the forefront of the development of innovative reactor designs with even higher safety characteristics. Today's major research challenge is evidently to reinforce research cooperation on reactor safety at EU level and worldwide.
Scope: At EU level, this reinforced cooperation will, first of all, involve Members States' national research programmes while also taking into account the priorities of the strategic research and innovation agenda of SNETP and NUGENIA. The Euratom funding will be devoted to supporting the continuous improvement of nuclear safety of the existing reactor fleet and to optimising the safety characteristics in the design of future reactors, e.g. by implementation of passive safety features and by increasing the redundancy and diversity or by performing experimental tests and developing advanced simulation tools. The focus will be on actions increasing the knowledge basis on reactor life-time management issues relevant to safety (e.g. integrity of structural components, containment, irradiation and corrosion issues, …), as well as on those promoting safety culture and providing guidance for severe accident management (especially on issues arising after the Fukushima accident e.g. safety of fuel storage, hydrogen explosion, containment behaviour, corium/debris coolability and interactions, …). The Euratom funding will be dedicated to topics where national programme priorities converge and where European added value is obvious and maximised. International cooperation activities would be beneficial in this area and will be considered during evaluation.
Expected impact: In the short term, this action will provide the knowledge basis for developing robust national and EU policies in the field of nuclear reactor safety, while also helping interacting with stakeholders and civil society on nuclear reactor safety. In the medium term this research will further improve the safety of nuclear reactors in Europe and worldwide through increased resistance of safety relevant equipment and better safety culture. It will also reinforce the EU strong leadership in reactor design and operation responding to stringent safety requirements from regulators and seek to foster European cooperation on nuclear safety approaches. In so doing, the EU will remain at the forefront of the development of innovative reactor designs with even higher safety characteristics.
Type of action: Research and innovation actions.
Additional information: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom of between EUR 3 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
 Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform
 Nuclear Generation II and III Association