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Continually improving safety and reliability of Generation II and III reactors


Safety and reliability improvements are to be sought in a number of areas, with due consideration to the NUGENIA roadmap. The action should address the remaining technology gaps and encompass experiments as well as numerical simulations. It should focus on the integrity of structural components in ageing reactors, the knowledge basis for lifetime management of the reactor islands and the management of severe accidents. This can involve inter alia: probabilistic safety assessment, uncertainty analyses, the identification and understanding of deterioration mechanisms, the assessment of the need for and feasibility of retrofitted safety systems, the development of tools to establish safety cases for Long Term Operation, study of the prevention of hydrogen production, the improved modelling of reactor behaviour, the methodology of seismic risk assessment, the evaluation of accident-tolerant fuel, the improved assessment of fire risks and the safety demonstration of digital I&C equipment and their practical implementation. All aspects of meltdown, as a key issue of Generation-II and -III reactors, are also considered to be in scope. Results obtained as part of this action should be made public. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from Euratom of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Proposals for topics NFRP 1 to 5 will be ranked in a single ranking list.

A number of current Generation II reactors should continue operating for a few decades and Generation III should still be in operation one century from now. The objective of this action is to complement, where needed, earlier investment in research regarding the safety and reliability of Generation II and III reactors, with particular attention to the new requirements of the amended Nuclear Safety Directive (Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom of 8 July 2014 amending the Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations).

This action will help industrial stakeholders to develop efficient solutions in response to the new requirements of the amended Nuclear Safety Directive. It will result in reinforcement of the safety features of the Generation-II and -III EU nuclear reactor fleet. This should improve the market profile of EU-based reactor designs and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU nuclear sector through promoting an excellent level of safety in response to market requirements and trends.