Innovation for Generation II and III reactors
Innovation actions should take advantage of the recent developments in technology to contribute to safe operation of EU NPPs within a competitive environment. They may also target increased safety levels, in line with the principle of continuous improvement, as required by the Nuclear Safety Directive, including flexible operation. ""Qualification"" of new/modern tools, components or predictive methods and processes for nuclear applications could be also addressed.
The early involvement of regulators appears necessary for fast deployment of innovative technologies. Projects submitted under this topic are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 5 to 7 (see General Annex F) and demonstrate European added-value.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom Programme up to EUR 3.0 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Most of the nuclear power plants (NPPs) in operation in Europe are in the second part of their operational life. They have been designed with the technological knowledge established 30 to 40 years ago. Some of them might continue operating for a few more decades. In addition, they need to comply with increased safety requirements as defined by the Nuclear Safety Directive. It is therefore the right moment to promote implementation of the currently available innovative technology knowledge to the benefit of the safety of the Gen II nuclear reactors in operation but also to the Gen III and future nuclear systems. Innovative fuels, new materials and manufacturing processes, passive safety systems, on-line monitoring and analysis for early detection of abnormal behaviour, non-destructive methods for detection of embrittlement, scientific data sciences, machine learning, artificial intelligence, digitalisation and other new technological possibilities from the non-nuclear industry could support modernisation, optimisation and efficient implementation of the new safety requirements of the European nuclear industry supply chain.
This action is expected to deliver new, innovative products, processes, methods or services, supporting increased nuclear safety for a safe, efficient and competitive European nuclear industry.