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Safety Research and Innovation for advanced nuclear systems


This action is aimed at the development and technical assessment of safety improvements of Generation-IV systems and their supporting reactor islands, as identified by the SNETP European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative and the GIF R&D outlook[[]]. This can include inter alia the study, modelling and numerical simulation, verification, validation and licensing aspects of core safety parameters, thermal-hydraulics of coolants and liquid fuels, compatibility of structural materials and components with coolants or liquid fuels, reliability of automatic and passive shutdown systems, diversified residual heat removal systems, improved strategy of confinement modes, mitigation of severe accident behaviour, instrumentation for safety, in-service inspection and repair of safety-related components, as well as seismic studies. Safety of different fuel and fuel cycle options is within scope, including MOX driver fuel, multiple recycling of plutonium and use of low-enriched uranium. These safety improvements will need to be reviewed by the EU scientific community. Whenever needed, standardisation bodies at national and EU levels might be involved, in view of building up and updating EU technical code and standards for Generation-IV systems to be used as the reference to demonstrate any compliance with the Euratom Nuclear Safety Directive.

At least 5% of the total action budget must be dedicated to Education and Training activities for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and trainees supported through the action. (see Conditions for the Call- Eligibility and admissibility conditions).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the Euratom Programme up to EUR 3.8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Advanced nuclear systems for increased sustainability and first Generation-IV reactors are expected to be fully operational around the world in coming decades. In the meantime, all new concepts and designs currently under development, both in Europe and worldwide, will need to demonstrate compliance with evolving and ever more stringent safety requirements. In this context, a significant increase in the level of safety is expected to be demonstrated. Advanced designs should show increased resilience to severe accidents , while also offering major advantages in terms of one or more of: use of uranium resource, reduction of high-level waste production and increased proliferation resistance. This activity will build on the experiences gained within the EU, whilst ensuring that research and technical expertise on nuclear safety of Generation-IV reactors, including assessment of safety features, is shared effectively at EU level. It will also take into account all relevant orientations promoted in the framework of the Generation-IV International Forum (GIF) to fulfil the commitment of Euratom.

This action is to draw on the unique expertise and operational feedback experience gained by the EU in Generation-IV technologies, to place the EU at the forefront of the development of safety standards for this new generation of reactors, thereby helping EU safety standards to be adopted worldwide. This will ensure any deployment of this next generation of reactors in conformity with the recognised stringent European safety standards whilst also boosting EU technological and industrial competitiveness.