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Artificial intelligence for the Simulation of Severe AccidentS

Project description

Extending nuclear simulators to severe accidents

Nuclear power plant simulators are versatile tools supporting the training of operators as well as the design of reactors and the assessment of their safety. However, very few simulators in the world can model reactor meltdown accidents. The EU-funded ASSAS project will develop a proof-of-concept for a severe accident simulator based on ASTEC (Accident Source Term Evaluation Code). It will show the main phenomena occurring during an accident through an interactive graphical user interface. Artificial intelligence and other advanced programming methods will be used to drastically improve the performance of ASTEC and other severe accident codes to achieve at least a real-time execution, as required for an effective simulation experience.


The ASSAS project aims at developing a proof-of-concept SA (severe accident) simulator based on ASTEC (Accident Source Term Evaluation Code).
The prototype basic-principle simulator will model a simplified generic Western-type pressurized light water reactor (PWR). It will have a graphical user interface to control the simulation and visualize the results. It will run in real-time and even much faster for some phases of the accident. The prototype will be able to show the main phenomena occurring during a SA, including in-vessel and ex-vessel phases. It is meant to train students, nuclear energy professionals and non-specialists.
In addition to its direct use, the prototype will demonstrate the feasibility of developing different types of fast-running SA simulators, while keeping the accuracy of the underlying physical models. Thus, different computational solutions will be explored in parallel. Code optimisation and parallelisation will be implemented. Beside these reliable techniques, different machine-learning methods will be tested to develop fast surrogate models. This alternate path is riskier, but it could drastically enhance the performances of the code. A comprehensive review of ASTEC's structure and available algorithms will be performed to define the most relevant modelling strategies, which may include the replacement of specific calculations steps, entire modules of ASTEC or more global surrogate models. Solutions will be explored to extend the models developed for the PWR simulator to other reactor types and SA codes. The training data-base of SA sequences used for machine-learning will be made openly available.
Developing an enhanced version of ASTEC and interfacing it with a commercial simulation environment will make it possible for the industry to develop engineering and full-scale simulators in the future. These can be used to design SA management guidelines, to develop new safety systems and to train operators to use them.


Net EU contribution
€ 458 573,00
92260 Fontenay Aux Roses

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Hauts-de-Seine
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 833 770,00

Participants (12)

Partners (1)