CORDIS - EU research results

Nuclear plant life prediction.


European organisations have been at the forefront in developing advanced plant life management methodologies, mainly at national level. Their overall impact has been reduced by fragmentation. NULIFE Network of Excellence will work over a 5-year period to create a single organisation structure in the form of a Virtual Institute, capable of providing harmonised R&D at European level to the nuclear power industry and the related safety authorities in the area of lifetime evaluation and management methods for structural components. The demand for such technology is driven by the need to maintain safety margins of nuclear power plants over extended operational lifetimes. NULIFE is an innovative approach to coordinate fragmented European R&D in this complex, multidisciplinary area, which requires a complete understanding of how the interaction between ageing mechanisms, environmental effects and loadings impacts safety relevant systems, structures and components. The Network's strategy is based on a Joint Programme of Activities comprised of carefully selected Work Packages, which will follow a step-wise process to create an integrated long-standing research environment to develop qualified procedures and best practices applicable to all reactors in operation in EU member, Associated and Candidate States. An Executive Group consisting of WP leader organisations will have responsibility for implementing the Network integration strategy and creating a Virtual Institute. Activities will be performed by Expert Groups and an Infrastructure Group. An End-User Group, comprising representatives of utilities and manufacturing industry, will prioritise the activities. This, together with strong links to safety authorities, will ensure a customer-driven programme, which can be sustained beyond the 5-year period of EC financial support, based on the created Virtual Institute, recognised as a worldwide pole of excellence in the field of plant life assessment and management.

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