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Natural Circulation and Stability Performance of BWRs (NACUSP), Summary of Final Report

Project ID: FIKS-CT-2000-00041
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


The overall objective of the NACUSP project is to improve the economics of operating and future natural-circulation nuclear power plants (NPP) through improved operational flexibility, enhanced availability, and increased confidence levels on the safety margins regarding the stability issue in boiling-water reactors (BWRs).
Caused by the feedback between the thermo-hydraulics and neutronics, oscillations of power and mass flow may occur in the core region of natural-circulation BWRs. The NACUSP project addresses this stability issue by expanding the basic understanding of the phenomena through a well structured testing and analysis programme. Data from experimental facilities, plant data and the validation of computer codes contributed to the overall objective of NACUSP project. Existing computer codes are validated against experimental data from test facilities and real plant data from BWRs in operation. Based on the comparison of experimental and simulation data, guidelines and recommendations are established. The guidelines, recommendations and improved computer codes are communicated with the operators and designers to improve the safety level and economics of existing and future NPPs.
Next to the scientific/technological objectives, the NACUSP programme has also socioeconomic objectives. Nuclear power offers the possibility of electricity production without emission of greenhouse gases and, consequently, has a positive effect on the environment. Such a potential is, however, not used at present because of public concerns about the safety of NPPs and the risk of radioactive pollution. The results and publications of the technical achievements of the NACUSP project will reduce the public concern about nuclear energy.

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