SNETP FORUM 2020 – Towards innovative R&D in civil nuclear fission

20Dec2019

SNETP FORUM 2020 – Towards innovative R&D in civil nuclear fission

NUGENIA Forum 2020_Banner_V3

The SNETP Forum 2020 will take place on 22-24 April 2020 in Rome, Italy. It is organised by SNETP, its 3 pillars NUGENIA, ESNII and NC2I in collaboration with EERA-JPNM. The Forum will start with a plenary session on 22 April afternoon, followed by 8 technical sessions on the second day. The final plenary session of the third day will be the occasion to wrap up the content of the technical discussions and get to know the outcome of the Young Generation Award Challenge. A number of side meetings are already envisaged: of NUGENIA Technical areas, EERA-JPNM working group, and NC2I Task Force will take place before and after the forum, on 22 April morning and 24 April afternoon. You can register to the event and indicate your participation in the different sessions and meetings by clicking on this link or by filling the form below.

 

The technical programme has been designed by the SNETP Scientific Committee to cover major topics of interest for the nuclear fission R&D stakeholders.

 

TECHNICAL SESSIONS

1. Long term operation and construction
2. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)
3. Fuel development and fuel cycle efficiency
4. Innovative and perspective materials solutions
5. Energy Systems, new applications, economy, licensing
6. Decommissioning and waste treatment
7. Advanced reactor systems
8. Digitalisation – Modelling & Simulation

All participants are invited to present their views and to propose new collaborative project ideas.
If you wish to suggest a presentation for one of the plenary sessions or any of the eight technical sessions, please do not hesitate to contact the SNETP Secretariat.

 

Long term operation and construction:

With a significant number of reactors in Europe approaching the end of their initial design life or already operating beyond their initial design life, issues of long-term operation (LTO) are become more and more important. European R&D&I should support the implementation of LTO with optimal safety and security conditions by providing innovative solutions to improve resistance against external hazards, systems and components reliability, on-line monitoring and predictive tools (modelling and simulations). To maintain if not increase the share of the nuclear in the energy mix, new reactors are currently built or planned to be constructed in the next decade in Europe. These reactors have been designed to last for at least 60 years of operation, with highly digitalised operational systems and high load flexibility. This session intends to discuss new ideas regarding innovative solutions for safe, reliable and competitive operation of NPPs.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs):

New innovative solutions are needed to ensure competitive costs with other energy production technologies and short time construction and implementation in the local systems. Europe needs to broaden the available reactor portfolio to meet national/local specificities. The development of various SMRs, based either on LWR technology or non-water-cooled designs such us gas-, liquid metal or molten-salt-cooled offer the possibility to deploy flexible options for electricity and non-electricity applications. RD&I must support the development of SMRs to make them safe and competitive. This session will be dedicated to the discussion of the innovative solutions to be considered in the design of SMRs.

Fuel development and fuel cycle efficiency:

Industry stakeholders consider that the closure of the cycle, defined as the complete recycling of spent fuel requiring no new supply of natural uranium to produce electricity, is a long-term target for the sustainability of the nuclear industry. A closed cycle for Pu involving multi-recycling could be the first step towards a fully closed cycle. Developing scientific knowledge and expertise on nuclear fuel recycling is paramount. Innovative fuels are also needed to make this recycling possible. Fuel performance codes based on a thorough understanding of the fuel behaviour obtained by experiments and multiscale modelling shall be developed and validated in order to decrease time to market of these fuels. This session will consider all tools and methods to improve fuels and their recycling.

Innovative and perspective materials solutions:

New materials (for example high entropy alloys) or innovative nuclear materials solutions, including advanced manufacturing (additive, …), composite or strengthened materials, coatings or self-healing materials, offer the possibility to prolong component lifetime, decrease costs, improve efficiency and simplify design of nuclear power plants of all types. This session intends to provide examples and stimulate discussion on the most interesting and promising innovative and perspective materials solutions, their development, their characterisation and qualification, and open issues.

Energy Systems, new applications, economy, licensing:

The essential elements of sustainability are economic, social and environmental aspects. Evaluation of these aspects cannot be done in separation from the technology. Accordingly, the LTO of existing fleet is currently by far the most sustainable from economic and even from environmental viewpoint. The new technologies, including new designs, new systems as well as new applications of nuclear should be evaluated from all of these viewpoints. This session will discuss the link between economy and technology enabling the introduction of new systems together with new applications of nuclear energy.

Decommissioning and waste treatment:

Safety concerns all phases of the life of a nuclear installation. Decommissioning is an area in which Europe must make progress in terms of research, innovation and standards to enable its industry to master the end of life of its nuclear installations. Characterisation, conditioning and minimisation of the produced waste during the dismantling phase is of paramount importance for the acceptability of nuclear and essential to ensure a safe and economically competitive storage before disposal. This session will focus on the R&D&I gaps concerning waste management and decommissioning of research and commercial nuclear power plants.

Advanced reactor systems:

The long-term sustainability of nuclear energy will be ensured by GEN IV reactors and closing of the fuel cycle to improve reactor economics while minimising the nuclear waste. GEN IV fast neutron reactors and Accelerator Driven Systems are also offering a transmutation solution. This requires a large R&D programme and research facilities to support development, design and licensing of the needed prototypes. This session will examine the technologies needed to overcome the barriers for the implementation of GEN IV and ADS systems.

Digitalisation – Modelling & Simulation:

The digital transformation has become a cross-cutting trend to all industrial sectors and nuclear is no exception to this. Therefore, it is essential to build a European digital integration bench in order to achieve a digital twin such as a Digital Nuclear Reactor. Concerted R&D&I work is essential to make progress in terms of multi-physics modelling and simulation, High Performance Computing, data analysis and analytics, visualisation, Virtual Reality, advanced instrumentation (e.g. Internet Of things) and I&C. This session will discuss all relevant new digital and modelling methods and tools to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of nuclear systems.

For each of these topics, experts are invited to present their views and to propose new collaborative project ideas.

Context
The SNETP Association (AISBL – international association) emerged from a formal transformation of the NUGENIA AISBL (established in 2011) and the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP) created in 2007 under the auspices of the European Commission. The decision was made in spring 2019 at the SNETP and NUGENIA General Assembly and the change was recognised by the Belgian administration in Autumn 2019. The process allowed SNETP to acquire a legal status while representig its 3 pillars – NUGENIA, ESNII and NC2I. In 2019, SNETP is composed of 130 members from 25 countries, gathering nuclear power plant operators with research centres, nuclear industry, academia, SMEs and technical support organisations. The SNETP community has been supporting the construction and the implementation of R&D programmes since 2007.

European Technology Platforms (ETPs), such as SNETP, are industry-led stakeholder fora recognised by the European Commission as key players in driving innovation, knowledge transfer and European competitiveness. Among their numerous activities, they develop research and innovation agendas supported by private and public funding for an implementation at EU but also national levels.

The EERA-JPNM (Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials) was created in 2010 to coordinate the European R&D on materials for sustainable nuclear energy. Explicitly supporting the GenIV fast neutron systems promoted by ESNII, the EERA-JPNM collaborates closely with SNETP and provides a link between nuclear and all other low carbon energy technologies. In this framework of collaboration, the EERA-JPNM also contributes to the organisation of the SNETP Association annual Forum.

In a context of climate change and global competition, nuclear energy can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gases emission and finally meet the zero emissions target recently discussed in the UNFCCC COP 25 held in Madrid. Such a role can be even further reinforced through the technological innovation that guarantees the highest level of safety and competitiveness and this requires the establishment of a coordinated R&D&I programme, particularly at European level. The SNETP FORUM 2020 aims at discussing and analysing recent technological innovations in the field of manufacturing, digital technology and safety approaches, eventually leading to R&D and innovation priorities and the harmonisation of best practices within EU countries and beyond, and at facilitating both the dissemination of the most important results of the on-going projects within its portfolio and the discussion of new collaborative project ideas. Methodologies should be shared between LWR, GenIV and ADS development for reinforcing innovation in nuclear technologies.

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