Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety

21.06.2017

In the European Union, about 200 nuclear power plants that feed electricity into the grids are currently in operation. Extending their period of operation will require reliable technology systems for calculating the residual life of the reactor components; the safety of existing nuclear power plants thus continues to remain a relevant research topic. An EU project that will make a significant contribution to ensuring long-term safety of nuclear power plant operation has recently been acquired by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken.

According to current German law, the use of nuclear energy for producing power will be discontinued by 2022. Extending the operational lifetime of existing nuclear power plants outside of Germany – including those in locations directly bordering Germany – has been accepted in many countries as a strategic goal for ensuring a sufficient supply of power in the coming decades.


Grohnde/Lower Saxony nuclear power plant

Thorsten Schier / Fotolia

Consequently, the safe operation of European nuclear power plants continues to be necessary and essential. Within the framework of a research program tendered by the European Commission and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), Fraunhofer IZFP has been awarded a lucrative EU project.

Detecting material damage in a focused and timely manner

The Fraunhofer IZFP was tasked with coordinating a consortium of a total of 10 European partners collaborating on technological solutions for testing material damage in reactor pressure vessels. "The goal of the NOMAD* research project is to develop a nondestructive evaluation system that is to be used in periodic safety reviews of the reactor pressure vessel of nuclear power plants.

Its purpose is to allow determining the location and characterizing the nature of material damage in reactor pressure vessel steels," explained Dr. Madalina Rabung, the lead responsible for this project at Fraunhofer IZFP.

The reactor pressure vessel protects our environment from radioactive radiation; inside this vessel are the fuel elements, whose radioactive radiation can result in the vessel wall embrittlement over the long term. Sudden failure of a reactor pressure vessel due to embrittlement would be disastrous for humanity and our environment.

Safe reactor pressure vessels with intelligent sensing and evaluation systems

So far, safety routines have been based on monitoring concepts in which small samples are already taken during the manufacture of the reactor pressure vessels. These small samples are then intentionally exposed to increased radioactive radiation in order to detect – in anticipation of reality – potential deterioration of the material properties.

"However, the material of a reactor pressure vessel is not always homogeneous; thus, such samples cannot be considered a solid reference for the entire pressure vessel," added Dr. Rabung. Fraunhofer IZFP will increase safety significantly by looking at the reactor pressure vessel in its entirety, evaluating it regularly and non-invasively using intelligent sensors based on ultrasound and 3MA**.

With regard to the extension of operational lifetime, NOMAD will provide additional parameters to supplement the current invasive tests. The nondestructive characterization of material properties in essential, non-replaceable nuclear power plant components such as the reactor pressure vessel can thus make a significant contribution to improving the safety and the safe long-term operation of nuclear power plants.

Partners involved

The research project, which is scheduled to last for four years and is funded with a total of almost 5 million euros, was evaluated positively by the European Commission and started on June 1, 2017. Fraunhofer IZFP's application process was financially supported by the federal state of Saarland's research funding program.

In addition to Fraunhofer IZFP, the following partners are participating in this research project: SCK•CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (Belgium), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. (Finland), SVTI Swiss Association for Technical Inspections (Switzerland), Coventry University (Great Britain), HEPENIX Technical Service Ltd. (Hungary), Hungarian Academy of Science Centre for Energy Research (Hungary), Paul Scherrer Institut (Switzerland), Tecnatom S.A. (Spain), and Eurice GmbH (Germany).

*Nondestructive Evaluation System for the Inspection of Operation-Induced Material Degradation in Nuclear Power Plants
** Micromagnetic Multiparameter Microstructure and Stress Analysis

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.izfp.fraunhofer.de
http://www.eurice.eu

Sabine Poitevin-Burbes | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Industrial Maturity of Electrically Conductive Adhesives for Silicon Solar Cells Demonstrated
25.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Silicon as a new storage material for the batteries of the future
25.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>