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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Contribution of Research Reactors to the Programmes for Research and Technological Development on the Safety


Congress title :International Conference on Research Reactors
Congress location :Sydney
Congress date :05/11/2007

Summary

The objective of the present article is to illustrate the contribution of the research reactors to the programmes for research and technological development led to increase the safety of the nuclear power plants, more particularly in the field of the of Reactivity Insertion Accidents (RIA), Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) and partial or total melting of the core. Indeed, the physical phenomena occurring during a severe accident are extremely complex. Research aims to better understand these phenomena and to reduce the associated uncertainties in order to assess the extent to which the state of acquired knowledge can be used to make reliable predictions. The examples will concern accidents that may occur in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) and in Sodium Fast Reactors (SFR). Some given examples will show the fundamental importance of experiments in research reactors to establish and support the safety demonstrations; indeed, such in-pile tests : - allow to characterize badly known physical phenomena; - can put in evidence some not foreseen phenomena; - contribute in fine to the development and in the global validation of the codes used in the safety demonstrations, such as ASTEC (Accident Source Term Evaluation Code) used to simulate an entire accident from the initiating event to the possible radionuclide release outside the containment.
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