The European Review Meeting on Severe Accident Research (ERMSAR) conference is held under the auspices of SARNET, the IRSN-led network of excellence specialized in research on severe accidents involving nuclear reactors. The 5th edition focused on corium behavior, hydrogen risk in containment, source term assessment, and severe accident simulation codes.
The highlight of the 5th ERMSAR conference, a major international meeting on pressurized water reactor core meltdown research, hosted by the German TSO GRS in Cologne, Germany, last March, was its record turnout: 165 attendees vs. just over 100 in previous conferences. The 54 scientific presentations tracked advances in the modeling of the three main issues that come into play in reactor core meltdown: corium behavior (molten mixture of fuel, cladding and structural materials formed by a reactor core meltdown) inside and outside the vessel, hydrogen risk in containment and source term (i.e. the determination of the mass and chemical speciation of the radioactive fission products released to the environment during a core meltdown). They also highlighted progress in validating the codes used to simulate such accidents, especially ASTEC, the code developed jointly by IRSN and GRS.
In addition, a session attended by Japanese experts reviewed the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi plant one year after the accident and looked at the potential for related R&D in the future.
The next ERMSAR conference, to be hosted by IRSN in the second half of 2013, will close two four-year chapters of SARNET development under the auspices of the European Commission, and mark the beginning of a fresh chapter for the network with the creation of a new legal entity.
For more information:
The SARNET website
Download the presentations and papers of the ERMSAR 2012 Conference