May 2018 - PSI

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Thank you!
The EUROSAFE Members

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of the EUROSAFE Newsletter, which has been prepared by the Nuclear Energy and Safety division (NES) of the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), Switzerland. We are pleased to share with you some of our latest activities and achievements in nuclear research and development.

Foremost, you will learn about the implementation of the new FIB (Focused Ion Beam) in the hot laboratory; this tool makes characterization of irradiated materials in non-shielded facilities feasible. We are also proud to present our works on the sorption of lanthanides and hydrogen-uptake in cladding, which were only made possible due to the unique combination of large-scale facilities at PSI. Moreover, our Severe Accident group has developed a plausible scenario that predicts remarkably well the main signatures of the Fukushima Unit 3 with the MELCOR code, providing more insight into the sequence of events during the reactor accident. Finally, I am glad to report about the PSI-BKW agreement for risk and safety analysis services in the nuclear sector; this combination of competences - technology development (PSI) and practical implementation (BKW) - allows solving highly complex problems in the field of nuclear safety.

I wish you a pleasant and informative reading.

Prof. A. Pautz
NES division head (PSI)

New Focused Ion Beam (FIB) in the Hot Laboratory

The implementation of Focused Ion Beam instruments in material research laboratories during the last decade has not only strongly improved the preparation of very tiny specimens for the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), in particular at interfaces, but also led to the development of new analyses methods inside the instrument itself. These comprise chemical analyses with element detectors and structural analyses on the basis of electron backscatter diffraction, revealing information about crystallographic orientation, grains and even local strains.


Sorption of trivalent lanthanides and actinides onto montmorillonite

The credibility of long-term safety assessments of radioactive waste repositories may be greatly enhanced by a molecular level understanding of the sorption processes onto individual minerals present in the near- and far-fields. In this study we couple macroscopic sorption experiments to surface complexation modelling and spectroscopic investigations, including extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopies (TRLFS), to elucidate the uptake mechanism of trivalent lanthanides and actinides (Ln/AnIII) by montmorillonite in the absence and presence of dissolved carbonate.


Neutron radiography of detrimental hydrogen in nuclear fuel claddings

Hydrogen concentrated in the structural material of nuclear fuel assemblies is potentially an issue for their mechanical stability.

The Laboratory of Nuclear Materials (LNM) in collaboration with the Laboratory of Neutron Scattering and Imaging (LNS) utilized the cutting-edge detector of PSI Neutron Microscope at SINQ to gain insight into the hydrogen redistribution under various driving factors.


BSAF-2: Analysis of Unit 3 accident and fission product transport

The OECD-NEA Benchmark Study of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (BSAF) is aimed to evaluate and analyse the accident progression, likely end-state of the reactor core after the accidents, and the source term to the environment. PSI has successfully participated in the project concentrating on the analysis of unit 3 using MELCOR2.1.


BKW and PSI agree on partnership for safety analysis services

BKW’s Engineering Division and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) joined forces to provide risk and safety analysis services in the nuclear sector. Between them, the two institutions have a perfect blend of skills: BKW has extensive expertise in implementing the latest technology for safe plant operation and decommissioning, while PSI conducts cutting-edge research that pushes the boundaries of science and technology.


GIF VHTR system steering committee meeting N°26

9-11 April 2019
PSI, Switzerland

More at...

1st Analytical workshop meeting, 3rd Programme Review Group and 3rd Management Board meetings of the OECD/NEA HYMERES-2 project

27 - 29 November 2018
PSI, Switzerland

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11th European MELCOR user group meeting

3-5 April 2019
University of applied sciences northwestern Switzerland
Brugg-Windisch, Switzerland

More at...

Amendment to February News

An omission has crept into the EUROSAFE newsletter last February concerning the announcement for the enstti training entitled Oversight of Safety Culture on Management System which took place from 16 to 20 April 2018 in Brussels (Belgium). The announcement should have mentioned that this training falls under the Instrument of Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) of the European Commission and its implementation is funded by the European Commission.



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