November 2019 - NES PSI

Prof. Andreas Pautz

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the November 2019 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, an approximation-free single-flow calculation scheme allows the determination of the radiation quantities in nuclear spent fuel, based on realistic irradiation histories. In addition, our research group Isotope and Target Chemistry has delivered a beryllium-7 sample to the CERN, with the aim of solving the cosmological lithium problem.

Furthermore, the application of elaborated radiochemical separation techniques made it possible to determine the excitation functions for the production of long-lived α-emitting lanthanides from proton-irradiated lead targets. Moreover, the PSI neutron source SINQ allows high-resolution imaging of hydrides on irradiated cladding and supports our Nuclear Fuel Group in the study of the hydrogen behavior at the interface between the cladding metal zirconium and its liner. Finally, our modelers also have successfully applied the connectivity analysis towards identifying the relationships between different processes, a first in the nuclear reactor field.

You will also find an article by SSTC NRS about the arrival in Chukotka of the ‘Akademik Lomonosov’ Floating Power Unit.

I wish you a pleasant and informative reading.

A. Pautz
NES division head


EUROSAFE 2019: International Conference on Nuclear Safety in Cologne

More than 220 representatives from science and research, authorities and industry met this week in Cologne for this year's EUROSAFE. Participants from more than 28 countries came together at the conference of the European Technical Safety Organisations Network (ETSON) to discuss current topics related to the safety of nuclear installations, radioactive waste management and radiation protection.



Consistent criticality and radiation studies of Swiss spent nuclear fuel: The CS2M approach

The future of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is the focus of a large number of recent studies regarding intermediate and long-term storage. Three quantities are of prime importance considering the fuel itself: its long-lived radioactivity content (actinides and fission products), heat generation (also called decay heat) and radiation level (or source term).


PSI Scientists

Material from PSI helps to check inconsistencies in the Big Bang theory

Shortly after the Big Bang, radioactive atoms of the type beryllium-7, among others, came into being. Today, throughout the universe, they have long since decayed and do not occur naturally, in contrast to their decay product lithium. Now researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have helped to better understand the first minutes of the universe: They collected artificially produced beryllium-7 and made it into a sample that could be investigated.


FISA 2019

Nuclear data for nuclear installations: Radiochemistry improves the precision of the cross-section data of long-lived radionuclides

Proton irradiations of lead, tantalum, and tungsten targets were performed twenty years ago at the SATURNE II synchrotron of the Laboratorie National Saturne (LNS) at Saclay. Due to a long time after irradiation, the short lived reaction products had already decayed.



Cladding tubes and their properties

One of the broad research areas at PSI covers the topic of energy. Part of that, in turn, is the research for nuclear energy and safety. And one of the research groups based here is engaged with nuclear fuels. Johannes Bertsch is the head of this group and investigates the importance of so-called cladding tubes and their protective layers.


FISA 2019

Identifying a disturbance root-cause from ... noise!

Time-series analysis methods are commonly used in many research areas for extracting useful information related to the structure and the characteristics of the analysed system. Inferring the underlying interconnections between signals of complex systems such as the human brain, social networks, stock markets, etc., is a challenging and complicated task.



The ‘Akademik Lomonosov’ Floating Power Unit has arrived at the port of its permanent location in Chukotka region of Russia

On September 9, 2019 the world’s only floating power unit (FPU) that left Murmansk on August 23 together with the Dickson icebreaker and two towboats reached town of Pevek, Chukotka Autonomous Region, ahead of schedule.



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