Safe Exploitation Related CHemistry for HLM reactors

01 November 2011 → 30 April 2015
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Nuclear physics
HLM reactors
Project description

In accordance with the ESNI roadmap MYRRHA will be the firsm HLM cooled nuclear system to be deployed in Europe. The SEARCH project aims to support the licensing process of MYRRHA by investigating the safe chemical behaviour of the fuel and coolant in the reactor. The control of the oxygen content and the management of impurities in the melt will be studied. A second critical issue in the safety assessment of a nuclear system is the compatibility of the fuel with the coolant after fuel pin leakage or a core melt. The full analyses of these scenarios using validated codes require more experimental data on "basic" properties of the interactions between the materials involved. The basic chemical behaviour of a mixture of fuel, coolant and clad materials range will be studied at relevant temperatures. The compatibility experiments will be done with UO2 and unirradiated MOX fuel and the possibility to have critically problems due to fuel accumulation. The prevention of risks to the general public will be studied looking into the escape of radioactive materials including fission products and heavy volatile elements as Po and Hg into the environment. The kinetics and efficiency of methods to capture these elements in the covergas system will be examined. The evaporation of Po and Hg from LBE will be measured to obtain a full data set for licensing. Issues related to Po management will be also addressed by an ab initio theoretical approach, predicting its solubility in LBE, the interaction with noble metals to select possble getters and studying formation of Po-compounds