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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Fission-2011-2.3.1 | Award Amount: 9.69M | Year: 2012

Nuclear power issues have been attracting research interest for decades even since the actual use of power reactors using oxide fuels was considered a mature science. It has mainly been due to one of the great drawbacks of nuclear power, the waste handling. Presently, there is a renaissance in nuclear power research focused on a new generation of reactor concepts utilising more of the inherent energy of the fuels. Additionally, these new concepts will also produce less radioactive waste, which is radiotoxic for a shorter time frame. If such concept succeeds, nuclear power can be considered almost sustainable bearing in mind that the waste we already have generated may be used for next generations. In order to reach these goals, there are several issues to be considered and the future nuclear fuel is one of the most important ones. ASGARD project will conduct crosscutting studies in synergy with the current nuclear fuel and waste research projects in Europe (e.g. ACSEPT and FAIRFUELS projects), but will also extend further into the research on new innovative nuclear concepts (SFR-Prototype, MYRRHA). ASGARD will provide a structured R&D framework for developing compatible techniques for dissolution, reprocessing and manufacturing of new nuclear fuels. The fuels to be considered will mainly consist of the next generation of fuels, e.g. oxides, nitrides and carbides, since the current oxide fuels and their reprocessing is dealt within already existing projects. An educational programme will be implemented to share the knowledge between students, researchers in the fuel manufacturing and the fuel reprocessing communities. The challenging objectives of ASGARD will be addressed by a multi-disciplinary consortium composed of European universities, nuclear research bodies and major industrial stakeholders. ASGARD will be an essential contribution to the development of new sustainable nuclear fuel cycle concepts and thus pave the road to more sustainable nuclear future.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NFRP-16-2015 | Award Amount: 2.05M | Year: 2015

The overall aim of the project is to create greater security of energy supply and contribute to the security of supply of nuclear fuel for Russian designed pressurized water reactors (VVER) operating in the EU by diversification of fuel sources in the short / medium term and in full compliance with nuclear safety standards. By that, the project addresses the topic NFRP 16 2015. The scientific objectives of the proposed project include increased knowledge concerning the behaviour of the VVER-440 fuel during operation. State-of-the-art methods will be verified against an extensive database, including operating experience from several VVER-440 reactors as well as a number of other reactor designs and a wide range of operating conditions. The ability to accurately predict the fuel behaviour will be improved and thereby also the safety margins. New knowledge as well as identification of needs of technology development and improvements will be created in the fields of technologies for mechanical design, thermo-mechanical fuel rod design, and safety analysis for VVER fuel. In addition to the technological advances, the project will identify the variation in licensing requirements between the authorities in the different countries. Through such identification, it will become clear that standardization would be beneficial and will foster a dialogue between the authorities/regulatory bodies. The new knowledge will be exploited through innovation processes but will also be used for further research and recommendation to policy makers as well as for creating impact among the target groups of the project. Results will be presented to the members of the VVER community, i.e. the utilities, universities and other organizations with close links to the nuclear energy industry. Articles and papers presenting the work and the results of the project will be targeted for nuclear industry, magazines and conferences.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 4.98M | Year: 2013

We intend to make the UK the world leaders in the understanding, performance and application of hexagonal material systems used by the aero, energy and defence sectors. We wish to develop step-change technology by bringing to bear the extraordinary range of experimental, characterization and modelling techniques in which the UK holds many leaders but which have yet to be brought together to take full advantage of the synergy and multiplication possible. This simply remains un-achievable without clear UK unification of research effort. Hexagonal structural materials that are of industrial significance are all of close packed crystal structure (largely titanium, zirconium and magnesium alloys) and are strategic and profoundly important to the UK economy and find wide application. The implications of research success are profound in developing significant improvement in materials, material structure and processing conditions in optimizing manufacture, in optimizing component design with superior property-behaviour relationships, in improving operational efficiencies and in reducing production and running costs, thereby contributing to fuel efficiencies and very importantly, the UKs competitive advantage. Our ambition is to bring together the UKs experts in academia, supply chain and end-users, coupled with techniques to be brought to bear in four key themes in hexagonal metals which are fundamental mechanisms, micromechanics, performance in aero applications and performance in nuclear applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2010-2.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.96M | Year: 2011

The assessment of the condition of low-voltage instrumentation, control, and power cables in nuclear power plants is of increasing importance as plants age and lifetime extensions are envisaged. Furthermore as new reactors are being constructed and many other are planned for the near future, the initial cables choice and the use of effective in-situ condition monitoring (CM) techniques to follow cable condition indicators from the beginning, can result to be very valuable at a later time for an effective cable lifetime management. The overall objective of the proposed project is to adapt, optimise and assess electrical CM techniques for nuclear cables that would allow utilities to assess in-situ the current cable degradation condition and, together with the establishment of appropriate acceptance criteria, to verify its qualified state over its entire length and to estimate its residual lifetime. To this extent, the project will consist in studying with accelerated ageing tests a representative selection of cables already installed in European Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in order to evaluate the ability of electrical CM techniques to detect local and global cable ageing. The results will be compared and correlated to those obtained with more conventional CM techniques for validation and residual life estimation. These tests will be supported by the study of the impact of cable polymers ageing on the electrical properties. These studies will allow not only to guide the adaptation and the optimisation of existing CM techniques, but also to interpret the results of the electrical measurements, to extend the validity of the results to other similar cables and to adapt the future cable design and formulations to electrical CM techniques. This investigation on innovative cables for future plants could open the way to a new generation of intelligent cables with improved diagnostic capability.


Patent
Westinghouse Electrical Sweden AB | Date: 2016-03-30

The present invention concerns a fuel assembly (4) for a nuclear power boiling water reactor, comprising:a fuel channel (6) defining a central fuel channel axis (8),fuel rods (10), each having a central fuel rod axis (12),at least 3 water channels (14) for non-boiling water, each water channel having a central water channel axis (16) and each water channel having a larger cross-sectional area than the cross-sectional area of (the average) fuel rod (10). The fuel rods (10) comprise a first group of full length fuel rods and a second group of shorter fuel rods. The fuel assembly (4) comprises at least 5 fuel rods which belong to said second group and which are positioned such that the central fuel rod axis (12) of each of these at least 5 fuel rods is closer to the central fuel channel axis (8) than any of the water channel axes (16) of the water channels (14).


Patent
WESTINGHOUSE Electrical SWEDEN AB | Date: 2014-03-28

A fuel channel for a nuclear power boiling water reactor is configured to include a bundle of fuel rods with nuclear fuel. The fuel channel is made of a sheet material and has a plurality of sides which have an elongated shape and which are connected to each other such that a corner with an elongated shape is formed where two adjacent sides meet. In one or more corners, the sheet materials from the two adjacent sides overlap with each other such that there is a corner region with double sheet material consisting of the overlapping sheet material from one of the two sides and the overlapping sheet material from the other of the two sides.


Patent
Westinghouse Electrical Sweden AB | Date: 2016-08-24

The present invention concerns a fuel assembly (4) for a nuclear power boiling water reactor, comprising:a fuel channel (6) defining a central fuel channel axis (8),fuel rods (10), each having a central fuel rod axis (12),at least 3 water channels (14) for non-boiling water, each water channel having a central water channel axis (16) and each water channel having a larger cross-sectional area than the cross-sectional area of (the average) fuel rod (10). The fuel rods (10) comprise a first group of full length fuel rods and a second group of shorter fuel rods. The fuel assembly (4) comprises 3 or 4 fuel rods which belong to said second group and which are positioned such that the central fuel rod axis (12) of each of these 3 or 4 fuel rods is closer to the central fuel channel axis (8) than any of the water channel axes (16) of the water channels (14).


Patent
Westinghouse Electrical Sweden AB | Date: 2016-03-30

A fuel assembly for a boiling water reactor, comprises fuel rods (2), a tie plate (3), a handle device (4), and at least two water rods (7) attached to the tie plate and to the handle device. A plurality of spacers (8a, 8b), define first passages (8) for some of the fuel rods, and second passages (8) for the water rods. Each water rod comprises a tube part (7a) attached to the tie plate, and a solid part (7b) attached to the handle device. The tube part permits a flow of coolant. The spacers comprise primary spacers (8a) and a secondary spacer (8b). The primary spacers are attached to the tube parts. The tie plate, the water rods, the primary spacers and the handle device form a support structure carrying the weight of the fuel rods. The secondary spacer is positioned at the solid part of the respective water rod.


Patent
Westinghouse Electrical Sweden AB | Date: 2013-08-21

A spacer for holding fuel rods includes cells formed by a sleeve having an upper edge and a lower edge and a number of abutment surfaces. The lower edge has a wave shape with wave peaks aligned with a respective one of the abutment surfaces, and wave valleys located between two adjacent ones of the abutment surfaces. The upper edge has a wave shape with wave peaks, which are aligned with a respective one of the abutment surfaces, and wave valleys located between two adjacent ones of the abutment surfaces. Each of the abutment surfaces extend from a respective one of the wave peaks of the upper edge to a respective one of the wave peaks of the lower edge. The sleeves abut each other in the spacer along respective connection areas to make the abutment surfaces rotatable with respect to a center point of the connection area.


Patent
Westinghouse Electrical Sweden AB | Date: 2016-09-28

A method and a system (10) is provided for controlling and monitoring the gas pressure in a nuclear fuel rod (1) during filling of the fuel rod (1) with a gas, and subsequent sealing of the fuel rod (1). The system comprises a control unit (12) and a length measuring system (14), which control unit (12) is communicatively connected to the length measuring system (14). The length measuring system (14) is configured to monitor the length of the fuel rod (1), and the control unit (12) is configured to receive measurements from the length measuring system (14) and to determine the gas pressure inside the fuel rod (1) on the basis of variations of the length of the fuel rod (12). The method comprises positioning (101) an open first end (2) of the fuel rod (1) inside a pressure chamber (11), allowing gas to enter the fuel rod 1; pressurizing (103) the gas in the pressure chamber (11) at a first pressure level; closing (105) the fuel rod (1); and sealing (113) the fuel rod (1). Especially, the method comprises monitoring (107) the variation of the length of the fuel rod (1) between the step of closing (105) and the step of sealing (113), and using the length variation as a measure of the gas pressure variation inside the fuel rod (1).

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