The SNETP FORUM 2021 Edition shall take place from 2 to 4 February 2021 in a virtual format. The programme will be announced very soon.
The SNETP FORUM is organised by SNETP and its 3 pillars NUGENIA, ESNII and NC2I, in collaboration with EERA-JPNM. The FORUM usually starts with a plenary session, followed by 8 technical sessions on the second day. The final plenary session of the third day will be the occasion to wrap up the content of the technical discussions and get to know the outcome of the Young Generation Award Challenge. A number of side meetings are already envisaged: of NUGENIA Technical areas, EERA-JPNM working group, and NC2I Task Force will take place before and after the FORUM.
The FORUM programme has been designed by the SNETP Scientific Committee to cover major topics of interest for the nuclear fission R&D stakeholders.
Long term operation and construction:
With a significant number of reactors in Europe approaching the end of their initial design life or already operating beyond their initial design life, issues of long-term operation (LTO) are become more and more important. European R&D&I should support the implementation of LTO with optimal safety and security conditions by providing innovative solutions to improve resistance against external hazards, systems and components reliability, on-line monitoring and predictive tools (modelling and simulations). To maintain if not increase the share of the nuclear in the energy mix, new reactors are currently built or planned to be constructed in the next decade in Europe. These reactors have been designed to last for at least 60 years of operation, with highly digitalised operational systems and high load flexibility. This session intends to discuss new ideas regarding innovative solutions for safe, reliable and competitive operation of NPPs.
Small Modular Reactors (SMRs):
New innovative solutions are needed to ensure competitive costs with other energy production technologies and short time construction and implementation in the local systems. Europe needs to broaden the available reactor portfolio to meet national/local specificities. The development of various SMRs, based either on LWR technology or non-water-cooled designs such us gas-, liquid metal or molten-salt-cooled offer the possibility to deploy flexible options for electricity and non-electricity applications. RD&I must support the development of SMRs to make them safe and competitive. This session will be dedicated to the discussion of the innovative solutions to be considered in the design of SMRs.
Fuel development and fuel cycle efficiency:
Industry stakeholders consider that the closure of the cycle, defined as the complete recycling of spent fuel requiring no new supply of natural uranium to produce electricity, is a long-term target for the sustainability of the nuclear industry. A closed cycle for Pu involving multi-recycling could be the first step towards a fully closed cycle. Developing scientific knowledge and expertise on nuclear fuel recycling is paramount. Innovative fuels are also needed to make this recycling possible. Fuel performance codes based on a thorough understanding of the fuel behaviour obtained by experiments and multiscale modelling shall be developed and validated in order to decrease time to market of these fuels. This session will consider all tools and methods to improve fuels and their recycling.
Innovative and perspective materials solutions:
New materials (for example high entropy alloys) or innovative nuclear materials solutions, including advanced manufacturing (additive, …), composite or strengthened materials, coatings or self-healing materials, offer the possibility to prolong component lifetime, decrease costs, improve efficiency and simplify design of nuclear power plants of all types. This session intends to provide examples and stimulate discussion on the most interesting and promising innovative and perspective materials solutions, their development, their characterisation and qualification, and open issues.
Energy Systems, new applications, economy, licensing:
The essential elements of sustainability are economic, social and environmental aspects. Evaluation of these aspects cannot be done in separation from the technology. Accordingly, the LTO of existing fleet is currently by far the most sustainable from economic and even from environmental viewpoint. The new technologies, including new designs, new systems as well as new applications of nuclear should be evaluated from all of these viewpoints. This session will discuss the link between economy and technology enabling the introduction of new systems together with new applications of nuclear energy.
Decommissioning and waste treatment:
Safety concerns all phases of the life of a nuclear installation. Decommissioning is an area in which Europe must make progress in terms of research, innovation and standards to enable its industry to master the end of life of its nuclear installations. Characterisation, conditioning and minimisation of the produced waste during the dismantling phase is of paramount importance for the acceptability of nuclear and essential to ensure a safe and economically competitive storage before disposal. This session will focus on the R&D&I gaps concerning waste management and decommissioning of research and commercial nuclear power plants.
Advanced reactor systems:
The long-term sustainability of nuclear energy will be ensured by GEN IV reactors and closing of the fuel cycle to improve reactor economics while minimising the nuclear waste. GEN IV fast neutron reactors and Accelerator Driven Systems are also offering a transmutation solution. This requires a large R&D programme and research facilities to support development, design and licensing of the needed prototypes. This session will examine the technologies needed to overcome the barriers for the implementation of GEN IV and ADS systems.
Digitalisation – Modelling & Simulation:
The digital transformation has become a cross-cutting trend to all industrial sectors and nuclear is no exception to this. Therefore, it is essential to build a European digital integration bench in order to achieve a digital twin such as a Digital Nuclear Reactor. Concerted R&D&I work is essential to make progress in terms of multi-physics modelling and simulation, High Performance Computing, data analysis and analytics, visualisation, Virtual Reality, advanced instrumentation (e.g. Internet Of things) and I&C. This session will discuss all relevant new digital and modelling methods and tools to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of nuclear systems.
For each of these topics, experts are invited to present their views and to propose new collaborative project ideas.