Technical Area 3 focuses on improving the technical and economical characteristics of reactor operation by various measures and minimising radiological impacts on the plant workers, the environment and the general public during normal reactor operation (covering periods of shutdown, reshuffling, abnormal operational situations and emergency states, but excluding severe accidents).
The various TA3 R&D subareas were identified for the improvement of reactor operation and minimising impacts of its operation, many of them being in tight connection and relationship to the topics addressed primarily in TA1, TA4 and TA5:
- The impact of all key aspects related to human behaviour and decisions, and organisational factors on the safe and secure operation of the plant, including the interaction between the control room operators and the plant.
- The implementation of innovative approaches, measures and tools to improve economics of operation of nuclear power plants (including optimisation of outages and lifetime management).
- The integration of advanced technologies which can support the operators in their duty, namely the advanced digital information and control technologies.
- The core management as a subject of ongoing R&D activities, since it has direct impact on the economy of the fuel cycle. It encompasses core and fuel system design related calculations and numerical modelling, evaluation of uncertainties, core reload optimisation and core monitoring and instrumentation.
- The water chemistry influencing corrosion and degradation of components and consequently their life time.
- The impact of the plant on the environment and public through minimisation of emissions to the air, effluents to watercourses and radioactive waste to be disposed into the appropriate final repositories. The minimisation of radiation dose received by plant workers as a balance of the latest science-based quantification of impacts of radiation on human health and economic justification of protection measures.