In a nutshell
Electrification of the energy sector will be a key step for its transition to climate-neutrality. In order to achieve it by 2050, it will be necessary to maintain and even extend the production capacity of current nuclear reactors, while taking into account the evolving electricity mix and increasing requirements regarding the safety assessment of nuclear reactors.
On these points, the question of nuclear fuel behaviour is essential because it sets the main constraints to be satisfied for safe operation of nuclear reactors and defines the source term for accidental conditions.
Generation II and III reactor fuels in Europe take advantage of a large experimental feedback with a continuous evolution of fuel element design and materials, which allows maintaining high safety standards while adapting to the evolution of the operating conditions.
Fuel performance codes, which enable the simulation of the behaviour of the fuel elements in reactor, are now an essential component of the design, licensing and safety assessment of nuclear fuels.
The licensing of innovative fuel materials and design requires an extension of the current fuel performance codes to meet safety authority’s requirements, in particular regarding the Verification, Validation and Uncertainties Quantification processes.
Opera HPC will work on four aspects to improve the approach and computational tools used by the nuclear research community and industry.
|Basic research on the mechanical behaviour of fuel under irradiation||Code development||Industrial application||Education and training and dissemination of the project’s results|
|Obtain missing data, identify elementary mechanisms and develop physics-based models of the non-linear mechanical behaviour of fuel and fuel elements||Open source 3D HPC simulation tools with parallel computing capabilities at the microstructure and fuel element scales, as well as a meshless prototype tool||Improved industrial models and application to the simulation of the thermo-mechanical behaviour of enhanced accident tolerant fuel elements in normal and accidental conditions||Transfer of approach, tools and results through open-access publications, workshops and exchanges with industrial end-users and training of a new generation of researchers|
To reach its objectives, the project is organised in 9 work package.
News AND Events
The Project kick off meeting will be held on
Nov 23-24° 2022 in Aix en Provence