FAST: Generation-IV nuclear reactors with a fast neutron spectrum

We launched the project in 2002 and our current goals are
  • to study neutronics, thermal hydraulics and fuel behaviour of advanced fast reactors;
  • to evaluate safety of fast reactors considered for construction in Europe;
  • to study different design solutions for Generation-IV Molten Salt Reactor;
  • to represent Switzerland internationally;
  • to educate young researchers and students.

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October 15, 2014

Four students from a joint ETHZ-EPFL MS program in Nuclear Engineering ( joined our group to make their semester projects (and following up MS theses next semester). Two of them will work on topics related to sodium boiling and other two -- on neutronics and transient behaviour of molten-salt reactor.


October 8, 2014

An international conference on reactor physics PHYSOR 2014 was held this year in Kyoto, Japan. We presented in Kyoto two papers: one (done in cooperation with POLIMI, Italy) on hybrid (i.e. thermal-fast) molten salt reactor and another one on how we calculate coolant void worth in sodium fast reactor core. We also contributed to the POLIMI paper on modeling of the molten salt reactor experiment dynamics and to the IAEA paper on the results of the neutronic benchmark based on the end-of-life experiments at the Phenix sodium-cooled fast reactor.


October 2, 2014

On October 1, 2014 Anne-Laurene Panadero officially started in our group her PhD study in frame of our cooperation with Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) on safety assessment of ASTRID sodium-cooled fast reactor considered for construction in France.


September 29, 2014

October 2014 issue of Nuclear Engineering and Design publishes "The core design of ALFRED, a demonstrator for the European lead-cooled reactors". The paper summarizes selected results of the FP7 EURATOM LEADER project. We contributed to the paper with the core thermal-hydraulic analysis:


September 28, 2014

The FAST highlight of September 2014 is an updated diagram of our code system which includes now various options of using the new OpenFOAM solver for static and transient analysis of fast reactors: PDF (74k).


September 27, 2014

The OpenFOAM Nuclear Simulations Special Interest Group was initiated at the Ninth OpenFOAM Workshop in Zagreb, Croatia in June this year. The group is open for everybody who uses OpenFOAM for nuclear reactor applications and is interested to benefit from cooperation with other users:


September 24, 2014

We applied to the EC co-financed fellowship programme at PSI (PSI-FELLOW/COFUND) with a proposal for a two-year postdoc study on "New methods for analysis of thermal-mechanical transient effects in Generation-IV fast reactors". The goal is to contribute to the development of a new-generation of numerical solvers for accurate prediction of the transient behaviour of reactors with complex geometries and to apply these solvers for the Generation-IV Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor to assess its safety and probably improve its design. Our candidate has been interviewed by the PSI jury and the decision will be known by the end of October 2014.


September 23, 2014

We submitted to Swiss National Science Foundation an application titled "Multiscale modeling of forced evaporation and condensation of low-Prandtl-number fluids". The proposal was prepared together with Laboratory for Thermal Hydraulics of our department and aims at two PhD studies focusing on modeling of sodium boiling at different scales: from microregion to the whole sodium-cooled fast reactor.


September 20, 2014

January 2015 issue of Annals of Nuclear Energy publishes "Solution of the OECD/NEA neutronic SFR benchmark with Serpent-DYN3D and Serpent-PARCS code systems" by E. Nikitin, E. Fridman and K. Mikityuk. The paper reports how the group constants generated by Serpent can be employed by DYN3D and PARCS nodal diffusion codes in 3D full core calculations for sodium-cooled fast reactor. The study was done at HZDR and our contribution was the PARCS solution.


September 17, 2014

Today is the deadline for submittal of applications to the Horizon 2020 Framework Euratom Program. We contributed to preparation of four proposals: 1) a paradigm shift in nuclear reactor safety with the molten salt fast reactor (SAMOFAR); 2) thermal-hydraulics simulations and experiments for the safety assessment of metal-cooled reactors (SESAME); 3) autonomous reactivity control for enhanced fast reactor safety (ARC); 4) excellence of European capacity in fast nuclear systems (EXPECTANCY).

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General Contact

Project Leader
Dr. Konstantin Mikityuk
Paul Scherrer Institute
5232 Villigen PSI
+41 56 310 2385

LRS Secretary
R. Ringele
+41 56 310 2592

LRS web page

Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Systems Behaviour