FAST: Generation-IV nuclear reactors with a fast neutron spectrum
We launched the project in 2002 and our current goals are:
- to study neutronics and nucleonics, thermal hydraulics and fuel behaviour of advanced fast-spectrum nuclear reactors using modern computational tools: TRACE/PARCS/FRED, Eranos/EQL3D, Serpent 2, OpenFOAM;
- to evaluate safety of fast reactors developed in Europe, in particular, European Sodium Fast Reactor (ESFR) and Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration (ASTRID);
- to analyse innovative design solutions for Generation-IV Molten Salt Reactor;
- to represent Switzerland internationally at GIF, IAEA, OECD, EURATOM;
- to educate young researchers and students, in particular, via the ETHZ/EPFL Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering and EPFL PhD programs.
New issue 02/2021 of the magazine Involved of the association for Switzerland's mechanical and electrical engineering industries SWISSMEM was released. The magazine Involved appears twice a year and address the exciting world of Swiss industry. The latest issue includes part dedicated to “harness of the elementary particles power”. In three distinguished parts, three experts address possibility to use particles for medical purpose, for exact clocks, and for energy production are addressed. In the last part PSI expert Jiri Krepel discusses the potential of Molten Salt Reactors and of nuclear reactors as a whole.
Preprint of the Technical Reports Series TRS-489 on the Status of Molten Salt Reactor Technology was released by IAEA. The final publication is expected next year. The responsible officers were Gerardo Martinez-Guridi and Frederic Reitsma. Especially thanks to the editorial and accelerating involvement of the first named the TRS was released in relatively very short time. The document include taxonomy of Molten Salt Reactors, for which PSI expert Jiri Krepel was one of the major co-developer.
March 11, 2021
After finishing of the Molten Chloride Fast Reactors (MCFR) chapter for Elsevier Encyclopedia of Nuclear Energy last year, Jiri Krepel was invited to contribute another chapter to the same encyclopedia dedicated to the sustainability and reactor physics issues of nuclear fuel cycle closing in advanced reactors. The ANS group has more than 15 years of experience in closed fuel cycle simulation and analysis and belong so to one of the world leading competence centers in this area. The general insight and knowledge, together with the results from E. Losa PhD thesis, who spend in 2014 his 9 month internship finance by IAEA at PSI, were summarized in a series of three encyclopedia chapters:
I. Self-sustaining breeding in advanced reactors: Characterization of natural resources
II. Self-sustaining breeding in advanced reactors: Characterization of selected reactors
III. Self-sustaining breeding in advanced reactors: Comparison of fuel cycle performance
These chapters provide solid background in the reactor physics issues related to sustainability of the nuclear fuel cycle. The self-sustaining breeding either in open breed-and-burn cycle or in closed cycle with fuel recycling is presented as the only long-term alternative for next centuries to the 235U burning reactors employed nowadays. The three chapters are available online:
October 29, 2020
Jonathan Dietz successfully passed the MS exam. The topic of his MS study was "Chemical-Thermodynamic Simulation of the MSR-Related Systems during Normal and Accident Conditions". The goal of this work was to combine the neutronics knowledge of equilibrium fuel cycle with the thermodynamics simulations and refine the severe accident simulation with cGEMS code. The thesis was integrated in the EU H2020 SAMOSAFER project. The manuscript is available on-line at https://zenodo.org/record/4193209#.YG6-W8ritaQ
October 28, 2020
In July 2021 the 1st edition of Elsevier Encyclopedia of Nuclear Energy should be published with Ehud Greenspan as the editor in chief. Jiri Krepel from ANS group, together with Kevin Kramer from TerraPower LLC, was invited to contribute a chapter entitled Molten Chloride Fast Reactors (MCFR) to a volume dedicated to Advanced nuclear reactor concepts under R&D edited by Alexander Stanculescu. This invitation is another recognition of the PSI pioneering role in the breed-and-burn MCFR fuel cycle research. Furthermore, from historical perspective the pioneering role in MCFR research can be traced up to the Federal Institute for Reactor Research, the predecessor of PSI. It was also a great chance to utilize the knowledge, which results from the nuclear technology monitoring mandate of the PSI. Even though the encyclopedia (ISBN: 9780128197257) will be published firstly in July 2021, the chapter is already available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819725-7.00037-4
August 2, 2020
New issue of FOLIO the magazine for teachers in vocational training was issued, where Cristoph Thomann discuss the possible future of nuclear reactors. He was interviewing PSI expert for Gen-IV reactor Jiri Krepel to assess the capability of these reactors to act as a CO2 free, reliable and safe energy source. The major question was dilemma between risks related to nuclear energy utilization and risks related to CO2 production.
May 5, 2020
The 2020 September issue of Annals of Nuclear Energy publishes a paper "Resonance parameter adjustment in the resolved region based upon an Asymptotic Generalized Linear Least-Squares methodology in conjunction with the Monte Carlo method" by S. Pelloni and D. Rochman. In frame of a stochastic technique for adjusting basic ENDF parameters the paper proposes assimilation of the effective multiplication factor for low-enriched, U-solution, thermal systems by adjusting resonance widths for U-235 and U-238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anucene.2020.107509
April 16, 2020
The 2020 September issue of Annals of Nuclear Energy publishes a paper "The EQL0D fuel cycle procedure and its application to the transition to equilibrium of selected molten salt reactor designs" by B. Hombourger, J. Krepel and A. Pautz. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anucene.2020.107504
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