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.


July 13, 2018

Three new students started their studies at our group in July: Sebastian GAY (BS student) from University of Melbourne working on radiotoxicity analysis for different Molten Salt Reactor fuel cycles; Riccardo COCCI (MS student) from Sapienza University of Rome working on presentation of main concepts and features of the European Sodium Fast Reactor for the general public; and Tuomo KOIVISTO (MS student) from Aalto University, Helsinki, working on assessment of chloride fast Molten Salt Reactor with two or more salts layout within the VSE(PSEL) project.

May 8, 2018

Simone Mambelli successfully passed the MS exam. The topic of his MS study was "Analytical and experimental study of chugging boiling instability: the CHUG project". In this MS thesis the experimental water rig facility "CHUG" was designed and built at EPFL to study the phenomenology of the chugging boiling. The first tests were conducted in which the chugging was demonstrated. The experimental data were compared to the calculational results obtained with the US NRC TRACE thermal-hydraulic code as well as with the PSI-BOIL in-house CFD code.

May 7, 2018

Boris Aviv Homburger successfully passed the PhD oral exam at EPF Lausanne and his public defence, the last step of his PhD study, should follow soon. In his PhD thesis entitled "Conceptual Design of a Sustainable Waste Burning Molten Salt Reactor" he analysed, vast number of fuel cycle option for MSR, using own developed tool EQL0D. These options were either adopted from literature or proposed by B. Homburger himself. As the first author in the world he published the analysis of breed-and-burn cycle in fast MSR and proposed as an alternative the long deep burnup cycles. His thesis documents thousands of evaluated cases in several areas ranging from thermal MSR up to fast breed-and-burn MSR. It has a potential to become a handbook for MSR fuel cycle designers. It was nominated for the Physics Doctoral Thesis Award at EPFL.

January 3, 2018

Vaclav SISL, MS student from Czech Technical University in Prague, joins us for five-month internship to assess various options for transition from existing uranium-plutonium or U-235 based fuel cycles to the thorium-uranium fuel cycle in High Temperature Graphite Reactor and Molten Salt Reactor.

December 18, 2017

Five people from the group attended the three-day LabVIEW Core 1 courses given by National Instruments Switzerland GmbH. LabVIEW is a platform and development environment for a visual programming language widely used for controlling the data acquisition systems.

November 1, 2017

Janos Bodi was accepted by the EPFL Doctoral School in Energy as PhD student and started his PhD thesis at PSI on safety measures assessment of the European Sodium Fast Reactor in frame of the Horizon-2020 ESFR-SMART project.

October 27, 2017

The Expert and Policy Group meetings of the Generation-IV International Forum (GIF) were held on October 16-20, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. We represented Switzerland as well as Educational and Training Task Force.

October 23, 2017

Simone Mambelli started his MS thesis at PSI on experimental and analytical study of chugging boiling regime in frame of the Horizon-2020 ESFR-SMART project.
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