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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.

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August 27, 2018

In the frame of Joint ICTP-IAEA Workshop on Physics and Technology of Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems held on August 20-23, 2018 at International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy, Dr. K. Mikityuk gave overview lectures on Gen-IV systems, Monte-Carlo method basics and safety of fast reactors: slides of all lectures and the recorded videos.
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August 10, 2018

The 2018 November issue of Annals of Nuclear Energy publishes a paper "Analytical solutions to a coupled fluid dynamics and neutron transport problem with application to GeN-Foam verification" by R.G.G. de Oliveira and K. Mikityuk. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anucene.2018.07.036 Earlier this year the paper was presented at the NES PhD day (poster and YouTube video)
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August 2, 2018

The 2018 November issue of Annals of Nuclear Energy publishes a paper "Performance assessment of adjusted nuclear data along with their covariances on the basis of fast reactor experiments" by S. Pelloni and D. Rochman. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anucene.2018.07.043
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July 26, 2018

Fanny Vitullo was awarded for the best student paper at the International Conference on Nuclear Engineering ICONE 2018 in London, England (presented poster). The paper was based on the results of her MS thesis entitled: "Statistical burnup distribution of moving pebbles in HTR-PM reactor", which she defended in the frame of the ETHZ/EPFL Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering program in 2017. The students paper competition has a long tradition at ICONE conference, where 50 students from each continent are sponsored to participate on the conference and five best papers are finally selected from each continent.
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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.
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July 11, 2018

Following the PhD oral exam at EPF Lausanne on May 7, 2018, Boris Aviv Hombourger successfully passed also the public defense, the last step of his PhD study. In his PhD thesis entitled "Conceptual Design of a Sustainable Waste Burning Molten Salt Reactor" he analyzed, vast number of fuel cycle option for MSR, using own developed tool EQL0D.
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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.
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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.
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