Nuclear Energy and Safety Research Division
Based on this infrastructure and the know-how of its collaborators the Division is involved in three main topics of research: Safety of currently operating light-water reactors, safety characteristics of future reactor concepts and related fuel cycles, and long-term safety of deep geological repositories for nuclear wastes of all kind.
The work is being done on behalf of the Federal Government and in close cooperation with the Swiss nuclear utilities, the national waste management organization, Nagra, and the national regulatory authority, ENSI. It also includes scientific services for the nuclear power plants. Most of the research is connected with international projects on a multi- or bi-national cooperation basis.
Recent News from NES
En combinant théorie, modélisation et calculs à haute performance, les chercheurs du Laboratoire de simulation et modélisation de l’Institut Paul Scherrer PSI résolvent les problèmes les plus complexes. De puissants ordinateurs leur permettent de simuler aussi bien les molécules les plus minuscules que les grandes installations de recherche.
A la source de neutrons SINQ, des chercheurs du PSI produisent des radionucléides qui contribuent au développement de nouveaux traitements anticancéreux efficaces et ciblés. Ils collaborent étroitement avec les hôpitaux des environs.
The Energy Economics Group quantified the new World Energy Scenarios 2019 in collaboration with the World Energy Council and Accenture Strategy. The three scenarios (named "Modern Jazz", "Unfinished Symphony", and "Hard Rock") depict possible future developments of the global energy systems until 2040 and were presented at the World Energy Congress 2019 in Dubai.
Nuclear reactors are complex systems with inherent stochastic behaviour. In simple words, the behaviour of various reactor processes are continuously fluctuating over their mean values, even under normal operation and steady-state conditions. The detailed and systematic analysis of this noisy behaviour can reveal valuable information about the operating status of the studied nuclear reactor. More importantly, designed modifications of the reactor’s operation or even unexpected deviations from the normal performance can be identified using advanced signal analysis techniques. The STARS program, at the Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Thermal-Hydraulics (LRT) in PSI, based on a tight collaboration with the Swiss nuclear industry, has developed a well-established signal analysis methodology, being continuously improved since more than two decades. The latest enhancements of the PSI signal analysis methodology allow a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive the reactor’s operation, and can provide better insight on the root-cause of possible disturbances or malfunctions. Recently, the latest STARS activities in advanced signal analysis techniques were culminated by an international recognition through a special distinction from the AIP Chaos Journal.
Des chercheurs du PSI ont développé un matériau dont la mémoire de forme est activée par magnétisme. La médecine, la navigation spatiale, l’électronique ou encore la robotique constituent autant de domaines d’application pour ce nouveau type de matériaux composites.
Johannes Bertsch travaille au PSI dans la division de recherche Energie nucléaire et sûreté, où il étudie les gaines qui enrobent le combustible exploité dans les centrales nucléaires.
The EU Horizon 2020 program granted 3.5 million Euros to the research and innovation project SAMOSAFER, where PSI is one of the 14 project partners. The total budget of the project, inclusive own and in-kind contributions, is 4.5 million Euros. The aim of SAMOSAFER project is to develop and demonstrate new safety barriers and a more controlled behaviour in severe accidents of the Molten Salt Reactor (MSR). Three groups at PSI will be involved in the project: the LSM groups for Advanced Nuclear Systems (ANS) and Multiscale Materials Modelling (MMM) and the Severe Accidents Research group (Sacre) of LRT, focusing on redistribution of the source term in the fuel treatment unit of MSR and assessment and reduction of radionuclide mobility during accidental conditions.
Dr Christopher Mudry, who joined PSI in 1999 and is Research Group Leader of the Condensed Matter Theory Group at PSI since 2009, was awarded the title of Adjunct Professor at EPF Lausanne with the following citation. "Dr Christopher Mudry is a highly acclaimed theoretical physicist. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on the quantum field theory of condensed matter and in the rapidly developing field of the topological properties of matter."
Progress in non intrusive laser based measurements of gas-phase thermoscalars and supporting modeling near catalytically reacting interfaces
Heterogeneous and combined hetero/homogeneous chemical processes have attracted increased attention in many energy conversion systems, which include large scale power generation, microreactors for portable power generation, household burners, fuel processing technologies and automotive exhaust gas aftertreatment. Progress in such systems crucially depends on the development of catalysts with enhanced activity and thermal stability and on the comprehensive understanding of the fundamental processes occurring near gas solid reacting interfaces.