Laboratory for Thermal-Hydraulics

Welcome to LTH

The Laboratory for Thermal-Hydraulics (LTH) forms part of PSI's Nuclear Energy and Safety Research Division (NES) and is engaged in both analytical and experimental research and development (R&D) related to the normal operation, design basis accident (DBA), beyond design basis accident (BDBA) and severe accident (SA) conditions of current and future nuclear power plants.
The rationale for the pursued activities is threefold:
  • to offer R&D support to the Swiss utilities, nuclear safety authority and industry
  • to conduct research with national and international collaborations aimed at strengthening the reactor safety associated with the accidents
  • translate research results into services and new products for back fitting to improve safety.
LTH has a close cooperation with the Laboratory for Nuclear Energy Systems of ETH Zurich. In particular it provides facility infrastructures, technical know-how and scientific supervision to students who would like to develop their Master of Science and/or Doctoral programs in the subject areas of Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics and Nuclear Safety Analysis.

Current News from LTH

29 November 2016

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Simulations for More Efficient Power Stations

Energy and Environment Nuclear Power Plant Safety

In most cases, electricity is generated when water is heated and transformed into vapour. Vapour bubbles in the water play a decisive role in this process. Using computer simulation, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have succeeded in representing the behaviour of vapour bubbles – and in making their performance more calculable.

28 September 2016

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Infrared imaging sheds new light on the condensation/evaporation process

Matter and Material Nuclear Power Plant Safety

Researcher at PSI (NES/LTH) have brought modern infrared technologies into their large thermal-hydraulic facility, called LINX, to obtain insights into condensation/evaporation process occurring under thermodynamic conditions resembling those of a nuclear power plant containment during a severe accident scenario. In such a scenario, condensation is of prime importance to control the thermodynamic state of the containment. It affects the pressure history, the overall gas (steam, hydrogen) and fission product distribution within this last barrier. Better understanding of these phenomena under accident conditions is essential to properly predict the accident evolution.