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Fission and radiation protection

Use of RPV Dosimetry Benchmark Results for Determining Radiation Embrittlement Damage: Workshop Discusses New Results for VVER Reactors

New reactor dosimetry results that are important for the justification of the safe operation and the prolongation of the lifetime of nuclear power plants operating with Soviet-designed VVERtype reactors, which were obtained during the REDOS, RETROSPEC, TACIS and COBRA projects, will be presented and discussed in the RADE project.

New results, new methods

The links between the partners of the RADE workshop
The links between the partners of the RADE workshop
The RADE project is largely concerned with the preparation and execution of a major international workshop on reactor dosimetry. The main objective is to disseminate the new reactor dosimetry results obtained by a number of European Commission projects in the Fifth Euratom Framework Programme. These include the VVER reactor benchmark data from the REDOS project, the experiments with reactor pressure vessel (RPV) surveillance specimens carried out at the Balakovo and Kola nuclear power plants within the COBRA and TACIS projects, and the possible use of niobiuminduced activity for retrospective neutron fluence analyses evaluated by the RETROSPEC project.

The long-term objectives of the workshop are to transmit and preserve knowledge by involving professionals and young researchers, and stimulating enhanced application of the results to derive more precise determination of the irradiation embrittlement ageing of VVER structural materials. The workshop will review the state-of-the-art in the reactor pressure vessel dosimetry field, and it will emphasise trends in future development of neutron fluence calculation methods and measurement techniques.

Benchmark conclusions, wide participation

Speakers will be invited from all countries involved in the above projects in order to find an optimal combination of expertise covering the application of results and conclusions from benchmarking, which was performed in VVER-1000 and VVER-440 reactor pressure vessel mockups. This will cover plant lifetime assessment, comparative studies and uncertainty analyses of the benchmarks and ex-vessel measurements in reactor dosimetry, and application of the benchmarks to training and licensing.

The RADE workshop will be of interest to utilities, regulatory bodies and research organisations. Participation by the younger generation of researchers will be stimulated through travel grants and the opportunity to make short presentations. Proceedings and a conclusive summary will be produced after the workshop, and RADE's conclusions will be exchanged with PERFECT and COVERS project partners, and other groups of experts involved in plant life management.

Lifetime predictions, development of knowledge

The workshop will contribute to many Euratom programme objectives by:

  • training experts to apply the VVER dosimetry benchmark results and associated calculation methods in embrittlement assessment of reactor pressure vessels
  • providing effective tools to the utilities and national licensing authorities for estimating more accurately the present and future safety of reactor pressure vessels
  • advancing neutron fluence calculation methods and assessment of different sources of uncertainties in order to increase the precision and reliability of the prediction of RPV lifetime
  • enhancing the collaboration between reactor dosimetry experts as a base for preserving and developing knowledge.

The project activities are focused on the enhancement of nuclear power plant safety and should stimulate the updating of standards and guidelines.

Securing future specialists and safe energy

The workshop is a tool for involving young specialists in reactor dosimetry knowledge and skills, and for motivating their future participation in this area. The attendees invited to the workshop will come from R&D organisations, utilities and nuclear safety authorities of the countries operating nuclear power plants with VVERtype reactors. These include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia and Ukraine. In addition, the participation in this project of representatives from Spain, Germany, the Netherlands - countries that do not operate VVERs - will promote technical collaboration between the EU and Eastern Europe, enabling a greater exchange of ideas and local expertise. The workshop will serve to enhance the integrity of reactor pressure vessels used in VVERs, thereby decreasing the potential environmental impact of plant operation. The dissemination and preservation of knowledge derived from the project will contribute to the Union's competitiveness and help preserve the EU security of energy supply.

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