ABOUT McSAFER

The main objective of McSAFER is the advancement of the safety research for Small Modular Reactors (SMR) by combining safety-relevant thermal hydraulic experiments and numerical simulations of different approaches for safety evaluations. The experiments will be performed on existing European thermal hydraulic test facilities such as COSMOS-H (KIT), HWAT (KTH) and MOTEL (LUT) to investigate SMR-specific safety-relevant phenomena (subcooled boiling, critical heat flux, transition from forced to natural circulation) with the goal to provide corresponding data for code validation.

The neutron physical, thermal hydraulics and safety related investigations are focused on four SMR-designs such as CAREM (CNEA), SMART (KAERI), Nuward (CEA) and NuSCALE (NuScale).

Advanced computational tools developed and partly validated in the European research projects NURESAFE, HPMC and McSAFE will be used to evaluate the behaviour of the core and the plant of these SMR-designs. Multiscale thermal hydraulic methods will be applied for the analysis of the multidimensional phenomena inside the reactor pressure vessel. Moreover, different numerical tools (conventional, low order and high fidelity) will be applied to demonstrate the inherent safety features of the SMR-core designs regarding the safety function (sub-criticality, coolability) under postulated design-basis-accident conditions.

Objectives

  • Perform key experimental investigations in three European laboratories with focus on SMR-relevant phenomena in the core and in the reactor pressure vessel to provide data for code validation.
  • Validation of the thermal hydraulic codes (CFD, subchannel and system thermal hydraulic) with the experimental data generated within the consortium to increase the confidence in the numerical tools used for safety demonstration
  • Improve the neutron physical, thermal hydraulic, and thermos-mechanic simulation of SMR-cores under static and accidental conditions e.g. REA and demonstrate the complementarity of advanced and high-fidelity core analysis methods with the traditional ones when apply in licensing processes
  • Improve the simulation of the three-dimensional thermal hydraulic phenomena inside the reactor pressure vessel of the integrated SMR-concepts by using multiscale thermal hydraulic tools in combination with traditional one-dimensional system thermal hydraulic codes.
  • Apply the improved and validated numerical tools for the analysis of selected accidents in SMR-plants and compare the results with the ones of traditional methods
  • Provide advanced computational tools capable of performing safety analysis in accordance with the European WENRA-requirements and considering specifics of national regulatory guidelines for the near-term deployment of SMRs in Europe.
  • Demonstrate the advantages of the use of high-fidelity codes in practical licensing process and the complementarity of low-order and high order solvers to reduce conservatism in safety demonstrations and enhance operational flexibility in a mixed grid of carbon-free electricity generation

Ambition

  • Increase the level of knowledge about selected thermal hydraulic phenomena in the core and RPV of SMR-concepts by key experimental investigations to support Europe in the licensing of SMR-design.
  • Improve low order deterministic neutronic solvers (e.g. SP3) for the pin /subchannel level simulation of reactor cores coupled with subchannel codes and further develop multiscale thermal hydraulic solvers for the more precise simulation of 3D phenomena inside the RPV and the core of SMRs by multi-scale coupling approaches to support Europe and the safety evaluations of SMR-cores to be deployed in Europe.
  • Consolidate the application of high-fidelity tools based on multi-scale and multi-physics for the evaluation of the safety of SMR-designs and to show their complementary with conventional/traditional safety analysis tools used in licensing process in line with the strategic research agenda defined in Horizon 2020 to support Europe in the deployment of SMRs.

For maximum use of available expertise, the technical work of McSAFER is organised in seven work.
All partners contribute to the major work packages for an optimal integration and networking.

WP2

Experimental investigations and validation
LUT

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WP3

Multiphysics
core analysis
VTT

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WP4

Multi-scale
RPV Analysis
UJV

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WP5

Multi-scale
Plant Analysis
HZDR

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WP6

Dissemination, exploitation and communication
UPM

Illustration of contribution of the partners