Advanced Assessment Methods for Nuclear Power Plant Safety

Special session on Advanced PTS Analysis for Long-Term Operation in SMiRT27

Members of the APAL consortium actively participated in the 27th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT27), held in Yokohama, Japan, from March 3 - 8, 2024. The conference featured a dedicated session showcasing the outcomes of workpackages (WP) 3 and 4, providing an excellent platform to share the knowledge and insights garnered during the APAL project. This event not only facilitated the dissemination of research findings but also fostered valuable interactions with fellow experts in reactor technology, enabling the exchange of ideas and feedback crucial for advancing the field.

Under the theme "Next Generation Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology," SMiRT27 emphasized lessons drawn from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant accident. Attended by leaders, engineers, regulators, and academics from the nuclear technology domain, the conference addressed critical topics such as global nuclear safety, long-term operation considerations, regulatory-industry communication, and standardization of codes and standards.

APAL project members made significant contributions through nine presentations, covering a spectrum of topics ranging from advanced pressurized thermal shock analysis to probabilistic benchmarking. The list of presentations include:

  • Advanced PTS Analysis for LTO – overview of APAL project
  • Centered Benchmark on Structural Assessment within APAL project – Results and Conclusions
  • Deterministic benchmark definition for the Advanced Pressurized thermal shock Analysis for Long term operation (APAL) project
  • Evaluation of the deterministic benchmark for the Advanced Pressurized thermal shock Analysis for Long term operation (APAL) project
  • Time increment effect of input thermo-hydraulic and output structural data on PTS analyses results
  • Pressurized thermo-shock analyses for LTO improvements based on TRACE thermo-hydraulic data
  • Fracture mechanical assessment of thermal-hydraulic uncertainties in pressurized thermal shock analyses of reactor pressure vessels
  • Probabilistic benchmark definition for the APAL project
  • Probabilistic benchmark within the APAL project – Results and Conclusions

These presentations, delivered by experts from some of the partners’ institutions including Vladislav Pištora (UJV), Ralf Tiete (Framatome), Katharina Angermeier (Framatome), Oriol Costa-Garrido (JSI), Diego F. Mora (PSI), Christoph Bläsius (GRS) and Andrey Shipsha (KIWA), highlighted the project's outcomes in defining deterministic and probabilistic benchmarks, assessing thermal-hydraulic uncertainties, and quantifying margins for long-term operation improvements.

The vibrant atmosphere of the conference provided many opportunities for cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange. Discussions spanned diverse aspects of safety, reliability, risk management, and the challenges associated with extending the operational lifespan of nuclear power plants (NPPs). The findings of the APAL project will be a valuable resource and used to extend the lifetime of these valuable assets (NPP) in Europe and around the World.

Coordinator Vladislav Pistora at SMiRT