Paul Scherrer Institute
Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is the largest multi-disciplinary research center for natural sciences and technology within Switzerland that performs world-class fundamental and applied research in national and international collaboration with universities, other research institutes and industry. PSI is active in solid state physics, materials sciences, elementary particle physics, life sciences, nuclear and non-nuclear energy research, and energy-related ecology.
Within the Nuclear Energy and Safety (NES) department, the Laboratory for Nuclear Materials (LNM) and the Laboratory for Reactor Physics and Thermal-Hydraulics (LRT) are the principal research units and national centre of excellence in Switzerland in the domain of radioactive material behaviour and ageing in nuclear installations and System behaviour of Nuclear Power Plants, respectively. The LNM addresses material-related, scientific issues with regard to safety, lifetime (extension), performance and sustainability of current and future nuclear reactors. Currently, LNM focusses on the main areas: advanced nuclear materials, nuclear fuels, component safety and structural behaviour under accident conditions e.g. pressurized thermal shocks (PTS), whereas the latter activity is of most relevance for the participation in the APAL project. This activity involves the experimental characterisation of important ageing mechanisms (environmentally-assisted cracking, thermo-mechanical fatigue and irradiation embrittlement) in primary pressure boundary components, the development and validation of advanced mechanistic material ageing models and probabilistic methods for improved integrity assessments and lifetime predictions, as well as the evaluation of advanced non-destructive techniques (NDT) for the early detection of fatigue and stress corrosion crack initiation and material embrittlement. The LRT has a large expertise in thermal hydraulics and system behaviour of nuclear reactors and is one of the leading laboratories in the international community.
PSI will contribute to all Work Packages of APAL, covering the thermal hydraulics (using the TRACE code) as well as deterministic and probabilistic fracture mechanics (using ABAQUS and FAVOR codes). Furthermore, PSI will lead WP6 (Training and Dissemination).