AREVA to continue International OECD Research Program for nuclear plant safety


The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has extended the international research program conducted at AREVA’s technical center in Erlangen (Germany) in the primary coolant loop test facility (PKL) until the end of 2015. Launched in 2001, the program investigates safety issues and responses for existing and new pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants.

Over the next few years, AREVA experts will continue to simulate hypothetical, beyond-design-basis events that could occur in nuclear power plants in order to further develop the strategies to control and mitigate such events as well as their consequences on the power plants. The new research project will particularly focus on the simultaneous failure of multiple safety systems, up to a complete black-out.

AREVA’s unique PKL test facility models a full-scale PWR primary coolant loop on which multiple measuring points have been placed throughout. Test series can therefore be performed and evaluated under realistic conditions and the results obtained allow experts to develop effective recommendations for plant operators.

”AREVA is pleased the OECD renewed its confidence and support in this project. We have been performing tests on our unique test facility since the early 1970s. This strong international interest shows once again the importance of AREVA’s know-how and infrastructure in the field of nuclear safety,“ said Stefan vom Scheidt, AREVA’s Managing Director in Germany.

Under the umbrella of the OECD, the project is funded jointly by German nuclear power plant operators, AREVA and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Other contributors are organizations, research laboratories and companies from fourteen OECD/NEA member countries, including the USA, France, Sweden and Finland. The budget of the project is about one million euros per year.

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Alison Tise
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