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International Co-operation

© philpell The political goal of the Federal Government laid down in the Atomic Energy Act - to put an end to the utilisation of nuclear energy in an orderly manner - provides restricted operating lives of the German nuclear power plants during which the highest international standards will have to be complied with. The scientific bases required are made available by a national governmental precautionary research that is independent of interests of the industry and their organisations.

The maximum possible degree of technical competence and the availability of advanced assessment methods continue to be absolutely necessary for a scientifically based safety assessment of nuclear installations according to the state of the art in science and technology. The maintenance of the technical competence required for it is also indispensable against the background of nuclear phase-out in order to maintain the high quality of the safety practice for the remaining operating lives of the nuclear power plants. Moreover, it is a prerequisite for an active participation in the further development of international safety requirements, as well as for enabling Germany to influence the further development of nuclear safety, and thus the safety level worldwide.

Therefore, it has to be ensured that Germany does not fall behind in the dynamic process of developments which takes place in the field of reactor safety internationally. For these reasons, the international co-operation, intensively promoted in Germany by the Federal Government since the beginning of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, is of special importance today.

The GRS Research Management Division assists the BMWi in the planning as regards contents and the technical co-ordination of its international co-operation activities.

OECD projects

In addition to the bilateral co-operation and exchange agreements on reactor safety research, the projects within the framework of the OECD-NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency) are to be mentioned in particular which have gained in importance in the last years. These projects bring together the interests of many countries in the solution of jointly identified safety issues in the efficient use of the experimental resources still available internationally by joint financing of the necessary investigations. Moreover, they render a scientific added value because experts from different countries jointly develop in detail the planning of the projects and their realisation as well as the interpretation of the results and their impacts on safety.

For each of the OECD projects, a contract is concluded by the participants which stipulates the work programme, the financial obligations of the participating countries, the regulations for the realisation of the project and the access to its results.

In general, half of the costs for OECD projects is borne by the country which provides the experimental facility. The remaining costs are shared among the participating OECD countries. The respective shares are calculated according to a special distribution key of the OECD-NEA.

The financial participation of Germany is realised in most of the cases as projects within the framework of project-sponsored reactor safety research of the BMWi. On behalf of the ministry, GRS assumes the tasks of the signatory of the international agreements. The GRS Research Management Division represents the interests of Germany in the board of management or steering committees of the projects. In projects with financial participation of the German industry, the industry is also represented in the steering committee of the project. Technical issues of these projects are discussed and specified in detail by a Programme Review Group (PRG), consisting of experts from the participating countries. The final results of the PRG are submitted to the steering committee for decision-making. Depending on the topic, PRGs consist of experts from GRS, research centres or universities or the German industry.

Germany participates in all current projects of the OECD-NEA on reactor safety research:

HALDEN Reactor Project

  • Topics of research: In-pile fuel/materials investigation, man-machine interaction (control room design, information systems)
  • Participants: 19 countries
  • Performed by: Institute for Energy Technology, Kjeller and HALDEN, Norway
  • Duration: 01.01.2012 – 31.12.2014

CABRI (name of the reactor in Cadarache)

  • Topic of research: Tests at the CABRI research reactor on the behaviour of high burn-up and MOX fuel under the conditions of reactivity-induced accidents
  • Participants: 12 countries
  • Performed by: Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), France
  • Duration: 01.01.2002 - 23.03.2015
  • NEA website on OECD CABRI Project

PKL III (Primärkreislauf – primary coolant loop)

  • Topic of research: Boron dilution in cold legs of primary coolant loops during loss-of-coolant/loss-of-residual-heat-removal accidents
  • Participants: 16 countries
  • Performed by: Framatome ANP, Germany
  • Duration: 01.04.2012 - 31.12.2015
  • NEA website on OECD PKL Project

SCIP 2 (Studsvik Cladding Integrity Project)

  • Topic of research: Influence of hydrogen up-take and high burn-up on the integrity of fuel cladding tubs during reactor transients and loss-of-coolant accidents
  • Participants: 10 countries
  • Performed by: Studsvik Nuclear, Studsvik, Sweden
  • Duration: 01.07.2009 - 30.06.2014
  • NEA website on OECD SCIP 2 Project

ROSA-2 (Rig of Safety Assessment-Large Scale Test Facility)

  • Topic of research: Multi-phase flow phenomena and thermal-hydraulic system behaviour during loss-of-coolant accidents in pressurised water reactors
  • Participants: 13 countries
  • Performed by: Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), Tokai-mura, Japan
  • Duration: 01.07.2009 - 30.06.2014
  • NEA website on OECD ROSA 2 Project


PRISME 2 (Propagation d´un Incendie pour les Scénarios Multi-locaux Elémentaires)

  • Topic of research: Further investigations of fire propagation by means of experiments and analysis relevant for nuclear power plant application
  • Participants: 8 countries
  • Performed by: Institut de radioprotection et de sureté nucléaire (IRSN), France
  • Duration: 01.07.2011 - 30.06.2016
  • NEA website on OECD PRISME 2 Project


ThAI 2 (Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosol, Iodine)

  • Topic of research:Experimental tests at the ThAI facility concerning the behaviour of fission products and Hydrogen in the containment
  • Participants: 11 countries
  • Performed by: Becker Technologies, Germany
  • Duration: 01.08.2011 - 31.07.2014
  • NEA website on OECD THAI 2 Project


BIP-2 (Behaviour of Iodine Project)

  • Topic of research: Behaviour of iodine in support of source term evaluation in case of severe accident in a nuclear reactor
  • Participants: 10 countries
  • Performed by: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada
  • Duration: 01.04.2011 - 31.03.2014
  • NEA website on OECD BIP-2 Project


SFP (Sandia Fuel Pool Project)

  • Topic of research: Experimental programme and related analyses for the characterization on hydraulic and ignition phenomena of prototypic water reactor fuel assemblies
  • Participants: 13 countries
  • Performed by: Sandia National Laboratories, USA
  • Duration: 01.04.2009 - 28.02.2013
  • NEA website on OECD SFP Project


STEM (Source Term Evaluation and Mitigation)

  • Topic of research: Experimental tests at the Epicur facility concerning the behaviour of iodine and ruthenium in case of severe accidents
  • Participants: 7 countries
  • Performed by:  Institut de radioprotection et de sureté nucléaire (IRSN), France
  • Duration: 01.07.2011 - 30.06.2015
  • NEA website on OECD STEM Project


LOFC (Loss-of-Forced Cooling)

  • Topic of research: Advanced reactor performance during Loss-of-Forced cooling with HTTR
  • Participants: 7 countries
  • Performed by: Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), Tokai-mura, Japan
  • Duration: 31.03.2011 - 31.03.2013
  • NEA website on OECD LOFC Project


Image Source: © philpell