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The future of nuclear data research

27 October, 2009

The JRC has co-authored a report which sets out recommendations for how the EU should tackle nuclear data research in the coming years.

High-quality nuclear data describing the nuclear reactions taking place in advanced reactors and the fuel cycle are essential for the design and safe operation of current and future nuclear power plants. The tight safety margins envisaged for new, advanced nuclear energy systems, such as Generation IV, put challenging constraints on the accuracy of nuclear data.

In anticipation of this need for an intensive programme of nuclear data research, representatives from the research community and the end-users (industry) of nuclear data came together in the collaborative project, CANDIDE. Their final report sets out a set of recommendations, or a roadmap, for sustainable nuclear data development:

  • A long term commitment to modern nuclear data evaluation in Europe

  • Support for the facilities that are capable to produce the required nuclear measurements and stimulation of high-accuracy measurements on key reactions of interest to advanced reactor development

  • To provide the capability for advanced nuclear model development

  • To ensure flexible implementation of improved nuclear data libraries in nuclear technology and design

The most important recommendations for new measurements were:

  • Fast neutron actinide cross sections for both critical and sub-critical cores

  • Cross sections for transmutation and target design in ADS

  • Specific capture and fission measurements in the 1 eV to 1 MeV range for Am and Cm isotopes

  • Well-chosen integral measurements for neutrons above 20 MeV

  • Assessment of uncertainties of high-energy data above 20 MeV

  • Nuclear data relevant for high burn-up systems

  • Fast neutron cross sections for structural materials and coolants

Download the CANDIDE final report.

About the CANDIDE project

The Coordination Action on Nuclear Data for Industrial Development in Europe ( CANDIDE) project involved 13 partners from a wide range of industry and research institutions. Four reactor construction or manufacturing organizations were represented: Framatome-ANP/Areva (France), the BNFL group (UK), the Skoda corporation in the Czech Republic represented via their technical support organization, NRI Řež, and the Romanian nuclear power industry represented via their technical support organization, CITON. Three power utilities participated in the project: TVO (Finland), EdF (France) and Slovenské Elektrárne (Slovakia). Fuel manufacturing was represented by Nexia/BNFL and Framatome/Areva, while reprocessing was represented by Nexia/BNFL. Well-known European teams for nuclear data validation (CEA Cadarache, NRG Petten) and evaluation (CEA Cadarache, CEA Bruyères-le-Châtel, NRG Petten) participated in the project. On the experimental side, JRC-IRMM Geel and TSL Uppsala ensured co-operation and interaction with the measurements community.

Latest update 27 October, 2009

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