A Focus on Thermal Ageing, The DELISA-LTO Project Aims to Determine the Most Affected And Threatened Components Of VVER Reactors From The Perspective Of The Long-Term Operation.
The DELISA-LTO project, which stands for “DEscription of the extended Lifetime and its Influence on the SAfety Operation and Construction Materials Performance,” is funded by Horizon Europe for 48 months with a total budget of €3,276,263 and a contribution from the European Commission.
Nine collaborating organizations from five different European nations—the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, and Slovakia—as well as two partners from Ukraine—make up the project consortium, which is led by the Czech partner CV. The collaboration is backed by members of the Technology Transfer Board and Advisory Board, as well as a significant global network (SNETP, NUGENIA, IAEA).
Together, they seek to identify the parts that are most impacted and in danger from the perspective of the long-term operation (LTO). The study also aims to characterize how the LTO affects the characteristics of the material and to provide a simulation tool that can forecast the material’s unacceptably unstable condition.
The Water-Water Energetic Reactor (VVER) is the primary focus of the DELISA-LTO project, and the aim is to preserve the simplicity of transfer to other light water reactor technologies as well.
The project partnership includes both Ukraine and the whole VVER EU region. The objective was to promote close cooperation amongst the nations running the VVER reactors in addition to achieving the project’s technically specified aims.
This will increase the applicability of commonly used approaches to this technology, which is crucial from the perspective of the LTO and the efficient management of decarbonization. Additionally, it is crucial for the efficient operation of nuclear power reactors past their intended lifetime.
What Structure Does The DELISA-LTO Project Have?
Six work packages (WP) make up the DELISA-LTO project.
WP1 is responsible for managing all internal operations and coordinating the project as a whole. For instance, the scheduling of the DELISA-LTO project meetings, technical project coordination, and partner and European Commission communication.
WP1 keeps track of duties related to the overall project management and the technical advancement of the works.
WP2: Evaluation And Methodology
WP2 gathers the expertise in the testing of material change as well as the experience and understanding of primary circuit component deterioration throughout the whole consortium.
WP2’s objective is to identify the elements and components that are essential for long-term operation and to provide a technique for conducting material testing.
WP3: Simulation And Modeling Under
Partner SSTC from Ukraine is in charge of WP3. Modeling and simulation of thermal aging and swelling are included.
The goal of WP3 is to comprehend and forecast how various materials and components will behave under various operating scenarios and states that might alter over time.
WP4: Experimental Testing and Validation
In order to assess the thermal aging of materials during nuclear power plant operation, WP4 develops a strong and trustworthy base of experimental data.
Results from the studies will be utilized to determine the influence on current LTO methods and methodology as well as to provide a complete assessment of the effects of degradation mechanisms on specific structural nuclear power plant components.
Wp5: Guidelines’ Synthesis
WP5 is analyzing the current safety regulations for materials that can impair long-term operating safety estimated to last 60 years.
Improvement proposals for testing processes and sample preparation techniques will be created and presented to authorities and suppliers based on theoretical knowledge and outcomes from WP2 and WP4.
WP6 (Information Sharing, Outreach, And Training)
The distribution and exploitation of results to the general public and professionals are included in WP6 (dissemination, communication, and training). Within the DELISA-LTO project’s implementation, this is a crucial problem.
Through efficient teaching, training, and workshop planning, WP6 will also aid in the knowledge transfer to a new generation of technicians.
The Project’s Primary Successes Throughout The First Year
Materials from the DELISA-LTO project that were available for research were chosen. The material used in the investigation came from the Slovak V1 unit after 28 years of operation in VVER-440, the Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant after operating for 24 to 32 years in VVER-1000, and the Ukraine nuclear power plant after operating for 30 years in VVER-1000.
In December 2023, the finalized cutting scheme for the examined materials for specific laboratories is scheduled to be released.
Establishing A Trustworthy Foundation for Experimental Activity
A solid foundation for experimental activities was established within WP4 with the aim of harmonizing testing protocols and specimen preparation techniques between participating laboratories and scientific institutions and to enable the robust comparability of experimental outputs generated within the project.
It was decided to create an experimental matrix with the chosen experiments, techniques, preferences, and testing capabilities of all participating facilities. This made a comprehensive system of experimental interlaboratory investigations’ matrix structure of test materials easier to summarize.
Spreading Information To Aspiring Professionals
From February 6–10, 2023, Koovce, Slovakia hosted the French–Czech–Slovak Winter University, which was sponsored by the DELISA–LTO initiative and the French embassies in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The workshop was developed by the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava as part of the DELISA-LTO project, which is supported by the European Union, with the intention of educating young professionals in this area.
The Workshop Featured:
- 23 competitors from Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic;
- 14 nuclear and material engineering specialists from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and France;
- 20 lectures on nuclear power plant material deterioration and long-term operation;
- A talk on nuclear methods and one technical visit to NPP-V1.