Research Centre Řež: Sustainable Energy infrastructure (SUSEN) has been fully commissioned

A robust, nuclear technologies focused research infrastructure has been commissioned in Řež and Plzeň● Pre-commercial and commercial research of nuclear technologies ● New laboratories and teams working for important R&D projects of current and future nuclear power generation● R&D od non-nuclear and renewable power generation technologies

On June 30, 2017, Research Centre Řež, a pre-commercial R&D member of the UJV Group has finished the building phase of the Sustainable Energy (SUSEN) project. The project was financed by the European Union and the Czech government under the „Research and Development for Innovation“ and „Research, Development and Education“ operation programmes managed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MEYS).

The technological infrastructure within the SUSEN project was designed and built between 2012 and 2017 as a synergetic complex of experimental technologies. It has enabled a creation of R&D teams which are specialized and involved in important national and international projects to solve cutting edge issues of power generation, particularly in nuclear power. The SUSEN facilities are placed in the Řež nuclear research valley, in the Scientific & Technology Park in Plzeň and at the West-Bohemian University in Plzeň. The university has been an important project partner. The overall cost of the project was 2,7 billion CzK (app. 100 million Euro). External supplies of work and facilities was under full public procurement regime, a part of the facilities was delivered by the Research Centre Řež itself.

 To support the development of Generation IV nuclear technologies, unique technological loops were built to test materials in high temperature and pressure coolant operating conditions, to develop thermal hydraulic models, validate the codes and develop operating regimes for cooling media i.e. high temperature helium, supercritical water, liquid heavy metals, molten salts and supercritical CO2. The supercritical water loop and the high temperature helium loop are interconnected with the research reactor LVR-15 which allows perfect simulation of future operating conditions including influence of neutron and gamma radiation.

Project SUSEN has enabled the participation of Research Centre Řež with the ITER project of future fusion reactor. As an example the HELCZA facility grants testing conditions for the primary wall and divertor components with heat fluxes up to 20 MW/m2.

The material research capabilities have been strengthened by the new complex of 10 hot cells which enable a safe handling of highly radioactive materials. The hot cells are equipped by full chain of facilities from preparation of specimens via a wide range of mechanical, thermal-mechanical and corrosion-mechanical testing up to full microstructural analysis. A high-end mechanical properties testing laboratory was built in Plzeň for non-active materials. An important part of SUSEN material research is built upon the laboratories of highly sensitive analysis, including optical, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and nano-indentation methods. Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy will not only provide extremely sensitive composition material-focused analysis but will be very useful as a part of the international nuclear weapon non-proliferation programme.  Durability of materials and components of nuclear facilities under the loss of coolant type of accidents will be a subject of research laboratory which simulates the LOCA conditions.

To explore aspects of the fuel cycle back, the cold crucibles laboratory was built to analyse behaviour of molten reactor core (corium). New methods of radioactive waste processing are supported by dedicated laboratory. The final disposal related issues will be studied in a laboratory enabling migration of substances in deep geological formations.

The finalization of the SUSEN project has created new enabling conditions for the Czech research community to participate in development and utilization of experimental approaches which are important for new designs of Generation IV and fusion technologies, to research and develop new solutions to support long term safe operation of the current technologies. Material research, research of coolants and new waste related technologies are to be used also in non-nuclear applications. The new R&D platform represents also a unique opportunity for researchers in their innovative effort and professional growth. This way it will enable further development of competencies and knowledge in nuclear and non-nuclear technologies and secures lifetime carrier perspectives for young R&D professionals.


For contact:

Jiří Richter
SUSEN project manager


Centrum výzkumu Řež s.r.o.
phone: +420 26617 3186