Research > Program No. 2: Structural and System Diagnostics

Program No. 2: Structural and System Diagnostics

This research program is focused on support of life-time extension of nuclear power plants of current G-II and G-III generations, support of construction and future service of reactors of G-IV generation and fusion reactors and investigation of highly irradiated materials.

Main objectives:

  • To describe a degradation of structural and mechanical properties of nuclear reactors after long-time operation (LTO) and to research the microstructural and chemical changes in materials after exposition in nuclear reactors
  • Design, optimization and implementation of testing specimens for research of material properties.
  • Development of a new Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) procedures for ferrite, austenitic and heterogeneous weld joints and components of a complex configurations. Certification (NDE qualification) of the components using test pieces with artificial defects of integrity for realistic simulations of operating cracks and mathematical modelling of echoes measurements.
  • Development of a general-purpose hardware and software for remote manipulation and control for new testing devices of welds at critical areas of primary and secondary circuits of NPPs.
  • Development of new procedures for verification of thermal and radiation resistance and properties of NPP’s components under extreme conditions of severe accidents.

Research activities:

This research program is divided to four research activities (RA).

  • RA1: Degradation and life-time of materials for nuclear reactors
    Experimental research and development deals with materials exposed to working conditions in nuclear reactors, degradation effects after combination of neutron irradiation and thermal ageing, mechanical static or cyclic loading and corrosion effect of cooling media. Research is focused on reactor materials working in conditions of current NPP with respect to LTO conditions and life extension of components and materials of next-generation nuclear reactor systems including fission and fusion reactors.
  • RA2: NDE qualification and development of manipulators for testing nuclear reactors
    Development, form, modification and implementation of new methods and manipulators for non-destructive testing, including of method phase-array for components and pipeline systems of NPP II. and III. Generation. Purpose is maximal degree utilization of most-modern UT/ET/RT testing and new methods of forming signal UT/ET.
  • RA3: Simulating severe accidents of NPP of new generation
    The study of property and behaviour of equipment, components and materials for using in security systems of NPP present and future generation. For this study is determined LOCA device (Loss of Coolant Accident), especially for research of limit operating conditions influence, which security equipment systems of NPP II. to IV. generation could be expose. Part of activity are other laboratories too, which will be independently participate on research and evaluation of material properties and complete components in aspect of tolerance towards termodynamic strain and ionizing radiation.
  • RA4: Hot cells
    Completely new complex of 10 hot cells. Cells will be equipped by sets of devices for preparation of active-test pieces, mechanical testing in room temperature as well as temperature up to 1200°C, testing for study corrosion property and for study highly irradiated materials. Capacity of hot cell is to 300 TBq (calculated on 60Co). Part of complex is also one semi-hot cell, which is determined for microstructural analyses of irradiated samples.

Summary of main laboratories:

  • Centre of highly sensitive analytical devices
  • Laboratory of non-destructive testing
  • Electro-mechanical laboratory of robotics
  • LOCA and VN laboratory
  • Laboratory of simulation and study cracks and non-integrities
  • Irradiation room 60CO
  • Hot cells

Head of the Department