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Materials for sustainable nuclear energy: a European strategic research and innovation agenda for all reactor generations

Abstract : Nuclear energy is presently the single major low-carbon electricity source in Europe and is overall expected to maintain (perhaps eventually even increase) its current installed power from now to 2045. Long-term operation (LTO) is a reality in essentially all nuclear European coun-tries, even when planning to phase out. New builds are planned. Moreover, several European countries, including non-nuclear or phasing out ones, have interests in next generation nuclear systems. Materials and material science play in this framework a crucial role towards safer, more efficient, more economical and overall more sustainable nuclear energy. This paper pro-poses a research agenda that combines modern digital technologies with materials science prac-tices to pursue a change of paradigm that promotes innovation, equally serving the different nuclear energy interests and positions throughout Europe. The paper chooses to overview structural and fuel materials used in current generation reactors, as well as the wider spectrum of them for next generation reactors, summarizing the relevant issues. Next it describes the ma-terials science approaches that are common to any nuclear materials (including classes that are not addressed here, such as concrete, polymers and functional materials), identifying for each of them a research agenda goal. It is concluded that among these goals are the development of structured materials qualification test-beds and materials acceleration platforms (MAPs) for ma-terials that operate under harsh conditions. Another goal is the development of mul-ti-parameter-based approaches for materials health monitoring based on different non-destructive examination and testing (NDE&T) techniques. Hybrid models that suitably combine physics-based and data-driven approaches for materials behaviour prediction can val-uably support these developments, together with the creation and population of a centralised, smart database for nuclear materials.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 17, 2022 - 2:30:12 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 18, 2022 - 3:52:53 AM


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  • HAL Id : cea-03697972, version 1



Lorenzo Malerba, Abderrahim Al Mazouzi, Marjorie Bertolus, Marco Cologna, Pal Efsing, et al.. Materials for sustainable nuclear energy: a European strategic research and innovation agenda for all reactor generations. Energies, MDPI, 2022, 15, pp.1845. ⟨cea-03697972⟩



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