21 April 2019

EU-funded nuclear power plant research project meeting at Kiwa Sweden

30 internationally leading experts in, inter alia, fracture mechanics were gathered at Kiwa Inspecta Technology in Stockholm. The meeting took place within the framework of the EU-funded research project ATLAS +, which will improve the controls that are carried out by nuclear power reactors.

The purpose of the meeting was to exchange experiences and reconcile the ATLAS + project. Participants, coming from Europe, Japan and the United States, are leading experts in the analysis of resistance to defects, fracture mechanics and probabilistic analysis methods.

Extended life time through advanced analysis

The ATLAS + research project period is four years, and has now come halfway. Magnus Le Grand, head of Kiwa Inspecta in Sweden: “The project aims to further improve the numerical methods for defects that must be detectable during recurring inspections, all to ensure high safety margins. Improved methods can also open up the possibility of extending the life of the nuclear power plants so that they can be used for a long time.”

“The nuclear power reactors that are in operation today have a designed lifetime based on analyzes that were done when the reactors were put into operation. By improving the methods, you get a more accurate picture of what conditions and measures are required to be able to keep the nuclear reactors in operation. The reactors may be able to continue producing CO2-free electricity for several more decades.”

In order to extend the operating time, systematic approaches are required for analyzing the aging of the nuclear power plants' various components, for example all pipelines.

Kiwa Inspecta Technology has five experts who are involved in ATLAS +. Together with other participants, they focus on safety management and continued operation of pipelines and components in reactors of generation 2 and 3.

The project includes research and development of:

  • Improved technical methods for assessing components during long-term operation.
  • Analysis of residual stresses in welds and their impact on loads during operation.
  • Advanced methods for simulation and evaluation of crack growth.
  • Probabilistic analyzes to identify uncertainties and support which safety margins are required.
  • Quantitative methods for assessing structural integrity and safety margins for components.

Organisations in ATLAS +

The project ATLAS+ (Advanced Structural Integrity Assessment Tools for Safe Long Term Operation) has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under the grant agreement No. 754589.

More information

For more information about ATLAS + please contact Kiwa Inspecta in Sweden via se.info.csc@kiwa.com.