IFE hosted Nordic seminar on materials for Gen IV nuclear power

Close to 70 attendants from 12 countries took part in the NOMAGE4 seminar in Halden, from October 30 to November 1st. NOMAGE4 is a Nordic forum for material research related to the next generation, Gen IV, nuclear reactors, established in 2009.

Gen IV power plants need materials with other properties than today’s nuclear power plants. They must handle other conditions related to cooling media (lead, sodium, super critical water) and other operation environments with higher temperatures and pressure. For more information on Gen IV, see Wikipedia.

The seminar’s success shows that there is a strong interest in new concepts of nuclear power.

NOMAGE seminar IIConcetta Fazio, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology presented "European Program on Materials Research for Generation IV reactors".

One of the topics discussed was the material challenges for MYRRHA, the new accelerator driven reactor under design in Belgium. This is one of several reactor concepts that may become important for the possible future employment of Norwegian thorium resources. The University in Oslo presented opportunities for the use of thorium in current reactors.

In Sweden a national R&D program, GENIUS, has been established. Professor Ane Håkansson from the University of Uppsala spoke with great enthusiasm about the program, and emphasised how GENIUS has been important for the collaboration between the universities and the industry in Sweden. He invited IFE and Norway in on a closer collaboration.

The Halden Reactor is well suited for material testing under various conditions. In Gen IV, the materials used in the supercritical light water reactor type (SCWR) are particularly well suited for testing in Halden, and this possibility was presented and discussed the second day of the seminar.

Principal scientist Rudi van Nieuwenhove at IFE has the coordination responsibility for NOMAGE4 and was in charge of the seminar. He was very pleased with the presentations and finds it important that the Nordic countries collaborate on the possibilities that may arise, both for the research communities and for the industry. The collaboration may also be a gateway to the large European research programs on the next generation nuclear power.

NOMAGE seminar IThe seminar attracted many who were interested in the research on Gen IV reactors.

NOMAGE seminar IIIScientific discussions at the poster session.

2011-11-01 Text and photos by Øivind Berg, translation by Mona L. Ramstad.