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» Thermalhydraulics Laboratory at SIET Labs, Piacenza

Nuclear reactors

Referent: Ricotti Marco Enrico

Since 2000 the research is focused on Next Generation Reactors, in particular, on the participation to the IRIS reactor project and to Generation IV studies (Lead Fast Reactor, Molten Salt Reactor).

The Group is active on innovative safety concept and systems (co-owner of International Patent on IRIS integral reactor containment and safety systems).

 theoretical and experimental investigation of helical coil tube, modular steam generators, to identify the dynamic behavior and the effect of geometrical and T-H parameters on two-phase pressure drops, dryout, flow instability;
 theoretical and experimental investigation of two-phase flow, natural circulation, closed loop passive safety systems in sliding pressure configuration;
 collaboration to the study, design and future operation of an integral facility (SPES-3) for the IRIS integral testing, for NRC licensing purposes.

Thermomechanics & structural dynamics:
 theoretical and numerical investigation on the collapse of thick tubes under external pressure, aimed at reducing their thickness with respect to existing requirements (interaction with ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code committees);
 numerical analysis of the response of Nuclear Power Plants to seismic excitation, aimed at reducing safety factors referring to analysis uncertainties, assessing soil damping influence on the component response, defining fragility curves for significant components.

Safety & Control:
 development of a risk-informed approach to the design phase of next generation reactors (e.g. IRIS), following a “safety-by-design” strategy, the main goals being a sensible reduction of both the estimated Core Damage Frequency (CDF) and the Emergency Panning Zone (EPZ);
 development of object-oriented modelling for dynamic response analysis and control purposes, applicable to different reactor concepts (IRIS, reactors for space applications, ADS), adopting a model-based, predictive control strategy.

Other activities.
 Economics of Small-Medium reactors.
 LBE cooled Accelerator Driven Systems and involvement in ELSY-European Lead-cooled SYstem project (15 EU organizations). Main topics: control systems; development and validation of codes for coupled TH-neutronics study for sustainable cores; innovative fuels (nitrides) and fuel performance codes (TRANSURANUS).

Collaborations with: Westinghouse, University of Zagreb, ENEA, Mangiarotti Nuclear, Ansaldo Nucleare, , IAEA, ESA, LENA lab-TRIGA reactor, Ben-Gurion University, ITU-Karlsruhe, POLIMI Depts.: Structural Engineering, Industrial Management and Economics, Electronics and Information.

Bovisa Campus, via La Masa, 34, 20156 Milano


More info:
Nuclear Energy Website