MATTER Project FP7

The operational conditions envisaged for the various  GEN IV reactor concepts, under consideration in the ESNII initiative, are quite demanding and significantly  different from the service conditions of most of the commercial reactors operating today.  The combination of severe  conditions includes: exposure to high temperatures, high neutron doses, aggressive environments.

It is recognized that the available European standards and rules for material testing and for components design & fabrication do not appropriately and completely cover the specific materials to be used in GEN IV reactors nor the issues related with their relevant operating conditions and environments.

Scope of the MATTER (MATerial TEsting and Rules) project is to contribute to cover the existing  gaps by pointing out methodologies, recovering existing experiences, and performing experiments.

Main goals of the MATTER Project are:

          To develop and establish best practice guidelines for testing  and evaluation, aimed to screen and characterize nuclear materials for all the ESNII innovative nuclear systems. These harmonized testing and evaluation guidelines will be susceptible to  be adopted in the EU laboratories.

          To perform Pre-normative activities in order to address the short term materials needs of the ASTRID & MYRRHA projects with respect to the design and construction of the structural components.  In particular, among others, the design rules for 9% Cr steel, material of the ASTRID steam generator, will be provided together with the related mechanical design properties and the updated  welding and fabrication rules.

          To optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of the EERA  Joint Program on structural materials for innovative reactors, on the base of the knowledge produced by the material researchers and of  the industrial current practices.

          To carry out  the fabrication in Europe, by different methods, of ODS steels, which are under consideration as candidate materials, in the medium-long term, for fuel cladding application.

To achieve the aforementioned objectives, the R&D activities will be focused on material testing, analysis of existing data and theoretical research. The relevant advantages of the MATTER approach are the  access to a large amount of data, generated by national researches,  and the wide comparability of results, thanks to the presence of 26 organizations  including  industries and steel makers.

The Project budget is about 12 million euro, half of which in funded by EURATOM.

MATTER is coordinated by the Italian ENEA ( Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l'energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile).

 

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