Issue No. 20 Spring
(April 2008)


ENS News

Word from the President

An Interesting Idea

ENS Events

NESTet 2008


Pime 2008

PIME 2008 - Meeting communication challenges

RRFM 2008

ENA 2008

Member Societies & Corporate Members

Taming the Chernobyl Avalanche

IAEA presents results of OSART Mission

The Advanced Reactor Group (GRA)

Calculation of the neutron flux, fuel and moderator temperature transients for Research Reactors

The Swiss Nuclear Society celebrates 50 years of activities

Nuclear leadership awareness workshop in Rome

YGN Report

The Simpsons and the Nuclear Energy

European Institutions

Lobby for nuclear power inside the European institutions

ENS World News

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff

NESTet 2008
4 - 9 May 2008 in Budapest, Hungary


30.9. - 3.10. 2008 in Dubrovnic, Croatia
































The Advanced Reactor Group (GRA) of The Spanish National Technological Platform for R&D on Nuclear Fission Energy (CEIDEN).

The National Technologic Platform for Nuclear Fission Energy R&D CEIDEN is the organisation coordinating the Spanish R&D needs and efforts in the field of fission nuclear technology. Its objective is to develop joint projects that affect different entities with similar problems, and to present a single position responsible for leading to the international proposals or compromises. In the CEIDEN Platform all the sectors related to the Spanish nuclear R&D are present and its scope includes both nuclear power plants currently in operation and future reactors. Any Spanish entity related to nuclear R&D may become a CEIDEN member.

The CEIDEN strategic agenda addresses all those technology-related areas of nuclear fission energy which technical, industrial or scientific aspects. With this purpose in mind, nine technological areas were identified: Materials Behaviour, Fuel Reliability, HLW and Spent Fuel Management, Non Destructive Testing, Equipment Reliability, I&C, Safety and Risk technologies, LWR and Radioprotection and New Plant Designs.

In order to develop the New Plant Designs Area, CEIDEN launched a single task force called the Advanced Reactor Group (GRA). The purpose of this group is to explore short, medium and long-term nuclear fission energy technologies and initiatives. Twenty-one Spanish entities take part in the GRA, with the participation of industry, research centers, universities and regulatory bodies.

One of the main features of the GRA is its ability to join capabilities, views and efforts from the Spanish industry, research centres, regulatory body and universities in contact with the nuclear field. This characteristic has been recently recognized by the European Commission as the optimal kind of national framework for the development of nuclear R&D projects.

In addition, this multidisciplinary quality allows both constituting working groups with high quality experience in different areas and assuring the transfer of knowledge from the older generation to the young one.

Moreover, The GRA aims to channel all the information related to International R&D programs in the nuclear field, as the European Framework Programs, in order to streamline the participation of all its members.

The GRA activities have classified according to five relevant areas:

  • The Generation III and Generation III+ reactors Area

  • The Generation IV reactors Area

  • The IAEA INPRO initiative Area

  • The Transmutation Area

  • The Simulation area

The GRA Generation III and III+ area aims to follow up the activities related to Gen III reactors. Two complementary lines have been recognized as of interest within this project. Firstly, to identify the most suitable licensing process for a potential nuclear power plants build in Spain, taking USA, Finland, France and UK as available examples of licensing framworks. Secondly, to assess the technology capabilities of the Spanish industry for determining its optimal participation level in such projects.

The main purpose of the GRA Generation IV Area is to gain knowledge and know-how through participating in all the international ongoing activities concerning Generation IV innovative systems. The Generation IV Forum, GIF, has selected six technologies for their development. It seems that two of them have been identified as the most promising ones for a commercial expansion: the Sodium Fast Reactor (SFR) and the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR). Although Spain is not a direct member of GIF, any member of the Spanish nuclear sector may participate in any of the GIF projects throughout the EURATOM membership.

In addition, the European Commission Framework Programs (FPs) usually define, among other R&D needs, a set of European R&D projects in connection with the GIF identified technologies. One of the GRA Generation IV area purposes in this sense is to identify the FPs projects of importance for the CEIDEN members and to coordinate an integrated participation. As the Sodium and VHT reactors have been chosen within both the GIF and the next FP (seventh), the short term focus objective of this area is to manage a Spanish integrated contribution to these two projects.

Teplotni Pole Reactor

Given that Spain is an OIEA INPRO full member, the main objective of the GRA INPRO Area is to perform a tracking of the INPRO activities and initiatives. Nowadays, INPRO aims at developing a selected group of innovative nuclear systems. The GRA INPRO Area members have studied and selected three projects within the INPRO tasks and intend to monitor their activities.

The objective of the GRA Transmutation Area is to perform a tracking of any activity related to the design of radioactive waste transmutation reactors. In this direction, and in a similar way to other GRA areas, all the technologies in consideration will be assessed and a selection will be made based on the suitability of a short and medium term deployment in the Spanish framework. At the same time as for Generation IV, the European Commission has defined a set of transmutation projects to be developed through the Framework Programmes. Consequently, the most interesting Frame Program projects will be identified and a consensus for an integrated Spanish participation will be reached within the GRA Transmutation Area.

The objective of the GRA Simulation Area is to serve as support for the rest of the GRA Areas by identifying the simulation needs inside the Spanish nuclear sector and by improving the Spanish simulation capabilities. Therefore, the current needs will be identified and the codes that could cover these needs in a better way will be selected and studied. As expected, this group is tightly linked to the others.

In summary, the GRA CIEDEN intends to boost the Spanish nuclear sector involvement, including both industry and public entities as universities and research centres, in the current R&D related to advanced technologies for future nuclear fission systems. As a spin-off of their activities the Spanish nuclear sector will reinforce their capability to face a potential deployment of nuclear energy power plants in Spain and elsewhere in a coordinated way.

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