HOW WE CONTRIBUTE TO NUCLEAR SAFETY
THE INCREASED KNOWLEDGE ON FLOW-INDUCED VIBRATION PHENOMENA TOGETHER WITH THE HIGH-RESOLUTION NUMERICAL TOOLS THAT ARE IMPROVED AND VALIDATED WITHIN THE GO-VIKING PROJECT ARE EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE DESIGN, OPERATION, AND SAFETY OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, IN PARTICULAR THROUGH:
IMPROVED PLANT OPERATION AND AVAILABILITY
Improving normal operation performance of current reactors through less fuel rod and steam generator tube leakages leads to shorter and/or less plant outages, increased plant availability, and lower staff exposure. According to IAEA, grid-to-rod-fretting wear, resulting from flow-induced vibrations, is the cause of 58% of fuel failures in pressurized water reactors worldwide and one of the major causes of fuel failure in boiling water reactors.
ENHANCED PLANT SAFETY AND REDUCED EXPOSURE
Flow-induced vibrations of fuel rods and steam generator tubes may lead to failed confinement barriers for the radioactive inventory in the reactor. Increased knowledge about these phenomena and better analysis tools will enable operators to identify and replace at-risk components before failure and allow designers to better considers such loads. This enhances plant safety, decreases the risk for initiating events and reduces staff exposure.
ACCURATE AND EFFICIENT TOOLS AND METHODS
The development of accurate and efficient fluid-structure interaction (FSI) tools and methods, as well as the training of experts in their application withing GO-VIKING, will highly increase the expertise in the evaluation of such phenomena in nuclear power plants. The developed good practices and simulation methods will improve the prediction and evaluation of flow-induced vibrations by EU stakeholders, and support their decision-making on respective countermeasures in the plants.
INCREASED STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF KEY PLANT COMPONENTS
The material wear in the ageing European power plants increases the susceptibility of the key plant components to flow-induced vibrations. Plant power uprate programs featuring heat transfer enhancement through higher flow velocities and thinner tube walls negatively impact the structure’s vibration behavior. Improved design against flow-induced vibrations and increased structural integrity of key plant components, through enhanced knowledge, will support the nuclear operators in Europe to successfully realize their power uprate and long-term operation programs.
COMMUNITY BUILDING AND NETWORKING BETWEEN ACADEMIA AND INDUSTRY
GO-VIKING gathers organisations and experts from the EU and beyond with strong experiences in numerical and experimental flow-induced vibration analysis. Three groups of partners constitute the project: TSOs, industry, and research&academia. The GO-VIKING project serves as a networking platform upon which the European flow-induced vibrations community is built and further enhances the knowledge on flow-induced vibrations phenomena in nuclear power plants.
DESIGN AND DEPLOYMENT OF INNOVATIVE NUCLEAR FACILITIES
In the GO-VIKING project, modern and general-purpose fluid-structure interaction analysis tools are developed. These will support vendors in the design of innovative nuclear facilities as well as the nuclear operators in their deployment in the future low-carbon and smart energy systems, thus facilitating the low-carbon EU policy through research and innovation missions.