Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Nuclear Technology
Nuclear Safety Philosophy from 1949-2019
This webinar will discuss the development and underlying safety philosophies for nuclear plants during 1942-2019. The webinar will cover “good engineering practice” through “deterministic analysis”, and “probabilistic analysis” through to the consideration of the “black swan” effect when creating safety systems.. Finally, the webinar will discuss how these safety philosophies impacted design decisions for Generation I-IV nuclear power plants
Pr.Eng., C.Eng., MINucE, BSc(Hons), Dip.Nuc.
From 2016-2018, Mr. Nicholls was the Chief Nuclear Officer for the South Africa’s ESKOM utility company. Mr. Nicholls was accountable for all of Eskom’s nuclear activities, including the operation of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the development of the new build nuclear program, and the high temperature gas cooled nuclear research and development restart. Prior to leading ESKOM, Mr. Nicholls held the following nuclear related positions:
2010-2016: General Manager, Nuclear Engineering, where he was accountable for Nuclear Engineering at Koeberg and new build nuclear programme.
2007-2010: ESKOM, Senior Manager (Engineering), Nuclear Programmes Department. where he was the technical lead for Eskom’s “Nuclear-1” negotiations and led the creation of the new Engineering function.
2006-2007: ESKOM, Incident Investigation Manager, where he was responsible for the Investigations into all major technical incidents in ESKOM.
1998-2005 ESKOM PBMR Programme, where he was responsible for the development of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. Specifically he was responsible for the establishment of an integrated project development team including both the power plant development and analysis as well as the fuel manufacturing technology.
1993-1998: ESKOM Nuclear Safety Manager (Technology Group), where he was responsible for the nuclear safety assurance for the utility, reporting directly to the Management Board.
1992: ESKOM Koeberg NPS - Technical Support Manager, where he was responsible for Engineering Activities at Koeberg
1984-1991: ESKOM Nuclear Engineering Department, where he joined the Safety and Licensing Section, with leadership of developing Eskom’s competence in Probabilistic Safety Analysis
Modeling Pebble Bed Type High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors Using Particle Transport Code
The accurate modeling of nuclear reactors is essential for design, regulation, safety analysis, operations and forensic analysis. In the most demanding case, the calculations must be sufficiently rapid that they are much faster than natural time for burn and decay processes while still being sufficiently accurate. There are two classes of approaches to modeling the neutronics of nuclear reactors. The first is deterministic, where the neutron transport equations are solved using a combination of approximations and numerical methods based on a space-time discretization. Usually, compromises are made in the accuracy of the model in terms of the level of approximations used, the scale of the discretization and the level of geometric and material detail, in order to achieve a sufficiently fast speed of calculation. The error induced due to the compromises made is offset with compensating modifications of the physical description or processes. The second class of models is stochastic in nature. Here many statistically independent histories for each neutron event and all secondary events related to its interactions are tracked and various physical data is stored for later statistical analysis. The physics content manifests through the microscopic cross sections (probabilities) for each interaction. The thermal and material information is encoded into thermally averaged macroscopic cross sections, which are assembled together with the microscopic cross sections. The geometrical information is reconstructed using technical drawings of the system, essentially to the desired precision. The full physics of the reactor are in this way encoded into probability distributions to be sampled on an event-by-event basis in the particle tracking and data extraction process, as various objects tracked are manifested in different regions of the reactor. The particle transport code, Geant4, developed for high energy physics, has recently been extended to accommodate lower energy nuclear physics and energy scales down to the far sub-eV region. In this work, the application of the Geant4 framework to a new area, that of gas-cooled reactors, is investigated. This approach promises the capacity for a much higher degree of detail in the geometry and material definitions as well as the physics modeling detail. So far, some microscopic cross-sections, thermal macroscopic cross-sections and thermalisation has been tested. In addition, fission, burn and decay are modelled in the context of a scalable pebble bed HTGCR scenario. Wall-clock time stepping in the millisecond regime, as separate Geant4 runs, has been implemented, with complete handover of parameters to the next iteration. This allows subsequent time intervals to be continuous to previous ones, and also allows for later workflow scheduling with a thermal hydraulic code, which is designed to share pre- and post- time step data, in a joint simulation. Two new classes of physics for Geant4 have been implemented and the messaging machinery for the materials and geometry updates between runs (steps) has been used to achieve the current results. A criticality calculation for the neutron population of the system has been defined. The advent of massively parallel high-performance computing is expected to make it feasible in terms of the speed of the calculations.
Professor of physics at the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Mechanical Engineering Science
Simon Connell is professor of physics at the University of Johannesburg within the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science. He has research interests in Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Energy, Materials Science, Quantum Physics, High Performance Computing and Applied (innovation) Physics. His research spans the fields above as does his teaching. He has participated in developing a 10 Module accredited course at the 4th year level in Nuclear Energy. He has published over 150 papers in International Journals and is an ATLAS author. His rating by the SA Research Funding Agency (NRF) cites him as having “considerable international recognition”. He is a past president of the South African Institute of Physics.
He is the founding member of the South African participation in High Energy Physics at the ATLAS Experiment at CERN, where with his group he participates in a Beyond Standard Model searches as well as engineering and technical activities. Specifically, they are part of a team that searches for the force carrier particles associated with dark matter, known as the dark vector boson(s). They use the discovered Higgs as a portal, but they extend the search to include also possible undiscovered Higgs’s as further portals. Their current publications have shown two dark vector boson candidates. The work focuses on finding further candidates leading to discovery or finding a background process, which would otherwise explain these events. The group is also working on Radiation Hard Humidity Sensors for the upgraded Inner tracker, and here there is a collaboration with colleagues in the Department who are experts in Optical Fibre based sensors. A further contribution to ATLAS is research on containerization and virtualisation of High-Performance Computing based on clusters as a new solution for the main trigger and data acquisition (TDAQ) farm. He has also worked for many years at the European Synchrotron Research Facility (ESRF). The current research focus is to develop a gamma ray laser based on aligned charged particle beam incidence on a specially fabricated diamond superlattice functioning as a crystalline undulator. This is done as part of the PEARL EU collaboration. He is interested in technology for competitive industry and in innovation and has a project on the intelligent sensor-based sorting of diamond in kimberlite, which is now being commercialized. In this project, they have shown at Lab-scale the capacity to detect diamond within kimberlite at a statistical significance that indicates the process would work scaled to run-of-mine online sorting at 700 tons per hour for kimberlite rock sizes up to 10cm with enclosed diamonds of down to 5mm. The high-rate, high-sensitivity detectors for this project have been developed also as entrained micro-source trackers to study fluid-flow in hydro-cyclones. In another inter-departmental collaboration this is aimed at benchmarking CFD calculations to optimize the hydro-cyclones as mineral separators for the mining industry. He is also involved with other colleagues in the Department to build the National Case through research for South African Advanced High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors. He is interested in the combination of Monte Carlo and other beyond-deterministic methods with advanced computing solutions for the modelling of neutronics in the nuclear reactor core. A current major activity in the service of the discipline is the development of the South African user base for Light Sources, (these are premier international multi-disciplinary research tools) and the implementation of the roadmap towards the African Light Source.
An Introduction to Nuclear Security and Why its Important to You
The nuclear fraternity is a small world, and we are all affected by what one another does. A nuclear security incident in one part of the world can and will have a profound effect on the rest of the nuclear arena. We all need to become and remain aware that there are people in the world today who wish to use nuclear and radiological material for malevolent uses, and we all need to do our part in securing nuclear and radiological material, and the associated information from falling into the wrong hands.
Professor James Larkin
Director, Radiation and Health Physics Unit, University of the Witwatersrand
Professor James Larkin is Director, Radiation and Health Physics Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Professor Larkin is also the Chairman of the university’s NIH mandated Biosafety Committee and is the immediate past chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN).
Professor Larkin’s research interests include environmental measurement of NORM arising for gold mining activities, silica dust distribution around mining operations, and the effect of regional culture on the implementation nuclear security culture amongst others.
Professor Larkin serves as an expert for both the U.S. Department of State Partnership for Nuclear Security (PNS), and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Lecturing on a number of professional development workshops throughout the world for PNS (topics including Insider threat, Counter terrorism, and Introduction to nuclear security) and on various aspects of Human Resource Development in Nuclear Security for the IAEA, at both regional and national workshops).
Professor Larkin has also lectured extensively on the IAEA/ICTP International and Regional Schools for Nuclear Security. At Witwatersrand University he teaches various courses in nuclear security and radiation protection.
Professor Larkin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK, member of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, US, and a founding member of the Southern African Radiation Protection Association.
Nuclear Safety in Russian Nuclear Power Plants
This webinar will be devoted to Russian nuclear power plant (NPP) safety design features and technologies, with special focus on the Russian VVER-1200 design. The VVER-1200 is an innovative Generation 3+ technology that is already operational in Russia, and entered into commercial operation in December 2017. Fundamental safety functions have been the leading principle in the design of the VVER, which is an evolutionary technology that employs advanced safety systems and complies with all post-Fukushima regulations. The main safety concepts and functions of VVER reactors includes passivity, diversity, multiple train redundancy, and physical separation. The webinar will touch upon basic safety criteria and principles for Russian NPPs, main components of the VVER NPP, and VVER-1200 safety systems and more.
Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Nuclear Physics and Engineering Department, Obninsk Institute, MEPhi
Professor Nakhabov is associate professor at the Nuclear Physics and Engineering Department and Head of Department of International Education and Collaboration at the Obninsk Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI.
Professor Nakhabov has been training personnel for Russian-designed NPPs for over a decade, specializing in control theory basics, instrumentation design, methods of non-destructive testing, non-destructive testing in NPPs, and nuclear power engineering. Professor Nakhabov implemented first in-service welding joints inspection for equipment and pipelines in the Tianwan NPP Units 1 and 2 (China), and in cooperation with the Engineering Diagnostics Center of NIKIET in Moscow, developed the system for automated analysis of ultrasonic testing results applying NPP welding joints.
Nuclear Power Plant Technology
An overview of current (Pressurized Water Reactors, Boiling Water Reactors, CANDU) and future (Small Modular Reactors and, GEN IV) nuclear power plants will be discussed including a number of weblinks for more detailed information and to increase your own understanding of these technologies.
ao.Prof.DI.Dr. Helmuth Böck
Lecturer at the Vienna University of Technology
ao.Prof.DI.Dr. Helmuth Böck holds an Engineering Degree and Doctorate Degree from the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). From 1967-2008, Mr. Böck was the Reactor Manager for the Research Reactor at TU Wien, and from 1971-1978 he was a Member of the Reactor Safety Evaluation team for the Zwentendorf nuclear power plant. In 1979 he became Associate Professor for Reactor Safety, and since his retirement in 2008 and subsequent rehiring as a consultant at TU Wien in 2009, Mr. Böck continues to lecture on courses at TU Wien in Reactor Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Practical Exercises on Reactor Physics and Instrumentation and Control. Mr. Böck has been the coordinator of more than 90 Master and PhD Theses at TU Wien, and has more than 350 publications in international journals and at international conferences. Mr. Böck has conducted more than 80 expert missions on behalf of the IAEA to countries in Asia, Africa and South America, as well as coordinated more than 120 IAEA fellows from these countries at the research reactor at TU Wien.
Many countries around the world are now building a new, modern, fleet of nuclear power plants with many more either planning or considering nuclear to provide safe, reliable electricity and also to help reduce their carbon emissions. Many countries also have a legacy fleet of reactors that require decommissioning while some are also developing geological disposal facilities. This presentation will provide an overview of the current status of worldwide nuclear projects and reflect on some of the issues and challenges that have slowed down the wider acceptance of nuclear energy. If nuclear is chosen by some countries for their electricity why is it not chosen by all countries?