As part of the Excellence Spreading activities, the first SARNET2 “Severe Accident Phenomenology Short Course” was successfully organized from 10th to 14th January 2011 by CEA and Pisa University and hosted by Engineering Faculty of Pisa University, with the participation of about 100 students from 20 different countries, which is the highest number from the beginning of SARNET.
Nationalities of the participants to the Pisa 2011 course
This was again a 1-week course on phenomenology, focused on disseminating the knowledge gained on severe accidents in the last two decades to Master-PhD students, young engineers and researchers. The goal was also to refresh participants memories after 5 years and SARNET new outcomes, with a program covering severe accident phenomenology and progression in current water-cooled Gen.II NPPs, but also the different design solutions in Gen.III ones (i.e. the “in-vessel” melt retention concept or the “ex-vessel” core catcher concept). The Pisa course was also presented as an highlight of the SARNET2 Education & Training program at the ENS NESTet Conference in May 2011 at Prague (the poster is available on the SARNET2 web site).
During the course, the severe accident phenomenology has been described through its progression in the core and in the lower head up to vessel failure, followed by the ex-vessel accident progression, with the loadings which can cause early containment failure (i.e. Direct Containment Heating, hydrogen combustion in containment, steam explosion) and the late containment failure (i.e. MCCI, coolability, etc.) The source term with fission products release from the core and transport in the reactor coolant system and in the containment has been specially emphasized.
Lecturers were experts from 8 different countries, with large skills and knowledge on Gen.III plants and on the progression of a severe accident. The presence of lecturers from industry was utilized to describe how the different plants would react during an accident, keeping in mind that an introductory course would not allow lengthy discussions or computer simulations.
The course was open to university students with a strong discount fee (decision improving in a relevant way the participation of young researchers and students) and contributed for 3 ECTS (with a written work) as an advanced course for master students, with a strong link among SARNET2, ENEN & European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE).
Participants to the Pisa 2011 course