Developing the experimental analysis of radiated materials on the nanoscale to improve safety studies, as well as of aging of new materials used, especially in nuclear facilities (including ceramics for Generation IV or materials for nuclear fusion and ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor).
These studies are intended to lift some technological blocks in the analysis of degradation due to radiation by neutrons of materials. The results will make it possible to better understand phenomena on the atomic scale and improve the modelling and simulations, especially on the aging of components of nuclear systems. Observations on the nanoscale will make possible real progress in the understanding of phenomena causing the degradation of materials.
Maintaining, throughout the life of a nuclear reactor, a high level of safety and nominal energy and economic performance necessitates responses to major challenges. In this area, the control of the aging of materials plays a key role. The general problem of the energy mix, issues on the extension of the life of the current plants and on nuclear safety after the accident of Fukushima are crucial.
As a result of this new equipment, the skills and knowledge of French research in this field, recognized globally, will be strengthened. The project will allow better coordination and synergy of efforts in France in order to increase the visibility of teams and research results at the international level.
The issue of the behaviour of materials under radiation is crucial for the nuclear industry and nuclear safety in the current context, whether for the reactors in service or those of the future. The project will make a significant contribution to AREVA and EDF, industry leaders in this area.