The European Union is a leader in the nuclear field. SESAME will contribute to the reinforcement of this leadership through two main aspects:
First, the enhanced knowledge on nuclear system thermal-hydraulics and the better understanding of the mechanisms occurring in nuclear reactors will contribute to the reinforcement of the technological leadership of the EU. This enhanced knowledge will become an asset for the EU to remain at the forefront of the development of innovative reactor designs with even higher safety characteristics. It will also allow to make wiser decisions on the future safety systems in SFR & LFR. In doing so, cost reductions could be reached thanks to more efficient designs of future reactors. Finally, SESAME will reinforce the development of Gen IV reactors, allowing the use of uranium resources to be 50 to 100 times more efficient, entailing great supply chain cost savings.
This knowledge will help decrease environmental risks of existing nuclear power plants. By supporting the development of the ASTRID, MYRRHA, ALFRED and SEALER reactors, SESAME will contribute to taking a step towards the transmutation of waste, and thus towards clean and sustainable nuclear energy. SESAME will ultimately help reaching the EC’s objective to achieve a low carbon economy by cutting its CO2 emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (EC, 2011).
As SESAME will allow the main stakeholders to work together in the field of system thermal-hydraulics, this project will act as a catalyst to strengthen the research network in the field. The research performed during the project will also drive the training of new young scientists who will be able to secure the leadership of the European Union in the field for the years to come.
Lastly, achievements in the project will provide the technical background to contribute to changing the negative opinion on nuclear energy following the Fukushima accident. It will help bring about positive change, which is essential for future developments.