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SESAME Newsletter #1 (March 2016) 

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SESAME members in Cadarache, October 2015
SESAME members in Cadarache, October 2015


SESAME is an ambitious project. Simply speaking it aims to open the “gateway” toward the safety assessment of liquid metal cooled reactors, without forgetting that light water reactors are in operation worldwide. To achieve this goal, since the very beginning, the best European researchers and scientists in the liquid metal field have been involved, together with the most promising research projects: ASTRID, MYRRHA, ALFRED, SEALER.

ASTRID is the Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor prototype, developed by the CEA in France. According to ESNII, the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative, ASTRID is the short-term reference for the application of fast reactors for sustainable nuclear energy production. Indeed it is based on the most proven technology, thanks to the large experience gained in the past on nuclear reactors like Phenix, properly included in the SESAME project (Phenix dissymmetric test).

The lead-technology is the mid-term option for ESNII. In this context MYRRHA, developed by the SCK-CEN in Belgium, is the experimental pilot plant for the lead technology and, as a multipurpose fast neutron spectrum irradiation facility, it will serve as a technological system for waste transmutation and irradiation facility for material and fuel development.

ALFRED is the demo for the lead technology. It is a critical reactor being developed in the frame of the FALCON Consortium (Ansaldo Nucleare, ICN, ENEA, CV-Rez), to be built in Romania. The ALFRED design is based on the extensive use of proven technological solutions coupled with a simple design of the primary system.

Finally, SEALER is a small lead-cooled reactor which is currently under development by the Swedish company LeadCold. This reactor ensures reliable and safe production of power in very remote sites, such as arctic communities in Canada, the US, and Greenland which remain disconnected from national power grids and road networks.

SESAME aims to support all of these projects through the development and validation of advanced numerical tools, the achievement of validation base by experimental data or high fidelity numerical simulation data, the establishment of best practice guidelines, V&V methodologies, and uncertainties quantification methods.

In the frame of the project, the most important European facilities and research infrastructures are engaged, and very innovative experiments are planned, on which the challenging are supported with suitable numerical simulations.

In this first newsletter you will find highlights of the ongoing work, giving you a flavour of the ambitious, innovative work being done within the project. All of the ambitious and innovative topics being dealt with attract a lot of students, young scientists and young professionals. We will introduce one of the ‘youngsters’ involved in the project. Finally, an important collaboration was established during the first year of the project with our US counterparts. We are looking forward to exchange ideas and information over both sides of the Atlantic.