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Academic Articles
(Invited Paper) Vol.1 (2009) p.30 - p.43
 
Research priorities at the European Commission in relation to Maintenance Optimisation and Nuclear Power Plant Life Management
 
Paolo CONTRI
 
European Commission, Joint Research Center's Institute for Energy
 
Abstract
Analysis of experience in many countries operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) suggests that, while differences in long term operation (LTO) programs are mainly related to the various national regulatory processes, the main features and basic technical requirements are similar.The implementation of these however needs reshaping in a an integrated plant life management (PLIM) framework, bearing in mind the specific safety implications of LTO. R&D is essential to support this process, not only for long term extrapolation of the component integrity and behaviour, but also for a proper maintenance system and for an adequate management structure ensuring effective management strategies at plant level, able to address organisational issues, spare part management, staff ageing, component obsolescence, etc. This is recognised by the European Commission, which supports R&D in targetted areas in the framework of the EURATOM programme, both by “direct actions” i.e. projects managed and executed by its Directorate General Joint Research Centers (JRC) and by indirect actions i.e. funding of selected projects, managed by the Directorate General Research (RTD). This paper outlines the JRC’s priorities in the current 7th Framework Programme in relation to R&D tasks for maintenance and ISI to support the highest safety level at member’s NPPs and appropriate decision-making tools for the optimisation of these programs. A newly developed UE model for PLIM, also inetgrating maintenance optimisation issues, is presented for further discussion.
 
Keywords
nuclear plants, maintenance, plant life mangement, research programs, European Union
 
Full Text: PDF
 
(Received: November 29th, 2008)