Safety criteria and improved ageing in focus at the annual polymeric conference

The annual Polymers in Nuclear Applications conference took place at Ringhals power plant in Varberg on the 16-17th of March, where Energiforsk gathered professionals from the industry to present and discuss recent results within the area. This year, safety criteria and improved ageing were the main focus.

– To assess the lifespan of polymeric material more accurately is very interesting for nuclear power plants to maintain safety and high reliability as the fleet gets older, says Urban Andersson, Area manager for nuclear power at Energiforsk.

 One of the focus areas at this year’s conference was the final results of the joint research programme running from 2019-2022: SAMPO, Safety criteria, and improved ageing management research for polymer components exposed to thermal-radiative environments.

– The SAMPO programme has produced many interesting results. One example is microcalorimetry, which is a sensitive analytical method, that has been tested with good results showing which temperatures produce altered degradation mechanisms, says Urban Andersson.

Energiforsk has been a part of the now finished SAMPO programme that focused mainly on developing theoretical and practical tools and models that could be further developed for implementation in the power industry. Now, Energiforsk, together with Swedish and Finnish nuclear power producers, is forming a new research programme and the second part of the conference was dedicated to presenting the new research strategy and how it can support the industry. Discussions were held on how the industry best can move forward with necessary research.

– The R&D work will continue with the ambition to be more closely tied to "real" issues in the operational environment of the power plants. Our annual meetings are a great platform where competence is spread and increased among all participants like research institutes, universities, license holders, SSM, and manufacturers, says Stjepan Jagunic from Ringhals, Vattenfall who co-organised the conference.

For more information about the new Polymeric research programme at Energiforsk you are welcome to contact Urban Andersson. You can also read more about the conference and access all the presentations from the speakers here.