International Conference on Research Reactors:
Safe Management and Effective Utilization

14-18 November 2011, Rabat, Morocco

Sustaining Material Testing Capacity in France: From OSIRIS to JHR

S. Martin1, G. Bignan2
1) French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Saclay, France
2) French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Cadarache, France


Since 1966 the OSIRIS reactor located at Saclay Centre, near Paris, is participating to French and international Research and Development irradiation programs in the field of nuclear fuel and materials. CEA is operating OSIRIS to support industry and public organizations by strengthening knowledge in several fields such as plant-life management (study of pressure vessel steel ageing) or high burn-up LWR fuel qualification (study of pellet-clad interaction). However, OSIRIS, as most of existing MTRs in Europe, is over 40 years old. A safety and performance assessment has shown that even with a major refurbishment, OSIRIS would not allow guaranteeing the availability of the irradiation experimental capacity during additional decades. A new high performance MTR, operated in a European and international framework, is necessary to meet the needs of industry and public organizations (Research Centers, Safety Authorities…). This is the scope of the Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR), under construction at the CEA Cadarache Centre (start of operation foreseen in 2016). The JHR design (reactor and experimental devices) takes benefit from the large amount of experience from OSIRIS as well as from other European MTR and will be for some decades a key international facility supplying services to the nuclear community. This paper presents the status of the OSIRIS and JHR reactors featuring their experimental capacities. It describes the main irradiation devices and the actions carried out to take into account OSIRIS feed-back. OSIRIS teams are dealing with design, manufacturing follow-up, safety studies, preparation, and irradiation follow-up, results analysis. The first transfer of know how is from ISABELLE 1 loop to ADELINE loop. The aim of these two loops is to determine LWR fuel limits while undergoing power ramp tests until clad failure. A close collaboration between Saclay and Cadarache teams is established to validate design options of ADELINE loop. The second transfer of know how, presented in this paper, relates to device used for material studies (it is named CHOUCA in OSIRIS and MICA in JHR). This paper focus especially on these two major devices, on neutronic and photonic reactor measurements, and on the transfer of know how from OSIRIS to JHR.

Paper   Presentation   Poster