18 Jan 2021

Preparing the ALFRED Research Infrastructure Development in Romania

ALFRED Infrastructure (© RATEN ICN)
ALFRED Infrastructure (© RATEN ICN)

PRO ALFRED project - Activities for the Preparation of the ALFRED Research Infrastructure Development in Romania was devoted to strengthen the Romanian capability for an increased national participation in the ALFRED Infrastructure implementation. Financed through the National RDI programme (PNCDI III) by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research, PRO ALFRED project was launched in September 2019, under the coordination of RATEN (State Owned Company „Technology for Nuclear Energy”) with a duration of 15 months.

The ALFRED infrastructure includes 6 experimental installations (ATHENA, ChemLab, HELENA2, ELF, HandsOn, Meltin’Pot) and the ALFRED demonstration reactor. The experimental support facilities will serve to solve the open aspects of LFR technology, to test and qualify the ALFRED components and equipment, as well as to validate and verify the calculation tools / methodologies.

The implementation in Romania of the ALFRED infrastructure requires the synergistic involvement of research organizations, industry and universities in the development of the LFR technology, while contributing to achieving the European Union's objectives on nuclear excellence. That is why, the PRO ALFRED project brought together research institutes and universities from Romania with competences and activities in the nuclear field:

  • Nuclear Research Institute - RATEN ICN Pitesti and Center of Technology and Engineering for Nuclear Projects - RATEN CITON, Bucharest (both RATEN’s branches);
  • University of Pitesti - UPIT;
  • University “Politehnica” Bucharest - UPB;
  • National Institute for Nuclear Physics and Engineering - Horia Hulubei, Bucharest - IFIN HH;
  • Institute for Economic Prognosis, Bucharest - IPE.

Project structure (© RATEN ICN)
Project structure (© RATEN ICN)

The individual contributions of each organization were integrated at the level of the 7 Work Packages and project deliverables.
Addressing the main directions for building the national research and development capacity in the field of nuclear energy, which will make Romania a real contributor to the development of LFR technology, PRO ALFRED generated the following outcomes:

  • Substantiation of the readiness level of the ALFRED infrastructure implementation by feasibility analysis, elaboration of technical documentation, establishment of operational requirements for the experimental installations
  • preliminary studies for investigation of the economic, social and technical-scientific impact of the ALFRED Infrastructure at local, regional and national level;
  • preparatory actions for the authorization of the ALFRED demonstrator by elaboration of the vision and carrying-out necessary studies to consolidate the pre-licensing phase;
  • contribution to increase the Romanian scientific and technological potential by upgrading the computational infrastructure, by developing the necessary concepts for processes and associated phenomena modelling, as well as by acquiring, analyzing, processing and storing specific data for knowledge capitalization;
  • defining the scientific management of the ALFRED infrastructure and the research-development-innovation programme/agenda to be carried out on the experimental support facilities;
  • development of a sustainable framework and implementation of the most efficient methods proposed for competences and skills creation in the field of LFR, based on the training needs (technical, scientific, managerial) identified for its construction and operation;
  • promotion of the implementation of the ALFRED infrastructure in Romania and elaboration of the ALFRED White Book.

To achieve all these outcomes in only 15 months, 44 distinct activities were carried out by about 116 specialists and administrative support staff, reported in 51 deliverables.

Each result represents an important step in the progress of the ALFRED infrastructure, bringing a clear contribution to the development of LFR technology at European level.

The PRO ALFRED outcomes represent the solid foundation for future research projects, supporting the efforts to implement the ALFRED infrastructure in Romania.

Defining the necessary elements for deployment of experimental support infrastructure, the strategic elements for authorization activities and for scientific infrastructure management, establishing the framework for human resources and promoting ALFRED internally and externally, strengthen the national framework necessary to fulfill the commitments made by Romania's involvement in this project.

The high scientific level results obtained in this project reinforce the potential for research and development, and for national and international collaboration in the field of high technology of advanced nuclear systems.
By implementing the ALFRED infrastructure, Europe and Romania will benefit from a complex research capability, unique in the world, which will support the research, development and qualification of the LFR technology, assuring for the European scientific community a remarkable position in the top of the nuclear field.


Dr. Daniela Diaconu