30 Apr 2020

Thermal-hydraulic experimental activities at SIET Laboratories

Headquarters of SIET in Piacenza
Headquarters of SIET in Piacenza (©SIET)

SIET S.p.A. is a small joint-stock company with public and private capital, ENEA is the main shareholder. SIET was born in 1983, is based in Piacenza on the banks of the Po River and is a testing laboratory capable of using sophisticated and powerful calculation codes to support experimental activity. SIET deals with scientific research in the thermotechnical sector with the primary purpose of carrying out tests for the safety of components and systems intended for nuclear plants aimed at the production of electricity. The particular location of SIET within an operating thermoelectric power station area allows the exploitation, for experimental activities, of infrastructures and energy potential certainly unique in Italy and difficult to find even worldwide.

For the quality of the services provided, SIET has obtained, over the years, important appreciations from its customers including: ENEA, ENEL, Ansaldo, General Electric, Westinghouse, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Doosan, NuScale Power, etc.

In the ‘90s SIET participated in numerous and important nuclear research programs. Two experimental campaigns, among many, should be mentioned for importance:

  • the experimental certification of AP-600 nuclear reactor (Westinghouse) by using SPES physical simulator;
  • the full-scale experimental qualification of PCC and IC heat exchangers of General Electric SBWR reactor.

SIET is still currently very active in testing related to the safety of nuclear plants for the production of electricity.

The main activities currently underway concern the collaboration with NuScale Power for the development of an innovative third generation advanced Small Modular Reactor. The design calculations will be verified by experimental tests carried out at SIET at operating conditions on one of the key components of the reactor: the steam generator.

Participation is also underway in two important European Union projects in the Horizon 2020 area: ELSMOR (Towards European Licensing of Small Modular Reactors) and PIACE (Passive Isolation Condenser). Both of these projects concern R&D activities on third and fourth generation reactor safety systems, carried out in partnership with prestigious organizations from various member states of the European Union.

Thermo-fluid dynamics tests in helical geometry
Thermo-fluid dynamics tests in helical geometry (©SIET)

For Italy, in addition to SIET, ENEA, Ansaldo Nucleare and Politecnico di Milano participate. Further work is also underway, concerning the development of a steam generator for liquid-cooled fast reactors: SIRIO project carried out by SIET in collaboration with ENEA, Politecnico di Milano, Ansaldo Nucleare and SRS. These important and prestigious collaborations place SIET in a world leadership position in the field of thermo-hydraulic tests on nuclear plants and also allows other Italian companies (our suppliers) to obtain high-tech know-how in the nuclear sector.







Marco Rigamonti