11 Oct 2021 FENNECS: Simulating the neutron-physical behaviour of complex reactor cores Newspicture FENNECS: Simulating the neutron-physical behaviour of complex reactor cores

Researchers worldwide are working on small modular reactors (SMR) and microreactors (very small modular reactor, vSMR). Many of these new reactor concepts are being developed for specific applications and have special core geometries. In order to be able to simulate the neutron-physical behaviour of these cores, GRS is developing the simulation code FENNECS (Finite ElemeNt NEutroniCS).

11 Oct 2021 Catastrophic events: Influence of the organisation on safety of nuclear power plants Newspicture Catastrophic events: Influence of the organisation on safety of nuclear power plants

To ensure the safe operation of technical installations such as nuclear power plants (NPPs), it is important to continuously identify and analyse possible risk factors. In addition to technical safety, the so-called human factor, i.e. human influence and contribution, is of crucial importance for the safe operation of installations. Human-organisational aspects are therefore an aspect of safety research that should not be underestimated. In a recent study, GRS scientists have identified organisational factors that can have a negative influence on plant safety. These are specific characteristics that affect the structure of the organisation (organisational structure), the organisation of activities and processes (process organisation), and the corporate culture.
 

11 Oct 2021 One in 10 quadrillion: Determining radioactive waste even more accurately and efficiently with accelerator mass spectrometry Newspicture One in 10 quadrillion: Determining radioactive waste even more accurately and efficiently with accelerator mass spectrometry

The mineral graphite is used in some types of reactors and can be activated by neutron radiation, i.e. converted into radioactive isotopes. In order to select a suitable disposal option, the graphite must be thoroughly examined radiologically. However, many measuring methods are relatively costly and in turn produce new radioactive waste themselves. A team of researchers from GRS and the University of Cologne is therefore developing a method with which reactor graphite can be characterised quickly and reliably.

11 Oct 2021 Of fractures and concepts – current research on crystalline rock as a host rock for a repository Newspicture Of fractures and concepts – current research on crystalline rock as a host rock for a repository

Since the search for a repository site was restarted, crystalline rock, such as that found in Bavaria or Saxony, has also been considered as a host rock for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. Currently, experts from the GRS Repository Research Centre are working on several research projects to deepen the understanding of fundamental properties of the host rock and to develop concepts for assessing the safety of a repository in crystalline rock – in their own laboratory tests, in cooperation with foreign research partners, and as part of experiments carried out in the Swiss underground laboratory at Grimsel.

17 May 2021 Predicting infection routes: GRS team calculates the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments newspicture Predicting infection routes: GRS team calculates the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments

Scientists at GRS use a simulation software to calculate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols. The program was designed to analyse incidents and accidents in containments of nuclear power plants, but has been adapted and validated for corona aerosols.

17 May 2021 Chernobyl: 35th anniversary of the nuclear disaster newspicture Chernobyl: 35th anniversary of the nuclear disaster

On April 26th the Chernobyl disaster was 35 years ago. How is the situation on the site today? Which works are currently going on? And how is taken care of the radioactive waste?

17 May 2021 On call 24/7 - how GRS supports the Federal Radiological Situation Centre newspicture On call 24/7 - how GRS supports the Federal Radiological Situation Centre

In the course of the new Radiation Protection Act (2017) the Federal Radiological Emergency Centre was established. GRS has by law been assigned the task of supporting the Federal Radiological Emergency Centre in its work together with different Federal Offices. In our interview, GRS expert Dr Albert Kreuser explains how the emergency organisation at GRS works and how his colleagues prepare for a possible mission.

17 May 2021 Electricity from nuclear fusion: Experts open up new territory for fusion plant licensing newspicture Electricity from nuclear fusion: Experts open up new territory for fusion plant licensing

Nuclear fusion occurs naturally in the sun. On Earth, meanwhile, fusing two atoms involves a great deal of effort. The more research is done in this field, the sooner will concepts for commercial fusion plants appear on the horizon. A research project of GRS and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is now looking at the regulatory framework for such plants.

17 May 2021 Searching a site for a repository: scientific methodology for a site comparison newspicture Searching a site for a repository: scientific methodology for a site comparison

GRS developed the methodological bases and recommendations for the site selection procedure in Germany. The synthesis report and ten supplementary technical reports are available on the GRS website.

18 Jan 2021 Chasing Corona newspicture Chasing Corona - GRS scientists simulate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosoles

Aerosols contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 are deemed to be one of the main causes for Covid-19 infections.
A team of researchers at GRS has used simulation software from nuclear engineering to calculate the dispersion of respective aerosols in rooms.