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The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation.
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Monograph | Nuclear energy | Materials | Simulation ＆ modelling | Nuclear reactors
Materials are the key (or showstopper) of broad areas of industry, and, more specifically, of nuclear industry. The safety and operating time of nuclear reactors, and the feasibility of fuel cycle operations are dependent on the materials used. Nuclear materials are harshly treated, indeed, as they are exposed to loading due to mechanical, thermal, chemical and radioactive conditions. The latter often act in synergy (stress corrosion, irradiation creep…). The first three types of loading are “classic”, but the last one (irradiation) is specific of nuclear materials. With the purpose of guiding the design of these materials, and predicting their behavior, modeling and simulation tools have become indispensable. So a wide range of modeling tools has been developed, from the atomic to the macroscopic scale. These models have to be interconnected, and validated by experiments with well-defined targets, so as to make sure that the involved phenomena are well controlled. These experiments are first conducted on model materials of simple structure and composition, before dealing with the more complex case of real materials subjected to multiple stresses. Such is the scientific approach described in this monograph. The reader will find in it a simple description of modeling methods for materials under irradiation, and of related experimental methods, as well as a few recent highlights.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.