Ansaldo Nucleare signs a DPIC contract for ATHENA plant

As part of the research into lead-cooled reactors, the consortium including Ansaldo Nucleare and Reinvent Energy (Romania) has been awarded a contract worth approximately € 20M for the design, procurement, installation, and commissioning service of the ATHENA experimental plant.

ATHENA (i.e., Advanced Thermo-Hydraulics Experiment for Nuclear Application) is a 2.21 MW pool-type facility housing 880 tons of liquid lead in a main vessel. This facility will host scale components for testing and demonstration of Lead Fast Reactor technology, that is liquid lead refrigeration fast spectrum reactors.

Ansaldo Nucleare signs a DPIC contract for ATHENA plantThe project involves the construction of an electrical core-based simulator, a main pump and a heat exchanger similar to the arrangement of the Advanced Lead-cooled Fast Reactor European Demonstrator system (ALFRED). The plant will also be equipped with a water-cooling circuit to ensure representative conditions on the secondary side of the heat exchanger. The main scientific objectives of ATHENA concern the research and development needs (e.g., chemistry control, lead/water interaction), as well as stationary and transient testing of thermohydraulic phenomena occurring during normal operation and accidental conditions of an LFR reactor.

The project will be carried out over the course of approximately two years.

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