Foto: Programm Nukleare Entsorgung und Sicherheit ©Copyright: BengsSafety Research for Nuclear Reactors

Energy > Nuclear Waste Management and Safety as well as Radiation Research - All Topics

Foto: Flows in a nuclear reactor ©Copyright: HZDR/Oliver KilligAlthough Germany decided to shut down all nuclear reactors for energy production until 2022, own reactor safety research is needed in future. The preservation of competence in nuclear engineering is essential for the safety assessment of nuclear power plants and nuclear projects in Germany and abroad. Only in that way Germany is able to influence international safety standards and to participate in international research projects.

Based on this background the work within the topic “Reactor Safety” is concentrated on the research on safety aspects of currently operating nuclear reactors and new reactor types being under development in the neighboring countries. It covers the development of methods for analyses of transients and postulated accidents, the investigation of ageing phenomena in materials and integrity of components, and the safety related aspects connected with the thermal fluid dynamics of cooling water or liquid metal flows. Especially after the Fukushima accident in 2011, the efforts on the investigation of accident management measures in nuclear reactors have been increased.


  • Development and validation of neutron kinetic and thermal hydraulic methods for the analysis of design basis and severe accidents for nuclear reactors.
  • Development and qualification of predictive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models for two-phase flows
  • Conduction of industry-grade experiments for code validation using innovative measuring techniques (TOPFLOW facility)
  • Exploration of the mechanisms of irradiation effects in reactor pressure vessel steels and Gen-IV candidate materials by means of nanostructural characterization, atomistic modelling and mechanical testing

Press Releases

Involved HZDR institutes




  • Lai, L.; Brandenburg, J.-E.; Chekhonin, P. et al.
    Microstructure-informed prediction of hardening in ion-irradiated reactor pressure vessel steels
    Metals 14(2024)3, 257 (10.3390/met14030257)
  • Vivas, J.; De-Castro, D.; Poplawsky, J. D. et al.
    Creep strength boosted by a high-density of stable nanoprecipitates in high-chromium steels
    European Journal of Materials 3(2023)1, 2118082 (10.1080/26889277.2022.2118082)
  • Diaz Pescador, E.; Bilodid, Y.; Jobst, M. et al.
    NuScale-like SMR Model Development and Applied Safety Analyses with the Code Chain Serpent-DYN3D-ATHLET
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 418(2024), 112909 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2024.112909)
  • Yadav, P.; Rachamin, R.; Konheiser, J. et al.
    Estimation of weight window parameters based on recursive Monte Carlo approach for reactor shielding problems
    Annals of Nuclear Energy 197(2024), 110277 (10.1016/j.anucene.2023.110277)
  • Chen, D.; Ding, W.; Chen, L.
    Editorial: Complex Flow and Heat Transfer in Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems
    Frontiers in Energy Research 11(2023), 1361118 (10.3389/fenrg.2023.1361118)
  • Boden, S.; Hampel, U.; Pietruske, H. et al.
    Investigation on flow morphology and heat transfer for high-pressure steam condensation in an inclined tube at low inlet steam qualities
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 419(2024), 112954 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2024.112954)
  • Sharma, D.; Etienne, A.; Henry, R. et al.
    Understanding the effect of phosphorous on the ion-irradiation behaviour of RPV model steels using atom probe tomography and nanoindentation
    Acta Materialia 270(2024), 119859 (10.1016/j.actamat.2024.119859)
  • Zhou, P.; Jiang, Y.; Liao, Y. et al.
    The influence of adjustable parameters based on VOF method on the computational accuracy and cost of bubble coalescence process
    Journal of Central South University (Science and Technology) 54(2023)7, 2867-2877 (10.11817/j.issn.1672-7207.2023.07.030)
  • Bieberle, M.; Gundrum, T.; Räbiger, D. et al.
    3-D shape and velocity measurement of argon gas bubbles rising in liquid sodium by means of ultrafast X-ray CT imaging
    Flow Measurement and Instrumentation 95(2024), 102503 (10.1016/j.flowmeasinst.2023.102503)
  • Li, J.; Liao, Y.; Zhou, P. et al.
    Numerical simulation of flashing flows in a converging-diverging nozzle with interfacial area transport equation
    Processes 11(2023), 2365 (10.3390/pr11082365)
  • Altstadt, E.
    An improved correlation for the estimation of the yield strength from small punch testing
    Metals 13(2023), 1716 (10.3390/met13101716)
  • Brandenburg, J.-E.; Barrales-Mora, L. A.; Tsurekawa, S. et al.
    Dynamic behavior of grain boundaries with misorientations in the vicinity of Σ3 coherent and incoherent twin boundaries in Al bicrystals.
    Acta Materialia 259(2023), 119272 (10.1016/j.actamat.2023.119272)
  • Tran, T. Q.; Huo, X.; Fridman, E. et al.
    CEFR control rod drop transient simulation using RAST-F code system
    Nuclear Engineering and Technology (2023) (10.1016/
  • Ponomarev, A.; Nikitin, E.; Fridman, E.
    Coupled 3D neutronics/thermal-hydraulics analysis of Superphénix start-up tests with DYN3D/ATHLET code system
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 412(2023), 112456 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2023.112456)
  • Ponomarev, A.; Nikitin, E.; Fridman, E.
    Analysis of loss of flow without scram test in the FFTF reactor – Part II: System thermal hydraulics with point neutron kinetics
    Progress in Nuclear Energy 170(2024), 105130 (10.1016/j.pnucene.2024.105130)
  • Nikitin, E.; Fridman, E.; Ponomarev, A.
    Analysis of loss of flow without scram test in the FFTF reactor – Part I: preparation of neutronics data
    Progress in Nuclear Energy 168(2024), 105018 (10.1016/j.pnucene.2023.105018)
  • Tas-Köhler, S.
    A comprehensive review of numerical and experimental research on the thermal-hydraulics of two-phase flows in vertical rod bundles
    International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 221(2024), 125053 (10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2023.125053)
  • Lai, L.; Chekhonin, P.; Akhmadaliev, S. et al.
    Microstructural characterization of reactor pressure vessel steels
    Metals 13(2023)8, 1339 (10.3390/met13081339)
  • Ayad, F.; Baghdad, M.; Bouaichaoui, Y. et al.
    Verification & Validation of CFD predictions regarding Pressurized Thermal Shock (PTS) situations in ROCOM installation: Comparison with IAEA Benchmark
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 413(2023), 112498 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2023.112498)
  • Hózer, Z.; Adorni, M.; Arkoma, A. et al.
    Review of Experimental Database to Support Nuclear Power Plant Safety Analyses in SGTR and LOCA Domains
    Annals of Nuclear Energy 193(2023), 110001 (10.1016/j.anucene.2023.110001)
  • Bilodid, Y.; Fischer, M.; Zilly, M. et al.
    Extension of the X2 VVER-1000 benchmark by a control rod cluster ejection exercise
    Annals of Nuclear Energy 192(2023), 110007 (10.1016/j.anucene.2023.110007)
  • Jobst, M.; Schäfer, F.; Kliem, S.
    Numerical investigation on steam condensation and heat transfer in an emergency condenser tube with the thermo-hydraulic system code ATHLET: Post-test simulation of a series of COSMEA tests
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 421(2024), 113059 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2024.113059)
  • Fridman, E.; Bilodid, Y.; Valtavirta, V.
    Definition of the neutronics benchmark of the NuScale-like core
    Nuclear Engineering and Technology 55(2023)10, 3639-3647 (10.1016/
  • Lucas, D.
    Message from the Guest Editor of the 18th Multiphase Flow Conference Special Issue
    Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow 5(2023)4, 331-332 (10.1007/s42757-022-0154-6)
  • Rachamin, R.; Di Falco, S.; Ferrari, A. et al.
    Background Studies and Normalization of Signal Events in the Mu2e Experiment
    Journal of Instrumentation 18(2023), C11024 (10.1088/1748-0221/18/11/C11024)
  • Shugailo, O.; Kolluri, M.; Gillemot, F. et al.
    The Main Results of Structural Materials Research for Safe Long-Term Operation of LWR NPPs from the Viewpoint of Dissemination Activities
    Nuclear and Radiation Safety 1(2023)97, 41-50 (10.32918/NRS.2023.1(97).05)
  • Yadav, P.; Rachamin, R.; Konheiser, J. et al.
    Generation of optimal weight values based on the Recursive Monte Carlo (RMC) method for using in MC deep penetrations calculations
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 198(2023)2, 497-507 (10.1080/00295639.2023.2211199)
  • Tas-Köhler, S.; Boden, S.; Franz, R. et al.
    An experimental study of boiling two-phase flow in a vertical rod bundle with a spacer grid-Part 2: Effects of vane angle
    Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 145(2023), 110903 (10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2023.111000)
  • Kolluri, M.; Martin, O.; Naziris, F. et al.
    Structural MATerias research on parameters influencing the material properties of RPV steels for safe long-term operation of PWR NPPs
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 406(2023), 112236 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2023.112236)
  • Ulbricht, A.; Dykas, J.; Chekhonin, P. et al.
    Small-angle neutron scattering study of neutron-irradiated and post-irradiation annealed VVER-1000 reactor pressure vessel weld material
    Frontiers in Nuclear Engineering 2(2023), 1176288 (10.3389/fnuen.2023.1176288)
  • Lindley, B.; Álvarez Velarde, F.; Baker, U. et al.
    Impact of Thermal-Hydraulic Feedback and Differential Thermal Expansion on European SFR Core Power Distribution
    Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science 9(2023)3, 031301 (10.1115/1.4056930)
  • Liao, Y.
    CFD modelling of flashing flows for nuclear safety analysis: possibilities and challenges
    Kerntechnik 89(2024)2, 169-184 (10.1515/kern-2023-0090)
  • Astyanto, A. H.; Nugroho, A. N. A.; Indarto et al.
    Statistical characterization of the interfacial behavior captured by a novel image processing algorithm during the gas/liquid counter-current two-phase flow in a 1/3 scaled down of PWR hot leg
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 404(2023), 112179 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2023.112179)
  • Sánchez, M.; Cicero, S.; Kirk, M. et al.
    Using mini-CT specimens for the fracture characterization of ferritic steels within the ductile to brittle transition range: a review
    Metals 13(2023), 176 (10.3390/met13010176)
  • Chekhonin, P.; Das, A.; Bergner, F. et al.
    Microstructural characterisation of brittle fracture initiation sites in reactor pressure vessel steels
    Nuclear Materials and Energy 37(2023), 101511 (10.1016/j.nme.2023.101511)
  • Lehnigk, R.; Bruschewski, M.; Huste, T. et al.
    Sustainable development of simulation setups and addons for OpenFOAM for nuclear reactor safety research
    Kerntechnik 88(2023)2, 131-140 (10.1515/kern-2022-0107)
  • Krauter, N.; Onea, A. A.; Gerbeth, G. et al.
    Eddy Current Flow Meter Measurements in liquid Sodium at high Temperatures
    Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science 9(2023), 041301 (10.1115/1.4062239)
  • Li, S.; Apanasevich, P.; Lucas, D. et al.
    Euler-Euler CFD simulation of high velocity gas injection at pool scrubbing conditions
    Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow 5(2023), 365-380 (10.1007/s42757-022-0149-3)
  • Das, A.; Chekhonin, P.; Houska, M. et al.
    Master Curve Testing of RPV Steels using Mini-C(T) Specimens – Irradiation Effects and Censoring Statistics
    Nuclear Materials and Energy 34(2023), 101395 (10.1016/j.nme.2023.101395)
  • Krauter, N.; Stefani, F.
    Simultaneous measurement of flow velocity and electrical conductivity of a liquid metal using an eddy current flow meter in combination with a look-up-table method
    Sensors 23(2023), 9018 (10.3390/s23229018)
  • Das, A.; Viehrig, H. W.; Bergner, F. et al.
    Effect of microstructural anisotropy on fracture toughness of hot rolled 13Cr ODS steel – the role of primary and secondary cracking
    Journal of Nuclear Materials 491(2017), 83-93 (10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.04.059)
  • Liao, Y.; Lucas, D.
    Computational modelling of flashing flows: a literature survey
    International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 111(2017), 246-265 (10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2017.03.121)
  • Grahn, A.; Gommlich, A.; Kliem, S. et al.
    Simulation of an MSLB scenario using the 3D neutron kinetic core model Dyn3D coupled with the CFD software Trio U
    Nuclear Engineering and Design 315(2017), 117-127 (10.1016/j.nucengdes.2017.02.002)
  • Höhne, T.; Gasiunas, S.; Šeporaitis, M.
    Numerical Modelling of a Direct Contact Condensation Experiment using the AIAD Framework
    International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 111(2017), 211-222 (10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2017.03.104)