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Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), is the largest multi-disciplinary research center for natural sciences and technology within Switzerland. We perform world-class fundamental and applied research in national and international collaboration with universities, other research institutes and industry. PSI is active in solid state physics, materials sciences, elementary particle physics, life sciences, nuclear and non-nuclear energy research, and energy-related ecology. With a staff of about 1,200 members, PSI develops and operates large complex research facilities which call for especially high standards of know-how, experience and professionalism, and is one of the world’s leading user laboratories for the national and international scientific community.

PSI has a long tradition in energy research. With respect to nuclear energy, the Department of Nuclear Energy and Safety (NES) has a unique position in Switzerland thanks to its heavy infrastructure, namely the Hot Laboratory with well –equipped hot cells and shielded zones for work and investigations on radioactive material. In addition, NES takes advantage of PSI’s large facilities, the Synchrotron Radiation Source (SLS) and the Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) with all the special beamlines. Based on this infrastructure and know-how of collaborators, NES is involved in three main topics of research: safety of current operating Light Water Reactors, safety characteristics of future reactor concepts, related fuel cycles and long-term safety of deep geological repositories for nuclear waste of all kind.
Within the NES department, the Laboratory for Nuclear Materials (LNM) is the principal research unit and national center of excellence in Switzerland in the domain of radioactive material behavior and ageing in nuclear installations. The LNM addresses material-related, scientific issues with regard to safety, lifetime (extension), performance and sustainability of current and future nuclear reactors. Currently, LNM focusses on the main areas: advanced nuclear materials, nuclear fuels and component safety, whereas the latter activity is of most relevance for the participation in the NOMAD project. This activity involves the experimental characterization of important ageing mechanisms (environmentally-assisted cracking, thermo-mechanical fatigue and irradiation embrittlement) in primary pressure boundary components, the development and validation of advanced mechanistic material ageing models and probabilistic methods for improved integrity assessments and lifetime predictions, as well as the evaluation of advanced nondestructive techniques (NDT) for the early detection of fatigue and stress corrosion crack initiation, as well as novel NDT methods for the evaluation of material embrittlement.


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    Markus Niffenegger
    +41 56 310 26 86
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    Hans Kottmann
5232 Villigen