Conference paper Open Access

Overview of the CORTEX project

Demazière, Christophe; Vinai, Paolo; Hursin, Mathieu; Kollias, Stafanos; Herb, Joachim

This paper gives an overview of the CORTEX project, which is a Research and Innovation
Action funded by the European Union in the Euratom 2016-2017 work program, under the
Horizon 2020 framework. CORTEX, which stands for CORe monitoring Techniques and
EXperimental validation and demonstration, aims at developing an innovative core monitoring
technique that allows detecting anomalies in nuclear reactors, such as excessive vibrations of
core internals, flow blockage, coolant inlet perturbations, etc. The technique is based on
primarily using the inherent fluctuations in neutron flux recorded by in-core and ex-core
instrumentation (often referred to as neutron noise), from which the anomalies will be
differentiated depending on their type, location and characteristics. In addition to be nonintrusive
and not requiring any external perturbation of the system, the method allows the
detection of operational problems at a very early stage. Proper actions could thus be taken by
utilities before such problems have any adverse effect on plant safety and reliability. In order
to develop a method that can reach a high Technology Readiness Level, the consortium, made
of 20 partners, was strategically structured around the required core expertise from all the
necessary actors of the nuclear industry, both within Europe and outside. The broad expertise
of the consortium members ensures the successful development of new in-situ monitoring
techniques.

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