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Alexia Sergeant - Internship at the UPC

Master Internship at the Technical University of Catalonia
Report by Alexia Sergeant. Powered by FuseNet

The objective of this internship was to develop a model for tritium inventory tracking inside the fusion nuclear power plants ITER and DEMO that will constitute a subroutine for the nuclear safety code AINA which stands for Analysis of IN-vessel Accidents. The model had to be develop as a MATLAB script to make it easy to couple it with AINA which is written in C++. The final aim of this project is to provide an additional tool to AINA for performing safety analysis when it comes to tritium which is a key element for safety in fusion tokamaks: the code must provide the quantity of tritium in each part of the reactor considered at each moment of the transient so that it can be compared for instance with safety limits of such reactors.

The different steps of this project were:

  • To perform a bibliographic research to be aware of what had already been done on this topic;
  • To compare the various model found and select one or more of them to be the starting point of this work;
  • To think about the most relevant fuel cycle for ITER and for DEMO;
  • To develop a model for tritium inventory tracking;
  • To study AINA and change the code so that the model is ready for coupling.

During this project, I was under the supervision of Dr. Javier Dies who explained the task I had to perform during this internship and with whom I had a monthly meeting to summarize what had been done, the perspectives at the moment of the meeting as well as to share opinions.

Then, on a daily basis, I could refer to Dr. Alfredo De Blas who patiently guided me by always making useful and constructive recommendations at all levels of my internship. He was also present at these monthly meetings, as well as the other persons of the laboratory team.

At the end of my project when I had to do the necessary for coupling the script with AINA, I worked with Jose Carlos Rivas who always answered to my questions mainly about AINA code.

What was made available for me was a computer as well as the AINA code, and documentation about fusion energy production. I also had the opportunity to attend lectures of the University about bibliographic research as well as the tools available at the UPC that could be used for that.

Achievements

All in all, I acquired useful skills which are difficult to skim them but the top three things are: bibliographic researches, computer skills and nuclear skills applications. I could directly put into practise what I knew from the Fusion lectures I got in my master but also discover so many knew things and familiarize myself with safety issues in Tokamak. And I also have the feeling to be more self-sufficient in developing models. This internship was deeply rewarding for it was like nothing I had ever done before: I thoroughly enjoyed my position and learned a great deal about all the various aspects of fusion nuclear research.