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30/01/15 The fourth ARCHER Newsletter was released on 30 January 2015. Read online here

21/01/15 The second ARCHER EUROCOURSE, hosted by NRG, was held in Petten from 19-20 January 2015. Click here for more info

26/11/14 The third ARCHER Newsletter was released on 26 November 2014. Read online here

28/10/14 The ARCHER final meeting was held on 21-22 Jan 2015 at NRG in Petten (NL).

27/10/14 The High Temperature Reactor (HTR) Conference was held from 27-31 October 2014 in Weihai, Shandong Province, China. Click here for more info

29/03/14 The second Newsletter was released on 28 March 2014. Read online here

Supported by

European Commission

Portrait of young scientist: meet Oliver Seeger

Oliver Seeger, Grantholder at JRC-ITU, received the "Outstanding Presentation Award for Young Researcher" at the HTR 2012 conference in Tokyo, Japan. This prize is given to young researchers for their excellent presentation during the technical sessions. We spoke with Oliver about his role and involvement in the ARCHER project.


1. Could you briefly describe your role and responsibilities in the Archer project?

I conduct experimental simulations of accident scenarios for irradiated spherical High Temperature Reactor fuel. The setup used to perform these experiments is the Cold Finger Apparatus (KüFA), in which an HTR fuel pebble can be exposed to temperatures up to 1800°C in a helium atmosphere. The KüFA was originally designed and operated at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. A new version was later installed in a hot cell at JRC-ITU. The aim of the experiments is to quantify the fission product release from irradiated fuel under accident conditions. The latest irradiation campaign HFR-EU1, which ended in 2010, as well as the follow up experiments are part of the ARCHER project. The research with the KüFA is also carried out in the framework of my PhD project at RWTH Aachen University.

2. What have you enjoyed most about your involvement in Archer?

I enjoy actively participating to experimental research on HTR fuel since the possibilities to do so are limited in Europe. I am thrilled by the remarkable technical infrastructure provided by the European Commission's JRC-ITU, which is utilised to perform this challenging and safety-relevant research. In the context of my research activities I have met scientists and stakeholders from all over the world and was able to network with them at international conferences, such as the HTR 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.

3. What would you say are your biggest challenges?

While the technical infrastructure is unique and fascinating, it certainly also constitutes my biggest challenge. Working and conducting even minor technical maintenance in a hot cell environment requires careful preparation, constant awareness of safety as well as technical expertise from several fields. In order to effectively assess research objectives and associated problems, efficient cooperation is necessary between technicians and scientists. When arranging transport of nuclear fuel and materials, efficient communication with partner institutes and government authorities represents another big challenge.