H2020 PATRICIA - Partitioning And Transmuter Research Initiative in a Collaborative Innovation Action

Investigating advanced partitioning and transmutation for nuclear fuel


Climate change is one of the main issues facing humanity. Due to its low CO2 emission, nuclear power is part of a sustainable energy mix. However, safety and waste issues cannot be taken lightly. For the latter the way forward is to recycle spent fuel with the goal to close the fuel cycle. This eases ultimate radioactive waste management, increases proliferation resistance and drastically improves economy and sustainability by better use of fuel resources.

The SNETP deployment plan describes the technical needs of fuel recycling including partitioning of spent fuel, fabrication and characterisation of minor actinide bearing fuel and the development of transmutation systems.



PATRICIA follows that plan and answers the 2018-2019 EURATOM call: Research and Innovation for Partitioning and/or Transmutation. It focusses on research on advanced partitioning to efficiently separate Am from spent fuel, on experimental and fuel performance code development work studying the behaviour of Am bearing fuel under irradiation and on the safety related research supporting the licensing process of MYRRHA in its role in the development trajectory for a dedicated accelerator driven transmuter. It may be noted that for first time, the communities working of partitioning, transmutation and the development of MYRRHA are joint in one project.

Besides the technical work described above, dedicated work packages deals with education focussing on pre-and post-graduate students, and with dissemination where besides the specific stakeholders also high school pupils and the general public is targeted. A further task on knowledge management includes the both foreground data as well as metadata to so ensure proper QA for V&V is possible.

The von Karman Institute (VKI) is involved in three distinct tasks: The first task concerns the improvement of thermal turbulence models developed through preceding projects (THINS, SESAME, MYRTE): their further validation and extension to industrial scales developing corresponding wall functions. During the second task, these models will be used to simulate transient scenarios reproduced with the E-SCAPE facility allowing to assess the accuracy of the developed modelling strategy of nuclear installations in a real-case setup, the reduced scale mock-up of the MYRRHA reactor pool. The third task is devoted to knowledge management, education and training, ensuring that results of the project are properly disseminated at different levels to reach the best possible audience.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 program under Grant Agreement no.945077.




The project coordinated by the SCK CEN is performed using a combination of experiments, theoretical studies and numerical simulations for which the expertise of 26 research centres and universities is valorized.


Some Figures


Start Date: 1st September 2020

End Date:31 August 2024

Budget: € 8 924 940,63