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GECYRE, the database for the management of spent fuel and high level radioactive waste of the spanish nuclear power plants

R. González, A. Fenoy, Miguel Á. Rodríguez (NATURGY - INGENIERÍA NUCLEAR), A. Alonso (NEXUS5), J. Mª. GÓMEZ (ENRESA)

In 2011, with the support of NEXUS5 as IT services supplier, Naturgy Ingeniería Nuclear SL began the project for the designing and development of GECYRE, which is the name of the Spent Fuel and Special Waste Management Database for Spanish NPPs.

This development was born out of ENRESA’s need to have all the information necessary for the management of the SF and SW in a centralized solution. With such purpose a working group was created with representatives of UNESA (currently Foro Nuclear). In addition this database is intended to comply with the requirements of the Nuclear Safety Council.

The main challenge regarding the approach for the database, was not only the gathering and hosting of the complete inventory of items and data associated, but of solving the set of casuistries and particularities existing in the NPPs, in a comprehensive and standardized way. As is well known, Spanish nuclear power plants have different technologies, PWR or BWR, and in addition, operating experience can vary significantly from one to the other.

Therefore, the database had to consider this variability and solve in a coherent structural way, from the engineering point of view, both the type of objects, such as the structure of entities and fields and their relationships, in a hierarchical and functional way per reactor , as well as in coherent transversal manner between them.

The functional set of the GECYRE application and database is based on three main components:

1. A Database developed in SQL, capable of storing and managing the gathered data. The content of the database is structured in three types of information.

  • Definition. Information collecting the reactor’s characteristics, the fuel elements design parameters, as well as their components like grids, guide tubes, instrumentation tubes, channels, nozzles, etc.
  • Characterization. This part is intended to collect and connect the different aspects, parameters and processes involved in the fuel assembly’s characterization, such as irradiation histories, burnup by cycle, inspections, repairing, etc.
  • Storage. In this part the characteristics of the plant’s fuel storage pool and individualized temporary storage are included, as well as the characteristics of the dry-storage casks.

2. A Communication Protocol between Spanish NPPs. and ENRESA, to perform the data transfer between the corresponding databases, solved by the use of an .XML exchange file. The data configuration and transmission model chosen meets two important targets, guarantying the reliability and quality in the processes:

  • The NPPs are responsible for the data that is incorporated into the XML file.
  • The data loading process in the Database is done automatically, minimizing human intervention.

3. An Application able to solve the data flows required and offering an adapted and optimized interaction with the users. The main functions of the application are assuring the traceability of data and managing of available information in adequate charts and graphs.

The application also allows to create inquiries and generate reports, as well as the possibility of exporting the information for further processing. Likewise, it allows loading XML files containing information on spent fuel from the NPPs.

In conclusion, GEGYRE represents the final step in the work carried out over the years to define and progressively complete the information required to cover the future management of the spent fuel and irradiated special waste resulting from the Spanish NPPs operation.

GECYRE is a secure and reliable but also flexible and accessible application that continues to be constantly improved and updated, incorporating technological advances in the practical targets for the management of the available data and considering characterization process.

GECYRE has been operating since it came operative in 2014, and notable progresses have been incorporated to the present. Updates in the data of the different NPPs, their specific casuistry and the associated detail characterization, have been performed, making the global solution an effective information transfer system between the operators and ENRESA. Thus resulting in an useful strategic element for decision-making in the challenges presented by the future management strategies and scenarios of the SF and SW in the national context, also covering the regulatory requirements of the CSN.

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