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Meeting of the JPNM EERA working group (Joint Programme for Nuclear Materials European Energy Research Alliance), organized jointly by NCBJ and Faculty of Physics UW was held in Warsaw from 17th to 19th June. EERA is an advisory unit of EC, which handles, among other things, funding of research related to power generation. JPNM is a platform which handles research of materials for nuclear power industry. Thanks to the cooperation between National Centre for Nuclear Research and JPNM, our institute is involved in execution of two European projects in the field of material science: M4F and GEMMA.

Experts from leading European institutions dealing with research of new materials designed to work in extreme conditions were present at the meeting in Warsaw. These institutions are: ENEA, HZDR, CEA, Fraunhofer IZFP, KIT, SCK-CEN, KTH, EC-JRC, CV Rez, NRG, Ciemat, UKERC, CNRS, VTT, PSI and CNR. Guests, sharing their experience form the currently implemented projects, emphasised, that these are realised in accordance with the predicted timetable and thee contribution from polish partners is highly regarded. The acquired experience is the basis of preparing applications on expanding the scope of research cooperation under the programme Horizon Europe. The perspectives of cooperation have been established. These concentrate on non-destructive research of new materials, such as multicomponent alloys of high entropy ((HEA – High Entropy Alloys)) and type ODS austenitic steel.

The benefits for Polish laboratories resulting from the developed cooperation cannot be overstated. „The important this is, that we have received real samples from top-tier players and that they are testing these samples themselves” – explains Łukasz Kurpaska, PhD Eng., head of NCBJ Materials Research Lab. „We exchange information and write publications together, we carry out our tasks in accordance with the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan – SET Plan) and we participate in development of the latest, most desirable EC-funded materials.”

The next planned joint activities of the cooperating institutions will be preparation of the co-called PPP Pilot Project Proposal. „Initially, the cooperation will be carried out in an in-kind manner, that is: the cooperating institutions will their very own research potential” – explains Kurpaska, PhD. „The PPPs that work well, will have a chance to form consortiums, and then start applying for grants in the Horizon Europe programme.”

The cooperation will be further intensified by a cycle of international conferences, the first of which – NuMAT 2020 – will take place next year. „JPNM wants the NCBJ scientists, who are involved in the research – young ones in particular – to have opportunities to expand their contacts and present the already obtained results” – adds Professor Jacek Jagielski, director of NCBJ Material Physics Department, co-organizer of the meeting. „We have something to be proud of, because as one of the very few we conduct nanomechanical research at high temperatures (in situ) and it is the young people from our institute, who are the main researchers there.”