Nuclear energy network works to improve safety

National nuclear energy authorities, operators and researchers continue to collaborate on developing better prevention and mitigation strategies for severe accidents through a network developed by the EU-funded SARNET2 project.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 28 April 2016  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnergyNuclear fusion
Environment
International cooperation
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Belgium  |  Bulgaria  |  Canada  |  Czech Republic  |  Finland  |  France  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Hungary  |  India  |  Italy  |  Korea  |  Lithuania  |  Netherlands  |  Slovakia  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom  |  United States
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Nuclear energy network works to improve safety

Picture of the power plant at night

© chungking - fotolia.com

The network was established in 2004 by the first SARNET project and further developed in SARNET2. SARNET2 continued addressing knowledge gaps relating to safety and severe accident management at water-cooled nuclear power plants.

SARNET2 helped improve software, called ‘ASTEC’, that simulates hypothetical severe accidents in such plants. It simulates events such as the degradation of a nuclear plant’s core and the release of radioactive materials. The software allows nuclear plant operators and technical safety organisations to test their accident responses and management capabilities in these scenarios.

After SARNET2 ended in March 2013, the network was integrated in the Nuclear Generation II & III Association (NUGENIA), ensuring its continuation.

Through NUGENIA the network continues to organise technical workshops, international conferences, and educational and training courses. Members can pool resources, conduct research, and carry out simulations of severe accidents with other members through the network, with the aim of improving safety at nuclear power plants in Europe and elsewhere.

The project also contributed to NUGENIA’s 2015 research roadmap by ranking safety priorities on severe accidents that need addressing, says project coordinator Jean-Pierre Van Dorsselaere of France’s Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN).

“The Fukushima-Daiichi accidents in 2011 did not influence this ranking a lot because most physical phenomena that occurred were already considered in SARNET as high-priority,” he says. “But this ranking underlined the need to address a few safety issues more deeply, such as for example the behaviour of molten core materials in boiling water reactors and accidents in spent fuel pools.”

Several EU-funded projects have based their research on SARNET2’s contributions. These include CESAM, which is improving ASTEC as a European reference tool for severe accident management.

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Project details

  • Project acronym: SARNET2
  • Participants: France (Coordinator), Hungary, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Greece, Lithuana, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Canada, South Korea, United States, India
  • FP7 Proj. N° 231747
  • Total costs: € 39 588 707
  • EU contribution: € 5 750 000
  • Duration: April 2009 - March 2013

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