Safe now, safe in the future
Nuclear power plants are complex technological systems and research into ensuring their operational safety is multi-faceted. Euratom research is investigating the safety implications of extending the lifetime of operating plants. Studies also extend to cultural and organisational aspects of safety, especially the interface between humans and machines.
Advanced safety assessment methods have been developed together with state-of-the-art instrumentation and control systems. European systems to prevent and mitigate severe accidents are at the forefront of technology.
However, safety is continually evolving. By including safety as an integral part of basic research on new designs, the Euratom programme is ensuring that in future safety is built in rather than added on.
The EU is well prepared in the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency, whether originating within or outside its borders. Euratom programmes have established contingency and monitoring processes throughout the continent so that national emergency responses can be co-ordinated and decisions made to maximise public safety.
Numerical simulation and modelling of nuclear plants is
a highly skilled and important activity. The NURESIM project
is establishing a common platform for these activities across
The NULIFE Network of Excellence brings together expertise on managing the safe long-term operation of existing installations, while the PERFECT project is developing tools used to predict the ageing effects of radiation on reactor components.