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Brussels, 16 November 1999

FISA-99 Symposium - EU Research in Reactor Safety
29 November - 1 December 1999, Luxembourg

Keywords: nuclear fission, reactor safety, accident management

The third international symposium on "EU Research in Reactor Safety" (FISA-99) will be held in Luxembourg from 29 November to 1 December 1999. The symposium is being organised by the European Commission as a conclusion to the 67 projects in the area of reactor safety which were launched in 1996 and 1997 under the Nuclear Fission Safety area of the Fourth Framework Programme (1994-1998). Total funding for these projects amounted to some 75 million euros, of which about 55% was provided by the EU. The symposium will discuss the strategy and main achievements of EU research in the area of reactor safety, especially severe accidents, together with their application to plant safety improvement and regulatory approaches.

Nowadays in the European Union, the ultimate goal of nuclear reactor safety is to render extensive evacuation precautions for populations in the vicinity of the site "practically" unnecessary. This essentially means developing safety systems and operational procedures to respond to the challenge of hypothetical severe accidents, which are beyond-design-basis accidents, under the very unlikely assumption that accident prevention measures have failed.

The 67 multi-partner projects covered at the symposium brought together the key players (i.e. nuclear industries and utilities, regulatory authorities, as well as research organisations and universities) and were organised in 7 clusters, each corresponding to a key safety issue. A 3-step strategy was adopted to ensure the coherence of the programme around a few key objectives:

A total of approximately 50 contracting organisations (including industry, utilities, regulatory authorities and research organisations - in particular the Joint Research Centre of the EC - and universities) were involved, coming from 12 EU Member States and some Central and Eastern European Countries.

Throughout this EU research programme, many aspects of severe accident analysis were addressed, especially in connection with timing and mode of failure of the main barriers, starting from early accident progression in the primary coolant system and going up to severe damage to the containment integrity, under the very unlikely assumption that the safety systems are not working satisfactorily. Special emphasis was placed on the applications of the findings to the development of measures (engineered systems and/or operational procedures) for the mitigation of the consequences of severe accidents.

More information on the FISA-99 symposium is available at or from Dr Georges Van Goethem (see below).

For further information, please contact:

Dr Georges Van Goethem
Scientific Officer, Research DG
Fax: +

Stephen Gosden
Press and Information Officer, Research DG
Fax: +32 2 295.82.20



At the FISA-99 symposium, the final results of the 67 multi-partner contracts will be presented by their respective co-ordinators. The symposium is structured in 7 sessions corresponding to the 7 clusters, namely:

  1. In-vessel Core Degradation and Coolability 9 projects
  2. Ex-vessel Corium Behaviour and Coolability 5 projects
  3. Radiological Source Term 12 projects
  4. Containment Performance 10 projects
  5. Ageing of Structural Components 11 projects
  6. Accident Management Measures 9 projects
  7. Conceptual Reactor Safety Features 11 projects

The future

Besides the 67 technical presentations by the project co-ordinators, 16 invited lectures will be delivered about reactor-technology RTD issues of generic interest for present and future nuclear power reactors, in line with the new (end-user rather than knowledge driven) approach of the Fifth Framework Programme (1999-2002).

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