In the area of nuclear safety, the JRC-ITU addresses the key science and technology challenges to maintain and improve safety level and competitiveness of fission technologies, covering existing (GenII), evolutionary (GenIII) and advanced/sustainable (GenIV) reactor concepts and related fuel cycles. This effort includes implementing long-term waste management solutions and closing the nuclear fuel cycle. Attention is particularly devoted to safety aspects of emerging trends and concepts, including innovation perspectives for energy and other applications.
JRC-ITU nuclear safety research topics
Nuclear safeguards and security
Nuclear safeguards are measures to verify that states do not divert nuclear materials from their intended use, in line with their obligations under international non-proliferation treaties. The development and implementation of technologies for safeguards and nuclear security is a priority of EU policy. There is a constant need for research and development (R&D) to adapt methodologies and develop new tools to prevent, detect and deter misuse of nuclear material. Particular attention is attributed to areas where sensitive nuclear technologies (such as enrichment and reprocessing) are applied, including high throughput nuclear facilities and advanced fuel cycle technologies.
JRC-ITU nuclear safeguards and security research topics
Nuclear science base for standardisation
The JRC-ITU helps to build the scientific basis for nuclear safety and security by carrying out research on fundamental properties of actinides and nuclear materials. It supports nuclear standardisation in the European Union by providing validated nuclear data and standards, creating and expanding scientific nuclear information databases, and developing nuclear data assessment tools. The JRC-ITU also contributes to the development of medical applications of radionuclides, with special emphasis on therapies for cancer treatments.
JRC-ITU nuclear science base for standardisation research topics
Nuclear knowledge management, training and education
From the early days of the nuclear era, a significant part of the practical education and training in the nuclear field has been the common effort of universities and research institutions that have the appropriate infrastructure, ensuring both the high level of safety and security required for the handling of nuclear materials. Also at the JRC-ITU Education & Training has been an integral part of the work programme, in line with the Euratom Treaty (Rome, 1957), in which it is explicitly mentioned that "The Commission shall be responsible for promoting and facilitating nuclear research in the Member States and for complementing it by carrying out a Community research and training programme."
The current Education & Training efforts of the JRC-ITU are diverse and can be grouped as (a) monitoring of the human resources development in the nuclear field in Europe (b) nuclear knowledge management, (c) contributing to the European E&T activities, by hosting students and internships and organising specialised training courses in JRC-ITU's fields of expertise such as nuclear safety, safeguards, security and forensics.
JRC-ITU nuclear knowledge management, training and education research topics
Preparedness for radiological emergencies
The JRC-ITU collates, standardises, analyses, confirms and publishes all data recording radiation levels in the European environment - whether the radiation is found in soil, water or the atmosphere. The JRC-ITU develops the necessary information systems and helps both member states and candidates for accession to meet their obligations under the Euratom treaty and EU Regulations. JRC-ITU researchers are also developing models with which it will be possible, using statistical methods, to predict the spread of radioactive clouds in the atmosphere. This will help civil defence agencies to make a rapid assessment of the potential danger and inform the population in the event of an emergency.
JRC-ITU preparedness for radiological emergencies research topics