A Post-Fukushima Review of Reactors in the European Union


On April 26, 2012, the Stress Test Peer Review Board of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group issued its post-Fukushima review of reactors in the European Union. The European Council administered stress tests in the wake of Fukushima. The EU’s assessments covered the 140 reactors currently operating in 15 EU countries, in addition to both Switzerland and the Ukraine. The stress  tests evaluated three challenges: natural hazards, loss of safety systems and severe accident management.

Findings

The report concludes that even before Fukushima, most countries had in place adequate plans to respond to seismic events and related threats such as flooding. It also found that all countries complied with European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) specifications for addressing loss of power and loss of heat-sink, as well as that all the countries had identified ways to strengthen plant integrity in the event of either. In addition, these countries established procedures for severe accident management. However, not all of them included provisions to protect hardware. The peer review strongly recommends that national regulators consider addressing this issue.

Other Recommendations

The peer review offered several recommendations that national regulators should consider to further enhance the safety and security of reactors in the event of a natural hazard, including:

  • “Develop guidance on natural hazards assessments, including earthquake, flooding and extreme weather conditions,” and that these assessment consider standards beyond design basis
  • Conduct “periodic safety review in the field of natural hazards” at least as often as every ten years
  • Implement “measures to protect containment integrity”

View the Peer Review Report (PDF FILE)