NEA Behaviour of Iodine Project

The NEA Behaviour of Iodine Project (BIP) has been created to provide separate effects and modelling studies of iodine behaviour in a nuclear reactor containment building following a severe accident. The NEA joint project will complement other national and international experimental programmes which are also studying this phenomenon. As part of the project the results of three radioiodine test facility (RTF) experiments will be provided by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). AECL’s capabilities include experienced personnel and a wide range of facilities and equipment for the study of all aspects of reactor safety. Key facilities include Co-60 irradiators (Gammacells), active laboratories for performing 131I tracer studies, specialised surface science laboratories (capable of working on active or inactive samples) and extensive hot cell facilities. Project participants will seek to combine international resources to produce a consolidated understanding of the behaviour of iodine and other fission products in this scenario.

The specific technical objectives for this project are:

The results provided by this project will be useful for regulators and operators in the context of managing post-accident situations in the containment building.

Work during the first part of the project has concentrated on the specifications for the first tests of the test matrix. Within the framework of the OECD BIP Project, the group has successfully performed more than 50 tests dealing with the adsorption of iodine on surfaces and the formation of organic iodides from irradiated paint. The reports are available to participants.

At the end of the project was decided to start a follow-up project, called BIP-2, to address remaining issues concerning organic iodine formation and iodine interaction with paintings. The BIP-3 signature agreement is in preparation.

Project participants

The project is being supported by safety organisations, research laboratories and industry in the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Project period

July 2007 to March 2011


CAD 1.5 million

Related links

Last reviewed: 4 September 2015