Safety Research Opportunities Post-Fukushima

The Senior Expert Group on Safety Research Opportunities Post-Fukushima (SAREF) was established at the June 2013 CSNI meeting to identify research activities to address safety research knowledge gaps related to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, which would also support safe and timely decommissioning in Japan.

The scope of work for the group included identifying research activities that used information from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, either immediately available or to be acquired during decommissioning, to provide additional safety knowledge of common interest to NEA member countries. The group submitted a report with recommendations for safety research activities to CSNI in 2016.

As a result of extensive discussions among the senior experts, the group has prioritised research options that make use of existing information from the Fukushima Daiichi site or experimental research activities as well as information that will be obtained during decommissioning operations.

Near-term projects were proposed to undertake in preparation for more complex undertakings, such as sampling damaged fuel and reactor core components over the long term. It was also recommended that the second phase will start in 3 to 5 years when new information comes for discussing potential long-term activities taking into account feasibilities in terms of dose estimates, human resources and costs.  As such, SAREF will continue as an ongoing process.

The report was approved by the CSNI in June 2016, and is now publicly available.

Members of the senior expert group

Representatives from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States participated in this expert group.

The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) of Japan chaired the group.

Preparation for proposed near-term projects

The Preparatory Technical Meeting for SAREF Near-term Projects was held on 9 to 11 January 2017 in Paris, France with representatives participating from NEA member countries. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the international joint research projects proposed by the NRA and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), reflecting the recommendations made by the senior expert group last year. Participating members shared updates and information on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The participants discussed the draft programmes for the proposed research projects focusing on fuel debris characterisation, as well as on a collective analysis of data and information gathered via sampling efforts on-site. Based on the suggestions and comments made at the meeting, the project proposals will be reviewed and prepared for the next steps. Mechanisms for co-ordinating with other post-Fukushima activities will also be explored.

Related links

Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI)

SAREF working area (password protected | reminder)

Preparatory Technical Meeting for SAREF Near-term Projects (password protected | reminder)

Contact


Last reviewed: 17 March 2017