Reviewing advances in severe accident research for existing and advanced reactor designs


The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) supports member countries’ efforts to enhance their ability to manage severe accidents through co-operative activities led by the Working Group on Accident and Management (WGAMA).

As part of this work, the NEA co-organised the 11th Review Meeting on Severe Accident Research (ERMSAR 2024) on 13-16 May in Stockholm, Sweden. Participants reviewed advances in severe accident research, covering in-vessel and ex-vessel corium behaviour and coolability, hydrogen risk management, containment behaviour and radioactive release.

Participants also addressed severe accident analysis for existing and advanced reactor designs, with sessions devoted to small modular reactors (SMRs), accident-tolerant fuels and fast reactors. The conference was co-organised with the European Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Swedish Safety Authority, the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

During the plenary sessions, experts with long careers in severe accident research, including WGAMA Chair Hideo Nakamura from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), shared their experience and reflections about developments in the sector. Participants then also discussed regulatory perspectives and approaches for severe accident management in SMRs and collaborative severe accident research in the field, with plans developed at the EC, the IAEA and the NEA. The conference, which was attended by 157 participants from 21 countries, highlighted the need to integrate severe accident research and knowledge, including insights from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, into severe accident analyses to continuously enhance accident prevention and mitigation in relation to the extended operation of the existing fleet and to support the deployment of advanced designs. The next review meeting is planned for May 2026 in Madrid, Spain. 

See also