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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Fields of activity

Safety of existing facilities

    Monitoring reactors

    Cruas nuclear power plantAs part of its support work for the French nuclear safety authority (ASN), IRSN assesses the safety of nuclear reactors, whether in operation or under construction. 

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • 900 MWe reactors: Fourth ten-yearly outage inspections
  • Continuaion of the reactor stress tests following the Fukushima accident
  • Assessment of EDF's subcontracting policy
  • Decommissioning: EDF's strategy and waste management
  • EPR Flamanville 3
  • Development and use of the Sofia simulator
  • Launch of the experimental component of the ODOBA project
  • Ageing of steel: EVA experimenal program
  • Polymer ageing: electrical cables, leaktightness of containment hatch seals.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

    • Reactor safety: Operating experience feedback
    • Improvements to the availability of nuclear reactor pumping stations
    • Assessments of EDF's internal audit in the Val de Loire nuclear power plants
    • New steps for Phenix decommissioning
    • EPR Flamanville: preparation for the assessment of the safety analysis file to commissionning
    • Analysis of the reisks associated with the Eridan Gas Pipeline project
    • Assessments and Research regarding reactor aging (aging in silicone seal, risks related to thermal fatigue).

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2014 - Chapter Activities.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

    • Safety and radiation protection management during refueling and maintenance outages
    • Safety review associated with third ten-year inspections of 1300 MWe reactors
    • EPR Assessments
    • Chooz A power plant: vessel dismantling
    • Advanced modeling of vessel steel behavior
    • Assistance provided to the Ukrainian Safety Authority under contracts funded by the European Commission.

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

    • Safety review of the 900 MWe reactors
    • Preparation of the safety review of 1450 MWe reactors
    • EPR Assessments
    • Chooz B power plant: Loose part in the reactor coolant system pumps
    • Participation in assessing vessel defects in Reactor 3 at Belgium's Doel plant
    • Follow-up to Complementay Safety Assessments: Hardened safety core concept
    • Participation in European stress-tests. 

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

    • Incidents of clogging agents accumulating in pressurized water reactors
    • Operating reactors feedback between 2006 and 2008
    • Project to reinforce the foundation raft of the Fessenheim reactor
    • Generic anomalies affecting 900 MWe reactors
    • EPR Assessments
    • Supporting safety in Ukraine
    • Assessment of EDF's strategy for nuclear power plant dismantling
    • Complementary post-Fukushima safety assessments.

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2010 :

    • Preventing the risk of steam generator tube rupture 
    • Preparing for the third ten-yearly inspections for 1300 MWe pressurized water reactors
    • Completion of the first version of the level 2 robabilistic safety analysis (PSA) for 1300 MWe reactors (PSA2 1300)
    • Completion of SOFIA, a simulator of incidental and emergency operation provinding representative model of 900, 1300 and 1450 MWe reactors (More information about SOFIA)
    • Assessment of the detailed design of the EPR reactor
    • Analysis of the EDF's on-site emergency plan reference file.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

 

      Monitoring plants, fuel cycle facilities, experimental reactors and radioactive material shipments

      IRSN puts all its skill and expertise to work to provide consistent safety assessments of facilities and a wide range of activities.

      Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

    • La Hague: Completion of the UP3-A plant safety review
    • Collaboration with the DoE beyond the end of the MIRTE 2 program
    • Progress of the ORION project.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

    • Georges-Besse II plant: Commissioning of the North unit and the Rec II support facility
    • Recovery and conditioning of legacy waste on CEA and Areva sites.

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2014 - Chapter Activities.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Safety reviews of the Melox, IARU and UP3 plants
  • Post-Fukushima actions: Reinforcing facilities other than power reactor
  • Summary of radioactive material transport events in France from 1999 to 2011
  • PRINCESS, an international partnership on criticality risk.
  • For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

    • Examination of the CEA waste and spent fuel management strategy
    • Safety review of the CIS Bio International plant
    • Commissioning of the North Unit of the Georges-Besse II plant
    • New version of the CRISTAL package
    • Criticality research: startup of Phase 2 of the MIRTE experimental program
    • Conditioning waste with a high-organic and alpha-emitter content
    • ITER assessment and R&D. 

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

    • Safety of the EOLE and MINERVE research reactors
    • Commissioning of the Magenta facility
    • Project to build a research reactor in the Netherlands. 

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2010 :

    • Examining safety and radiations protection management at CEA
    • Safety review for the CIS bio international plant
    • International regulations on the transportation of radioactive materials
    • MIRTE experimental criticality program
    • Nuclear fuel cycle operation
    • French-Chinese seminar on nuclear fuel cycle facility safety.  

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

 

    Fuel safety

    Visual inspection of fuel rods.IRSN research in fuel safety seeks to provide a better assessment of the safety limits to be considered for the new nuclear fuel management methods contemplated by Operators.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • Major step in the CIP program: the Cabri reactor achieves criticality
  • Progress of the PERFROI project
  • Progress in the DENOPI project
  • Conclusion of the NURESAFE project.
  • For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.      

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Corrosion of fuel rod cladding
  • Excessive deformation of the Nogent 2 reactor core.
  • For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2014 - Chapter Activities.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Experimental research program on spent fuel embrittlement.
  • For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

    • Measurement of the fuel mass ejected during tests in the CABRI reactor
    • Increase in spent fuel pool capacity
    • Limitation of assembly deformations : Assessment of structural reinforcements in new fuel assemblies. 

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

    • Analysis of the behavior and management of fuels between 2003 and 2009
    • Study of spent fuel embrittlement following transportation
    • Mechanical behavior of cladding during a loss of coolant accident. 

    For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2010 :

    • Reference system for the study of a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA)
    • Progress in CABRI reactor upgrade work
    • Internal an external deployment of SCANAIR software.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.  

 

Fires and containment

The SATURNE calorimeter hood is used to study the behavior of fires in an open environment.The research work performed by IRSN regarding fire protection aims to improve understanding of how a fire develops in a confined space and the related risk of radioactive release to the environment.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • BADIMIS V4: an example of the use of research data to benefit containment expertise
  • Latest test campaigns in the PRISME 2 international program.

 For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Electrical cable fires: organisation of a technical information day
  • Analysis of the first PRISME 2 test campaing
  • Recommissioning of the IRIS measuring station for future CIP program tests
  • ECOBA research project: first measurement results.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Assessment of measures to protect workers against nanometric particles
  • PRISME project closing seminar
  • Study of potential fires in radioactive material transport accidents. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • Publication of IRSN's fire hazard assessment baseline
  • Increase in the number of fire protection services
  • Lessons of the common-interest program on fire
  • Initial version of the BADIANE database
  • Effects if wind on radiation containment in nuclear facilities. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2010 :

  • Studying fires liable to occur at nuclear facilities
  • Understanding the role and mechanisms of smoke transfer
  • Patents for minimizing aerosol emissions induced by laser cutting.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

 

Accidents

In addition to the considerable work it carries out on the prevention of Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) core meltdown accidents, IRSN is conducting research into the physics of such accidents and their potential impact on human heath and the environment.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • STEM project conclusion
  • PASSAM project
  • Iodine chemistry in the reacor coolan system during a core melt-down accident in a pressurized water reactor
  • IVMR project launch.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Research on core melt accidents
  • Summary report on containment venting and filtration devices
  • Mithygene project: Improved knowledge of phenomena associated with the risk of hydrogen explosion
  • Report on the new reference framework for the study of loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCA).
  • For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2014 - Chapter Activities.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • The european network SARNET - coordinated by IRSN - joins the NUGENIA association
  • STEM research program: New tests conducted
  • Completion of the ISTP experimental program
  • PRELUDE: first summary on effectiveness of water supply to a degraded reactor core
  • Extending probabilistic safety assessments to external hazard situations.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Participation in the OECD/NEA BSAF (Benchmark Studiy of the Accident ar the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station)
  • New version of the DRACCAR software application
  • End of the MARGO-R experimental program
  • First tests in the START program
  • End of the PHEBUS PF program.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • Close of ASAMPSA2 project
  • Final report of the PHEBUS PF program
  • Gaseous iodine measured in core meltdown accident situations
  • Assessment of DOE and NRC work
  • Experimental feasibility of debris bed reflooding
  • EPR configuration in the SOFIA simulator. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2010 :

  • Experimental studies on iodine chemistry
  • Completion of the BECARRE experimental program studying the degradation phenomena affecting the boron carbide ne
  • Launch of the ECOBA project studying the containment properties of reinforced concrete structure
  • Modeling phenomena resulting from reactor vessel failure in the event of a major accident
  • Progress in the ASAMPSA2 project.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

 

Natural hazards

The research carried out by IRSN in the area of natural hazards is aimed at improving understanding of the risks and consequences for a nuclear facility of events, such as earthquakes, heat waves, storms or flooding.  

    Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Reassessment of seismic risks for 1,300 MWe reactors.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • New guide on the protection of nuclear facilities against flooding
  • Examination of the EDF "heatwaves" baseline. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • Baseline for assessing seismic hazards
  • Assessment conducted in the United Arab Emirates. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2010 :

  • Post-earthquake mission in Chile
  • Seismic hazard assessment
  • Site survey services for several countries wishing to acquire nuclear power capability (United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt).

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.  

 

Safety economics, Human and organizational factors and Regulations

Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • Fukushima-Daiichi accident: Study of human and organizational factors.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013 :

  • Safety doctrines.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Research results on the cost of nuclear accidents
  • Creation of a new human and social sciences laboratory
  • Participation in drafting the regulations governing basic nuclear installations. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

 


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