Improving Nuclear Safety after Fukushima accident

The IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security held a meeting to discuss the root causes of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. UAE Experts actively participated in these discussions, as a key element of the UAE nuclear energy programme is to base its safety structure on lessons learned from the accident.

From 19 to 22 March 2012, over 230 experts from 44 IAEA Member States and 4 international organizations assembled to analyse all the relevant technical aspects of reactor and spent fuel safety in light of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.
Held by the IAEA Nuclear Safety and Security Department, an ‘International Expert’s Meeting on Reactor and Spent Fuel Safety in Light of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant’ worked towards analysing the Fukushima accident and taking appropriate actions to respond.
Furthermore, it reviewed all the knowledge gained on the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in order to understand its root causes, and to share the lessons learned from the accident.
“It is important for all, nuclear regulator, plant operators, governments or international organisations, to maintain the momentum gained over the last 12 months in our collective drive to improve nuclear safety around the world” said Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security in his opening remarks.
One week of joint work by nuclear experts from Member States and the IAEA, identified the necessary priorities for further actions in the areas of nuclear reactor and spent fuel safety, focusing in particular on different power reactor types, such as boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs), and on their spent fuel.
The meeting's Chairman, Richard Meserve, Chairman of the International Nuclear Safety Group and President of the Carnegie Institution for Science, said, "In the nuclear business you can never say, 'the task is done'." It is an inherent responsibility to explore, examine, and assess the significance of nuclear safety and security vulnerabilities continuously.
The meeting provided a forum for discussion on how Member States are assessing the safety vulnerability of their nuclear power plants.
Among those Member States, the UAE has conducted its own assessment based on recent experiences from Fukushima and lessons learned, and this will be applied in addressing any potential safety issues at its Barakah Nuclear Power Plant facilities.
In December 2011, the UAE’s plant operator, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) submitted a detailed report compiling the results of the assessment to the UAE’s nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) to ensure better nuclear safety and radiation protection at its proposed Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.