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Prevention and Mitigation of Nuclear Accidents

Since the 90s, the JRC has participated in many experimental and analytical activities in the field of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) Severe Accidents analysis and management.

In particular, several experimental facilities were operating (FARO, KROTOS, STORM) at the JRC site in Ispra. The experimental data generated at these facilities are stored in the STRESA databank and utilised for model validation or benchmark exercises. The JRC was also involved in the management, the financing and scientific cooperation of the PHEBUS FP programme.

PHEBUS FP was dedicated to improve the understanding of the phenomena occurring during a core meltdown accident in a light water reactor. Within the EURATOME Framework Programmes 6 and 7, JRC has participated to the projects Severe Accident Research NETwork (SARNET) and SARNETII, respectively. The overall aim of the SARNET projects was to integrate the research capabilities in Europe and to resolve important remaining uncertainties and safety issues concerning existing and future nuclear plant, especially water-cooled reactors, under hypothetical severe accident conditions.

After the Fukushima Daiichi accident, safety reinforcement in the EU and in particular accident analysis and management for Nuclear Power Plants of the Member States gained even more importance.

Given its role in the Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community for nuclear research and training activities, the JRC created in 2012 a platform of numerical tools hosted and operated at the JRC Petten site. The objective of this platform is to contribute to the European post-Fukushima efforts needed to update the Severe Accident Management strategies and practices. Furthermore, diagnosis and prognosis methods are developed to streamline the nuclear accident modelling, and the emergency preparedness and response capabilities.

Therefore, the work at JRC to support nuclear accident preventive and mitigation measures of current and future nuclear reactor expands from support to the development and validation of the Reference European code ASTEC (Accident Source Term Evaluation Code), to the building of methodologies, databases and numerical tools framework to model emergency preparedness and response situations.

Accident Source Term Evaluation Code ASTEC
Accident Source Term Evaluation Code ASTEC


To find out more about the JRC's work on similar topics, explore the related JRC portfolios: