SEED Mission

Published: 27 January 2014

Over the last several years, a number of extreme natural events have occurred that have had an impact on nuclear power plants (NPPs) in many parts of the world. The most devastating of these events was the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which affected the Fukushima Daiichi, Fukushima Daini, Tokai, and Onagawa NPPs in Japan. Because of the strength and frequency of these incidents worldwide, in 2008 the IAEA established the International Seismic Safety Centre (ISSC) to address the siting and design safety of NPPs against all external hazards. In June 2011, the Missouri River, which flows just next to the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Facility plant, flooded. The plant had been closed since April for refueling. The plant remained closed for about 2-and-a-half years because of the flood and long-standing technical issues. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has increased its oversight over the plant because of performance issues. Site and External Events Design (SEED) missions focus on site safety, covering site selection and site evaluation. Site evaluation includes characterization of all hazards (natural and manmade) and provides input to the overall safety of the potential site for the design intended. SEED is a bundled service that joins six site-review modules together to provide IAEA Member States, at their request, with an independent review of site safety. SEED field activities include taking core samples. The SEED services contain all the essential components for Member States, and each module builds on the progress from the previous one. All parts of the programme cater to Member States' needs, from looking for a site 'Site Survey', to the characterization of a site for its suitability to host a nuclear installation. Once a site is selected, the SEED mission assists in the design of the installation against all external and internal hazards that may occur during the life of the facility. <em>International Workshop on Earthquake Preparedness and Response for Nuclear Plants</em> in Shanghai, China, 24-28 October 2011. <br /><br />

SEED missions support the sustainability of nuclear power plants. During the Periodic Safety Review (PSR), the IAEA and a team of external experts review the work done by the requesting recipient to ensure that the facilities are able to meet the challenges from future hazards. For Member States expanding their programmes, SEED provides assistance with more complex issues of reducing the risk against intra-unit effects arising from common cause hazards and hazard combinations. SEED mission experts review  seismic and geologic site criteria for the possible construction of a nuclear power plant at El Daba in Egypt. The experts also consider other  characteristics, including population density, meteorology, and hydrology  when determining how suitable a site is for a nuclear power reactor. SEED missions provide safety evaluations of nuclear installations to assist Member States during the siting, design, construction, and operational stages of their NPPs. Since 1980, more than 240 review missions have been conducted in these areas, using standard safety review modules and modules tailored to fit Member States' specific needs. SEED experts review review plant procedures and the primary containment area (right) at the Onagawa NPP in Japan. The plant remains shut down following the 2011 tsunami. SEED missions start with a Member State's self-assessment in which it gathers its own information, which  is used to  determine which SEED review modules should be used. Then mission objects, dates and team composition are decided The experts  conduct an advance review of the relevant technical information, a review against the IAEA safety standards, and  develop a mission report and a follow-up plan with the Member State. SEED experts use a Global Positioning System (GPS) device  to find coordinates of boreholes. The IAEA has amassed valuable experience and learned many lessons to assist Member States and operators in managing NPPs under adverse conditions. SEED safety review services are based on  these lessons, IAEA Safety Standards and Requirements, as well as IAEA Safety Guides. The SEED service  is tailored to the needs of Member States embarking on a nuclear power programme, and to those with established nuclear programmes seeking to expand their capacity.<br /><br />

<em>For further Information:</em><br />
Contact:<br />
See: <a href=''></a><br />
Division of Nuclear Installation Safety,
Department of Nuclear Safety and Security,<br />
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),<br />
Vienna International Centre,<br />
 P.O. Box 100, 1400 Vienna, Austria<br /><br />© IAEA