Earthquake Lessons for Nuclear Safety
Japan Hosts IAEA International Workshop on Seismic Safety in June
At Japan´s invitation, expert safety missions of the IAEA have visited the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, which remains shut down after an earthquake in July 2007. (Photo: IAEA Nuclear Safety)
- Story Resources
- June Workshop Sessions
- IAEA Mission, Report on Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, 26 February 2008
- IAEA Safety Standards
- IAEA Division of Nuclear Installation Safety (NSNI)
At a time when more countries eye the nuclear energy option, safety experts are taking long, hard looks at standards related to a plant´s ability to withstand seismic events. In June, they meet in Japan, as part of follow-up steps to share experience from earthquakes affecting nuclear plants there and in other countries.
"The IAEA has built up strong partnerships at the global, regional and national levels when it comes to the safety of nuclear plants," says Mr. Philippe Jamet, who heads the IAEA Division of Nuclear Installation Safety (NSNI). "The aim is to share experience and work together to review and improve international nuclear safety standards that countries can apply for their regulatory systems."
IAEA Safety Standards related to seismic safety have proved useful in identifying findings and lessons learned for the evaluation of seismic hazard and the seismic response of structures, systems and components. The seismic evaluation of existing nuclear facilities, for example, always has been the focus of NSNI, and more than 100 IAEA-supported safety review missions have contributed to seismic safety over the past decades.
The earthquake in Japan in July 2007 - which led to the extended safe shutdown of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant - has more than rekindled global interest in the issue of seismic safety. The IAEA´s follow-up actions to that seismic event have included two missions to Japan over the past year and the publication of associated comprehensive reports.
The June workshop is organized by the IAEA Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, and hosted by Japanīs Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Among workshop partners is the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which has worked with the IAEA for decades on seismic safety and related issues. Workshop participants are officially designated by their relevant governmental authority, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or National Atomic Energy Authority.
The workshop features six sessions designed to review the latest technical knowledge and research developments, as well as national experience and good practices relating to this type of extreme external event at nuclear power plant sites. The exchange will help feed the continuous review, revision and expansion, as appropriate, of IAEA Safety Standards relevant to seismic safety.