External Events Safety Section

The External Events Safety Section (EESS) supports Member States, upon request, in achieving a high level of safety in relation to external hazards such as earthquakes, floods, typhoons, landslides and events induced by human activities.in the protection of nuclear installations (power reactors, advanced reactors, small modular reactors, microreactors, research reactors, fuel cycle facilities, against external hazards using peer reviews, advisory services and capacity building based on the IAEA Safety Standards and technical documents.

The Section is responsible for developing and revising the IAEA Safety Standards and technical documents, in cooperation with Member States’ experts,  in the areas of siting, design and safety assessment in relation to external hazards affecting nuclear installations and their site surroundings, such as natural hazards (e.g. earthquakes, floods, high-winds, geotechnical effects) , human-induced hazards (e.g. accidental aircraft crashes, explosions), security-related hazards originated outside the site boundary, and radiological dispersion into the environment.

Through the Site and External Events Design (SEED) peer review service, the Section assists Member States in the application of safety standards to site selection, site characterization, environmental impact, design of structures, systems and components and safety assessment of nuclear installations against external hazards. The Section also offers SEED Capacity Building services to develop technical competencies in countries planning to introduce nuclear power and support the review of regulations on siting, environmental impact assessment, design and safety assessment.

In addition, the Section serves as an international centre of excellence among the IAEA Member States about site-specific hazard assessments and engineering protection of new and existing nuclear installations against external hazards, and provides a forum for sharing experiences and lessons learnt in its area of competence. This activity is supported by fact finding missions, analysis of past events recorded in the Incident Reporting System (IRS), and the operation of the External Events Notification System (EENS) developed at the Section, which provides the IAEA Incident Emergency Centre (IEC) with alert and forecast on external events hazards worldwide, analysis on the event development and damage induced to nuclear installations.

To comply with its statutory mandate, the section manages a high number of extra-budgetary projects funded with Member States’ voluntary contributions, dedicated to the development of enhanced methods and tools to support the assessment of sites and nuclear installation safety against external hazards. The EESS portal, restricted for registered users, allows stakeholders to collaborate and exchange information on such projects.

The Section provides support to Member States in building and sustaining capacity in nuclear safety. Learn more about the Section's work in this area.

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