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Enhancing Seismological Safety

On 19 Septmber, the ISSC organized a side event to provide Mmember States with an overview of SEED. The service reviews States' nuclear facilities and prepares them against external and internal hazards.

Whether it is to avert volcanism, flooding, ground motion or geotechnical siting issues, the International Seismic Safety Centre (ISSC)'s siting service provides Member States with safety missions that ensure new or existing nuclear power plants with a secure environment.

The review service, known as Site and External Events Design (SEED) service, provides assistance in relation to safety infrastructure and human resource development to both embarking and operating states.

On 19 September 2012, the ISSC organized a side event to provide Member States with an overview of SEED. The service, although already existent more than thirty years back, has been established as a package of provisions in response to the growing needs of Member States, in particular developing countries. Its goal is to integrate and disseminate knowledge through safety review services. It does so by preparing Member States against all external and internal hazards that may occur during the life of the facility.

"We will help with confirming safety margins against all external events," stated Mr. Sujit Samaddar, Head of the International Seismic Safety Centre, "[and] assist you in gaining valuable insights into accident sequences from external and internal event indicators through the use of probabilistic risk assessment methods."

The service is based on assessment techniques and methodologies provided by IAEA Safety Standards. It also develops implementation documents that provide Member States with detailed guidance and implementation procedures, allowing them to correctly utilize IAEA recommendations.

One of SEED's unique characteristics is that it is present throughout various stages of the nuclear programme. Whether it is in selecting the site, assessing it or designing its structures, systems and components against hazards, SEED has a role to play. It has the knowledge and technology to produce results in each of the working areas before the systems design.

During the event, an ISSC staff member, Mr. Nebi Bekiri, provided the Member States with a live demonstration of the External Event Notification System (EENS) forecasting systems. He demonstrated how the Nuclear ShakeCast system works in detecting earthquakes, together with the Experimental Tsunami Forecasting System. For specific locations, this second service issues an accurate forecast of the tsunami's magnitude, time of arrival and probable impact.

"It is resources such as these that help the Member States in progressing with their nuclear programmes and assist SEED in providing the right level of support at the right time," Mr. Bekiri said at the end of his presentation.

The event gave Member States the opportunity to grasp SEED's scope, and gave the IAEA professionals a chance to remind Member States about the benefits of the service. As Head of the International Seismic Safety Centre, Mr. Sujit Samaddar, said: "SEED is supple and flexible. It is tested and resilient. It is forward looking and sustainable. This seed is right for you."

There are two ways SEED can be requested. One is through Technical Cooperation (TC) programmes, and the other is by requesting it directly to the ISCC, with the condition of having utilized a TC programme first. During the last years, SEED has conducted over 300 site safe missions to over 40 countries.


The ISSC was established as a global focal point to share information and experience, pool expert knowledge and assist nuclear operators and regulators on assuring and enhancing the safety of nuclear installations in relation to extreme natural hazards. With increasing Member States concerns about earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, meteorological and hydrological phenomena, and their possible impact on nuclear installation safety, the IAEA Director General established the ISCC.

In response to a request from a Member State, SEED was created as a bundled service that provides an independent review of the different stages before reaching systems design. It includes modules such as the Site Selection Process Review, Integrated Site Evaluation Review, Site Hazard Evaluation Review, Safety Review of Systems, Structures and Components (SSCs) Against External and Internal Hazards, Site Environmental Assessment Review and Design Safety Margin Assessment.

Last update: 27 Jul 2017

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