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Workshop Helps Tailor IAEA Emergency Assessment and Prognosis to CANDU/PHWR Reactors

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IAEA officers at the Incident and Emergency Centre using assessment and prognosis tools during an exercise. (Photo: S. Harvey/IAEA)

Work to tailor an IAEA-developed tool that contributes to assessment and prognosis during emergencies to Canadian Deuterium-Uranium (CANDU)/Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) reactors began last week with an IAEA-led workshop in Canada with more than 30 experts from five countries taking part.

Participants in the workshop, organized by the IAEA and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in Ottawa, provided feedback that will be used to adapt the IAEA Reactor Assessment Tool to the specific features of reactor types including the CANDU/PHWR.

The IAEA Reactor Assessment Tool is one of several tools developed by the IAEA to support Member States in an emergency situation. The tool helps an accident state assess an emergency situation, provide a prognosis of the emergency’s potential evolution and provide needed information to the IAEA so that it can develop its own assessment and prognosis. The tool, which was launched in March 2017, is available to IAEA Member States emergency contact points.

Joseph Chaput, IAEA Incident and Emergency Assessment Officer, said the experience and information exchange among workshop participants - from Canada, France, India, Romania and the Republic of Korea –benefited not only their respective countries, but also nuclear safety globally.

“Feedback collected during the workshop will help us improve the tools we offer Member States, which contributes to further enhancement of the IAEA’s emergency response capabilities,” he said.

CANDU/PHWRs are in operation in seven countries.

Based on the lessons learned in this workshop, future efforts will be made to further adapt the IAEA Reactor Assessment Tool to the specific features of other nuclear power reactor types.

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