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Severe Accident Management Guideline Development Toolkit (SAMG-D)

Nuclear power plants (NPPs) have been designed to withstand a large number of incidents and accidents, so that possible radiological consequences will be low and within predefined limits. NPPs have been equipped with a number of safety systems to control such incidents and accidents, together with a set of emergency operating procedures (EOPs) which help the operators to achieve a final stable and safe end state. In the unlikely case when the event cannot be controlled, fuel damage must be expected and that will possibly be followed by containment damage and a large radioactive release. For such accidents, called 'severe accidents', mitigatory actions are still possible, using available and - in some cases - dedicated plant equipment. Severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs) have been developed to provide operators with systematic guidance on the mitigatory actions to be taken during such accidents. The main objective of SAMGs is to utilize any available equipment at the NPP to terminate core damage, maintain containment integrity, and minimize off-site radionuclide releases. The development of SAMGs in different countries has led to different formats depending on the type of reactor, the industry that developed the guidance, and the various regulatory requirements.

In connection with the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has developed a training resource called the Severe Accident Management Guideline Development (SAMG-D) toolkit.

Download SAMG-D Toolkit

The SAMG-D Toolkit provides a description of the basic elements of the development of SAMG in NPPs. It is constructed as a condensed basic text, plus a set of hyperlinks to more detailed explanations in the form of pdf files of IAEA publications and other literature. As such, it is very user-friendly and suitable for self-study. It consists of four Modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Nuclear Safety and Accident Management
  • Module 2: Severe Accident Phenomena and Strategies to Mitigate Fission Product Boundary Challenges
  • Module 3: Development of Severe Accident Management Guidelines
  • Module 4: Implementation of Severe Accident Management Guidelines

Module 1 provides in part 1a basic elements of nuclear safety - notably relevant for newcomer Member States - and presents in part 1b basic elements of accident management. It describes the nature and form of EOPs and SAMG, and explains the main differences between these two.

Module 2 describes the complex physicochemical and radiological phenomena associated with severe accidents. It identifies the processes that challenge fission product boundaries and the potential releases if these fail. It indicates possible strategies to protect the fission product boundaries and, where the protection fails, to mitigate releases. It describes also the analyses needed for these subjects.

Module 3 describes the way the strategies are developed into plant specific guidelines; to most effectively manage an accidental scenario. It analyses plant vulnerabilities and plant capabilities, instrument behaviour, potential negative consequences of the mitigative actions, assignment of priorities, the transition from the EOP domain to the SAMG domain and the interface with other plant procedures and guidelines. It describes how guidelines are developed in a user-friendly way, such that execution by trained staff is well possible.

Module 4 describes the organizational measures needed to develop and implement the plant specific guidelines in the overall plant emergency organisation. It includes the formation of a writing team, of support organisations like the Technical Support Centre, the plant specific verification and validation, drills and exercises, and training and maintenance of SAMG.

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