The scope of Technical Area 2 is closely linked to the main public safety goal for nuclear power – to prevent a societal calamity and huge economic loss. With appropriate site risk evaluations, plant designs and management, current Generation II and future Generation III NPPs show high levels of robustness and low probabilities for severe accidents (SA).
However, despite the highly efficient accident prevention measures adopted for the current Generation II and the still more demanding ones for the Generation III plants, some accident scenarios may, with a low probability, result in SA, as recently emphasised with the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan. This SA can result in core melting, plant damage and dispersal of radioactive materials outside of the plant containment, thus threatening public health and the environment.
This risk can be substantially decreased when state-of-the-art devices currently available for prevention and mitigation of severe accidents are installed. Lessons from the Fukushima-Daiichi accidents and consequences related to Accident Management provisions from the recently completed ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group) stress tests and other national activities lead to further enhancement of the safety of NPPs.