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“Nuclear accidents and regulatory response”

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  • reactor accidents
  • risk assessment
  • safety
  • regulatory guides
  • regulations
  • nternational agreements
  • law
  • specifications
  • standardization







ARN (Argentina)


Touzet R. (Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Buenos Aires (AR))


It does not seem feasible to harmonize the 'safety levels' on an international scale if their definition if imprecise or subjective. As a first priority it is necessary to reach agreement about what is understood by the term safety level, and what is the adequate methodology for evaluating it quantitatively. It is proposed to establish a 'safety index' (I) defined as the negative decimal logarithm of the annual probability of occurrence of any accident causing severe damage to the core. It is considered to be very important to define, in addition, a risk factor for a given configuration (i) different from the configuration of the basic design, which supposes that all the plant's systems and components are functioning and in normal operating conditions without detriment to the characteristics and requirements established by the designer. On the basis of the analysis of relevant accidents and incidents, it is considered that from a regulatory point of view it should be convenient to adopt two attitudes: On an international scale, the achievement of the harmonization of safety level evaluation criteria through the establishment of a quantitative safety index related to the risk of severe core damage, and the adoption of an internationally standardized probabilistic safety assessment methodology: on the domestic scale, to put the greatest regulatory effort on three fundamental aspects for the prevention of accidents. These aspects are the introduction of a new general safety requirement related to the information that the operator must have, the improvement of the information presentation system in the control room and in distant locations and the establishment of a safety culture. The use of an internationally accepted safety index would be the practical way to achieve the objectives of standardization which have been proposed in the Symposium and to harmonize effectively the safety levels on an international scale. Presentado en: International symposium on regulatory practices and safety standards for nuclear power plants; Munich, Germany, 7-10 Nov 1988