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[en] In a nuclear emergency, the communicator’s role is almost as crucial as that of the first responder. Providing clear, accurate information amid the alarm and dread that emergencies provoke — when every second counts — can save lives.
[en] Katsushika Ward, located in northeastern Tokyo, had the highest deposition in Tokyo of artificial radionuclides after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. A car-borne survey for measuring absorbed dose rate in air was carried out in the ward in each of the years 2015-2020. The average dose rates measured in 2015-2018 decreased every year but percentage reductions were smaller after 2018 due to the decrease in 134Cs amount; this radionuclide decays with a half-life of 2.065 years. Its ecological half-life was estimated to be 1.6 y and that value was shorter than the physical decay life (3.2 y). (author)
[en] Contents: 1. Introduction: • Current Status of Nuclear Power Policy and NPPs in Japan; • Change in Regulatory Requirements. 2. Ageing Management and Long Term Operation of NPPs: • Issues and Projects on Materials and Their Systems; • Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi NPPs; • Materials and Components from Decommissioning Reactors. 3. Future R&D and Collaboration: • Research Roadmap; • Future International Collaboration. 4. Summary
[en] During normal operations and particularly in the event of the unexpected, an adequate legal framework for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology is indispensable. The national and international nuclear legal systems of today provide a legal framework for conducting activities related to nuclear energy and ionizing radiation in a manner that adequately protects individuals, property and the environment, and helps determine liability when something goes wrong. The 1986 Chornobyl accident prompted the swift adoption of the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Early Notification Convention) and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (Assistance Convention), which form the legal basis for the international emergency preparedness and response framework. Further negotiations led to the adoption of the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention in 1988, as well as the Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage in 1997. In addition, the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident catalyzed efforts to further strengthen the existing framework for nuclear liability and safety.
[en] This paper proposes new structural engineering approach for safety enhancement against beyond design conditions (BDBE). As the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, evaluations and countermeasures for BDBE including Design Extension Conditions were recognized very important. A philosophy, criteria and technical requirements are quite different between DBE and BDBE. Failure prevention is required for DBE and conservative strength evaluations are adopted. On the other hand, requirements for BDBE are prevention and mitigation of catastrophic failure and best estimate approach is suitable for them.
[en] The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident reinforced the importance of having adequate national and international safety standards and guidelines in place so that nuclear power and technology remain safe and continue to provide reliable low carbon energy globally. By recognizing the lessons learned from the 2011 accident, the IAEA has been revising its global safety standards to ensure that Member States continue to receive up-to-date guidance of high quality.
[en] The alert came just before sunrise in Vienna on 11 March 2011. The on-call emergency response manager reviewed the seismic report that opened on his laptop screen. Within minutes, staff trained in specialized response roles were called into the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC). He had initiated the IEC’s ‘full response’ for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, based on the results of an assessment that followed pre-established procedures. ‘Full response’ means that over 200 staff members trained in regular exercises operate in 12-hour shifts, 24 hours per day, gathering information from emergency contact points in the ‘Accident State’ — in this case, Japan — and other Member States, dispatching IAEA assistance when requested, informing the international community, while updating the media and public and coordinating the international response.
[en] The IAEA offers its Member States a wide spectrum of education and training activities. These include face-to-face training courses and workshops, on-line learning, fellowship programmes and schools, as well as publications in the IAEA’s Training Course Series, including handbooks, textbooks and manuals on various nuclear related topics. The IAEA shares the latest knowledge and findings with its Member States on the topics of most interest to support further development and sustainability of national nuclear power programmes. This Training Course Series publication is aimed at providing substantive details of hydrogen behaviour fundamentals with sufficient background information to enable readers to understand generation, propagation, combustion and mitigation of hydrogen during severe accidents in water cooled power reactors. Examples demonstrating the theory fundamentals are included. This introductory text can be used to gain a conceptual understanding of the relevant phenomena to build foundational knowledge for further education on hydrogen behaviour during severe accidents. The content is closely linked with IAEA-TECDOC-1939, Developments in the Analysis and Management of Combustible Gases in Severe Accidents in Water Cooled Reactors following the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. This information included here can be applied directly in training courses, as lecture material or as student or trainee reading/reference material, and incorporated into the curricula on related nuclear topics. The publication is expected to be of benefit to students or trainees as a basic reference text, where the basic concepts covered are intended to directly support the analyses of hydrogen behaviour during severe accidents in water cooled power reactors.
[en] While nuclear and radiological accidents are few and far between, in-depth analyses show that weaknesses in safety culture are root causes in most cases. Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011, the safety culture concept that puts layers of safety first has been and is being implemented rapidly. To better understand how attitudes are shifting towards strengthening safety in the nuclear industry, we spoke to Tom Mitchell, Chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). At the helm of WANO for two years, and with over 40 years of experience in the nuclear industry, Mitchell is leading the nuclear operator community’s focus towards a strengthened safety culture. WANO is a non-profit organization that helps its global membership of commercial nuclear power plant operators achieve operational safety and reliability by providing peer reviews, and access to technical support and a global library of operating experience.
[en] On 11 March 2011, the Great Japanese Earthquake shook the Asian seabed so powerfully that it moved the main island of Japan two and a half metres to the east. As the ensuing tsunami swept across the mainland, it breached Japan’s coastal defences including the perimeter of the Fukushima Daiichi’s Nuclear Power Plant, causing the release of radionuclides. Even so, scientists have found no evidence that this radiation caused health-related effects. The accident prompted a concerted and coordinated response by the international community, which has led to a significant improvement in the safety and safety culture in the nuclear sector. Three months after the accident, the IAEA hosted a Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety and the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety was endorsed in September 2011. Nuclear engineers worldwide poured over their reactors analysing and upgrading equipment. They shared their knowledge and findings and four years later, the IAEA published its comprehensive report on the accident. It is important to recognize the progress made in nuclear safety in Japan and worldwide in the past decade. Nuclear is safer than it has ever been. Nonetheless, we cannot be complacent. I continue to emphasize the need to remain vigilant and put safety first. The 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Fukushima in 2021 is a reminder of the need to keep our safety focus. The stakes are even higher today, because we need nuclear power to expand if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.