Now available: New IAEA specific safety guide on the design of fuel handling and storage systems for nuclear power plants

Fuel handling and storage in nuclear power plants are important operational activities of a nuclear reactor, such as receiving, storing and inspecting new fuel before use; transfer of fresh fuel to the reactor or removal of spent fuel from the reactor; and, its storage and handling in the spent fuel pool. The latest IAEA safety publication, Safety Standards Series: Design of Fuel Handling and Storage Systems for Nuclear Power Plants (No. SSG-63) discusses these vital functions in detail.

“Nuclear power plant systems providing safety functions during fuel handling and storage have their undisputed place within a power plant installation and it is vital to ensure the highest level of safety,” said Vesselina Ranguelova, Head of the IAEA Safety Assessment Section, adding that “This specific safety guide provides updated recommendations on how to meet IAEA safety requirements on the design of handling systems and storage facilities for nuclear power plants, as outlined in IAEA Specific Safety Requirements SSR-2/1 (Rev. 1).

The publication systematically addresses and describes the specific aspects to be considered in the design, and provides clear and practical instructions on how to meet the relevant IAEA safety requirements, such as postulated initiating events, design limits , reliability requirements, safety classification, environmental qualifications and strength. analysis. The guidelines stress the need to strengthen design and protection against external hazards and to virtually eliminate conditions leading to significant fuel degradation in spent fuel storage.

The revised and updated recommendations have been reinforced by lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in 2011, and by knowledge and experience gained through the use of improved technologies and best practices.

The processes of strengthening the means for more reliable monitoring and control of the water level in the spent fuel storage as well as how to effectively maintain the cooling of the spent fuel in a nuclear power plant where an accident has occurred are also discussed in the document.

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Susan W. Lloyd

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