The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) has revised its research strategy. In the coming years, the focus will be on the issues of long-term operation, extreme natural events, decommissioning and waste management. As a new feature, suggestions for research projects can now be submitted online.
ENSI’s revised research strategy focuses first and foremost on the practical benefits of research for supervisory activities. The issues related to long-term operation, extreme natural events, decommissioning and waste management have become more important in recent years, so they are given greater emphasis in ENSI’s new research strategy. “In this way, research can also play its part in maintaining and enhancing the safety of Switzerland’s nuclear plants,” explains Felix Altorfer, Director of the Staff of the Directorate at ENSI.
It has recently been made possible to enter research projects online. ENSI now provides an input form for this purpose on its website. Suggested research projects are selected on the basis of clear criteria, which are also described in the research strategy.
Clear objectives for research projects
Research should provide a basis for supervisory work, while promoting training and helping to maintain expertise, and it should also contribute to international interchange. The research strategy also defines these objectives:
- Investigation of open issues regarding the safety of nuclear plants
- Practical support for supervisory activities
- Maintaining and expanding professional expertise
- Promotion of independent expertise
- Making ENSI more attractive to employees
No research into new reactors
ENSI does not support research on the new generation III reactors or on the potential generation IV reactors of the future as these subjects are not relevant to ENSI’s specific supervisory activities.
ENSI’s research strategy implements international guidelines, which state that the respective national authorities should take steps to build up and maintain the expertise of all involved parties responsible for the safety of nuclear plants. As far as possible, supervisory authorities should also avoid potential conflicts of interest when selecting their experts.