Research means: taking a close look

Reiner Mailänder, ENSI Research Coordinator
Reiner Mailänder, ENSI Research Coordinator

«Our current research projects, around 35 in number, deal with safety issues with a fascinating range of topics. They specifically support the independent oversight of ENSI. I see research as a catalyst. We want to answer open questions, including unpleasant ones. To do this we need to be alert for initiatives from all sides.»

Reiner Mailänder, ENSI Research Coordinator


Safety authorities worldwide are engaged in extensive research projects in order to fulfil their functions (regulatory safety research). The manufacturers and operators of nuclear power plants also run major research programmes. ENSI follows international developments concerning safety research in the field of nuclear energy. It cultivates contacts with research institutions at home and abroad and evaluates research trends.

The coordination of research develops the plans for ENSI’s regulatory safety research, initiates research assignments together with ENSI’s specialist sections and coordinates co-operation with researchers and other national and international institutions involved in energy research.

The projects contribute towards clarifying open questions concerning the operation of Swiss nuclear installations. The focus is on the benefit for the supervisory function. Research work helps in taking decisions and developing the instruments that ENSI needs in order to perform its functions. The insights gained help develop the competence needed for supervisory activities and creates independent expertise. Internationally networked projects deliver results that could not be achieved in Switzerland alone. At the same time they strengthen international co-operation.

Around one third of ENSI’s research is funded by the Confederation and two thirds is charged to the operators of nuclear installations. This is regulated by law. The figures are accessible to the public. All of ENSI’s research activities are published annually in its experience and research report.