The 65th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is taking place from 20 to 24 September. The focus is on nuclear safety, security and verification as well as the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
ENSI is participating in two large-scale international research projects providing data on the ageing phenomena of reactors and on the operating and accident behaviour of fuel rods. The findings are being incorporated into ENSI’s safety assessments.
The events in Japan are a reminder that we must never let down our guard. It is essential to ensure the safety of Swiss nuclear power plants right up until their final days of operation. Moreover, the accident in Japan shone a light on another important aspect: emergency preparedness.
Against the background of the lessons learnt from the major nuclear accident in Fukushima, the ENSI Board will continue to carry out its duties both vigilantly and independently, while ensuring the clear separation of ENSI’s regulatory safety function on the one hand from economic and political interests on the other.
At the time of the fateful accident in Fukushima, Doris Leuthard was head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the nuclear disaster, the former Federal Councillor explains why it was essential to provide political support for nuclear safety after the accident.
After the accident at Fukushima, there was an increasing demand for international safety standards and their international monitoring. Switzerland, and in particular ENSI, was committed to mandatory backfitting on a global basis. Even if such safety principles are still not legally binding, the reactor accident acted as a booster for a new safety awareness amongst the international community.
After the events in Fukushima Daiichi, ENSI ordered immediate actions and additional safety tests for the Swiss nuclear power plants. Moreover, from the accident analysis and the EU stress test, ENSI derived a need for action to improve nuclear safety in Switzerland: the “Fukushima Action Plan”.
Today, the Federal Office of the Environment, FOEN, published its study “Extreme Flooding of the River Aare”. Their findings also include a re-evaluation of the flood risk to nuclear installations located on the Aare.
The tests at the time confirmed that, in international comparison, Swiss nuclear power plants have a high safety level. Despite these learnings, it is important to remain attentive at all times, to keep the proofs of safety up to date, to live a strong safety culture and to systematically analyse events.