ENSI

150 employees of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI work every day in various fields for the nuclear safety of the Swiss population.

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ENSI’s successful supervisory work largely depends on the quality of its staff. It is not only their experience and special qualifications that are needed, but also their values, their attitude and their ability to enter into a critical, but constructive relationship with operators and with the stakeholders in politics and society.

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Background articles

The protection of nuclear installations and nuclear materials against sabotage, violent actions or theft has to be based on an in-depth defence system which involves structural, technical, organisational, personnel and administrative measures.

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In addition to the general weekly works inspections, ENSI specialists carry out topic-specific inspections at all works. In the field of electrical engineering, for example, they check reactor protection, which ensures that the installation is correctly switched off in an emergency.

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ENSI does not only grant approvals in the case of upgrading. Modifications to constructions, parts of installations, systems, equipment and documents that are classified as relevant for safety or technical security have to be approved by law – even in the case of decommissioning.

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After the cessation of operations nuclear power plants are demolished and the site renaturalised. The professional disassembly and of the installations takes many years. We ensure that the owners of nuclear installations comply with the legal requirements and that the safety of the population and the skilled workers involved is also guaranteed during decommissioning.

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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.

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In an emergency ENSI ensures the rapid notification of the responsible authorities and specialist units such as the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). Furthermore, ENSI specialists prepare forecasts on the anticipated development of the abnormal occurrence and its consequences.

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«The safety authorities cultivate a frank exchange of information. Swiss experts, for instance, support French colleagues during inspections of their nuclear power plants – and vice-versa. In this way we learn from each other and share our wealth of experience for the benefit of all countries.»

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The experts of the Safety Analyses department continually evaluate installations in normal operation and devote themselves to the modelling, forecasting and diagnosis of abnormal occurrences in order to establish the best possible safety standards. Their work is based on the latest methods and models that adequate describing the behaviour of a nuclear installation.

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In addition to the technical aspects of nuclear safety there are human and organisational factors that also have to be taken into account. ENSI specialists analyse the handling of safety issues within an organisation and the psychological phenomena of employees at nuclear installations, in normal operation and in emergencies just as they analyse nuclear technology.

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Radiological protection always begins by avoiding unnecessary exposure. One of the guiding principles behind radiological protection is therefore that the radiation burden on people should be kept as low as is reasonably achievable.

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150 employees of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI work every day in various fields for the nuclear safety of the Swiss population.

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ENSI’s successful supervisory work largely depends on the quality of its staff. It is not only their experience and special qualifications that are needed, but also their values, their attitude and their ability to enter into a critical, but constructive relationship with operators and with the stakeholders in politics and society.

Read more

The Federal Council’s energy strategy for 2050 is based on a gradual withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme. Under the new conditions, ENSI, as a specialised body of the Confederation that is politically and economically independent, also ensures the safety of nuclear installations.

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