Events abroad

The Swiss Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) is interested in the events abroad. They learn how to act with the national Power Plants in case of a nuclear incident.

Directly after the accident in Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on 11 March 2011, ENSI ordered immediate measures for a review of the safety of the Swiss nuclear power plants. In parallel, an interdisciplinary team of experts from ENSI (the “Japan Analysis Team”) reconstructed the events of the accident and subjected them to in-depth analysis.

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At the OECD Forum in Paris, ENSI Director Hans Wanner argued for a strengthening of the international monitoring of nuclear power. This followed comments by the Swiss Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard at yesterday’s meeting of minsters from the G8 and G20 countries on nuclear safety in Paris during which she called for internationally binding safety standards. Compliance with such standards should be monitored by independent inspectors from other countries and in the interests of transparency the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency should facilitate easy access to the results.

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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.

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The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) requires the Beznau nuclear power plant to provide proof that the reactor pressure vessel is safe. In an interview, Georg Schwarz, the Director of the Division for Nuclear Power Plants and Deputy Director of the ENSI, explains the importance of carrying out an ultrasonic examination.

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Background Articles

Nine months after the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan is working to contain radiation exposure in the region of the accident. The challenges confronting the country in this endeavour are shown by the new ENSI report on the radiological effects of the accident on 11 March 2011. ENSI already deduced some “Lessons learned for Swiss radiation protection” at the end of October.

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