The security of nuclear facilities and nuclear material is meant to prevent the compromise of nuclear safety through unauthorised actions, the intentional release of radioactive materials into the environment and the theft of nuclear materials. To this end, all Swiss nuclear power plants have a special security dispositive. As with safety, the principle of security is based on profound protection through structural, technical, organisatorial, personal and administrative measures.
At the 62nd General Conference of the IAEA in Vienna, Switzerland last week committed itself to the strengthening of nuclear safety and security at the global level. ENSI also participated in bilateral discussions with international partners on the imortant topics of safety culture, emergency preparedness and the international security of nuclear installations and materials.
Swiss nuclear power plants have an adequate level of protection against a deliberate plane crash. This is confirmed by an update of the associated analyses ordered by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) in 2013. For security reasons, the details are being kept under wraps.
The nuclear security regime is well established in Switzerland. That was the finding of an IPPAS team of experts of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) at the conclusion of their two-week mission.
Switzerland has submitted an application for an IPPAS mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This should take place in the middle of 2018 and aims at strengthening Switzerland’s nuclear security.
Alongside safety in its narrowest sense, safety culture also includes the security of nuclear installations together with other aspects that are important for ensuring nuclear safety. This is demonstrated by the revised second edition of the Oversight Report on the safety culture in nuclear installations of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI).
The fuel pellets are filled into metal tubes. Together with the nuclear fuel matrix, the cladding tubes are the first barrier for trapping radioactive substances in nuclear power plants.
The nuclear fuel is pressed into pellets and compacted using the sintering process before use in nuclear power plants. This process transforms the nuclear fuel into a ceramic material, which is able to retain the fission products that arise during operation in the nuclear fuel matrix.
The barrier concept aims to trap sources of radiation in nuclear facilities across several levels. Similar to the layers of an onion, independent barriers ensure that the risk from sources of radiation are minimised for people and the environment.