Nuclear Safety Studies

GSL has undertaken an extensive range of studies on nuclear safety.

We periodically analyse incidents and events at Nuclear Power Plants (NPPS), reprocessing facilities and other European nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) facilities.  In particular, we have undertaken reviews and surveys for Japanese organisations and have also undertaken work directly for nuclear safety regulators in the UK, the US, Sweden, and France.  We have extensive contacts within these organisations and in the Regional Directorates for Industry, Research and the Environment (DRIRE), who have assisted us with previous nuclear safety projects.  Furthermore, we have broad experience of working for nuclear operators in the UK, for example t Dounreay, Sellafield, Hinkley Point, and Trawsfynydd.

For example, we have carried out work in the following areas:

  • Response to nuclear emergencies.  In the aftermath of the Tokai-mura accident in 1999, we reviewed the system for the control of nuclear safety in the UK during emergencies.
  • Evaluations of nuclear regulatory organisation and training requirements.  We have reported on recruitment, training and development practices and requirements for nuclear regulatory personnel in the UK and France.

A summary of some of our work is provided here.

Collation and Analysis of Nuclear Safety Information

We have analysed incidents and events at nuclear facilities. For example, we have:

  • Collated information on, and analysed, incidents and events at reprocessing and fuel fabrication plants in the UK, France and Germany. We provided information on more than 100 events.
  • Compiled a list of references on safety analyses of Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication and fuel reprocessing facilities in the UK and France.

We have also performed studies on plant and waste management safety at nuclear facilities. For example, we have carried out:

  • A review of changes in technical specifications of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in France, Germany and the UK as a result of Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA).
  • A survey on criticality safety pertaining to wet interim storage of spent fuel assemblies at NPPs in France, Germany and the UK.
  • A survey on control room habitability systems at NPPs in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Sweden.

Reviews of Nuclear Safety Regulations and Practice

In this area, we have carried out:

  • Reviews of regulatory practice, including inspection procedures and requirements.  For example, we carried out a survey on regulatory inspection for nuclear facilities in France and the UK.
  • Evaluations of safety culture in the nuclear sector and other industries.  For example, we reviewed nuclear safety culture in the UK and Germany.
  • Reviews of nuclear safety regulations, including guidance and best practice.  For example, we reviewed:
  • The regulatory framework and assessment of Periodic Safety Reviews (PSRs), safety case documentation, and ageing issues for nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) facilities in the UK, France and Germany.
  • Regulations pertaining to NFC facilities and their decommissioning in the UK, France and Germany.
  • Performance-based and risk-informed nuclear regulations, and inspections on Quality Assurance in the UK and France.

Reviews of Nuclear Facilities and Operations

We have carried out a number of surveys of nuclear facilities and operations, including equipment upgrades for plant safety.  For example, we have:

  • Reported on the main control room upgrades at the Oskarshamn NPP in Sweden.
  • Reviewed operations and the regulatory framework of nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) facilities at Sellafield. We identified and analysed key issues for the main NFC facilities and operations, including waste management.
  • Reviewed control systems for non-radioactive chemicals at reprocessing facilities at Sellafield, and provided information on discharge limits and actual discharge levels for major gas, liquid and solid chemical wastes.
  • Attended and reported on a seminar organised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the revised Safety Assessment Principles (SAPs) for nuclear facilities.

We have also evaluated systems for worker qualification in Europe.