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Latest ITER Newsline

  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

Imagine the unimaginable

-Sabina Griffith

''We will look into the resistance of the facility in the face of a set of extreme situations leading to the sequential loss of the lines of defence—irrespective of the probability of this loss,'' explains Joëlle Elbez-Uzan, responsible for the ITER licensing procedure. (Click to view larger version...)
''We will look into the resistance of the facility in the face of a set of extreme situations leading to the sequential loss of the lines of defence—irrespective of the probability of this loss,'' explains Joëlle Elbez-Uzan, responsible for the ITER licensing procedure.
Following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant in Japan in March 2011, the European Union declared "that the safety of all 143 nuclear power plants [in Europe] should be reviewed on the basis of a comprehensive and transparent risk assessment." These assessments are known as stress tests.
 
As the first fusion reactor to undergo full nuclear licensing, ITER will also have to pass this complementary safety assessment, In the words of Licensing Officer Joëlle Elbez-Uzan, the stress tests are "a targeted reassessment of ITER's safety margins in the light of the events that occurred at Fukushima."

"What this means, is that we will look into the resistance of the facility in the face of a set of extreme situations leading to the sequential loss of the ITER lines of defence—irrespective of the probability of this loss. In other words, we are imagining the unimaginable."
 
The type of extreme situation under examination: very severe flooding, a severe earthquake beyond that postulated in the ITER safety case, or a combination of both. "Special focus will be given to our crisis management plan describing how to react in such an extreme situation," explains Joëlle.
 
As a first step, the French regulator (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, ASN) asked the ITER Organization to draft a report describing the methodology by which the stress tests will be performed. This report was sent to Paris on 15 January and the methodology has been approved.

Currently the Safety, Quality & Security Department is carrying out its stress test evaluation and the outcome will be submitted to the authorities mid-September.


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