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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Making remote handling less remote

    Over a wet and windy three-day period on the ITER site in November, around 90 representatives of the ITER Organization, the Domestic Agencies of Europe and Japa [...]

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  • The framework for sharing ITER intellectual property

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  • Wendelstein achieves ultra-precise magnetic topology

    A recent article in the online journal Nature Communications confirms that the complex topology of the magnetic field of Wendelstein 7-X—the world's largest ste [...]

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  • The Matrix, rigid and fluid

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  • By road, river and sea

    They travelled by road from the Air Liquide factory near Grenoble, sailed down the Rhône River from Lyon and entered the Mediterranean to the east of Fos-sur-Me [...]

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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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