Research Papers: Nuclear Power

Risk-Informed Approach for the Regulation of Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities

[+] Author and Article Information
Yukihiro Iguchi, Masami Kato

Radioactive Waste Management and Transport Safety Division, Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), 4-3-20, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001, Japan

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 132(10), 102910 (Jul 06, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000624 History: Received July 30, 2009; Revised August 02, 2009; Published July 06, 2010; Online July 06, 2010

During decommissioning of nuclear facilities, it is generally thought that the risk is relatively low after high activity inventory such as the spent fuel is removed. However, dismantlement works may be carried out with nonmultiple barriers with a nonregular process depending mainly on human activities. Moreover, fire or gas incidents caused by conventional industry methods may lead to accidents with radioactivity release. This means more attention is necessary for safer dismantlement, especially for nuclear reactors with high activity. Therefore, utilization of risk information based on risk assessment of the decommissioning was proposed. A method of risk assessment for decommissioning was developed and applied for the dismantlement of typical reactor facilities and nuclear fuel facilities (a uranium enrichment plant and a reprocessing plant). The results show that the consequences of such troubles are low but their occurrences are still not negligible. This fact is supported by past trouble cases. Taking into account the risk assessment results, a methodology to secure the safety of decommissioning was proposed. It consists of four steps, i.e., (1) risk-informed approach, (2) graded approach, (3) phased approach, and (4) layered approach and the results can be reflected to the management and regulation. The regulation means, for example, the review of decommissioning plan or the operational safety program, the periodic safety inspections and usual monitoring. The methodology can evaluate the risk level of decommissioning more objectively and enable reasonable regulation based on the risk level. This leads to the appropriate distribution of resources for safety enhancement.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Approaches for improving decommissioning safety

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Figure 1

Outline of decommissioning regulation in Japan

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Figure 3

Concept of risk of decommissioning

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Figure 4

Risk assessment procedure of decommissioning

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Figure 5

Event tree of fire

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Figure 6

Comparison of decommissioning risk and safety criteria

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Figure 7

Risk-informed regulation approach during decommissioning




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