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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 64 / Number 2

Progress in the Safety and Licensing of ITER

Neill Taylor, Carlos Alejaldre, Pierre Cortes

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 64 / Number 2 / August 2013 / Pages 111-117

ITER / Proceedings of the Twentieth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE-2012) (Part 1), Nashville, Tennessee, August 27-31, 2012 /

The safety documentation for ITER, including the Preliminary Safety Report, was submitted to the French nuclear safety authorities in March 2010 as part of the procedure for licensing the facility as a basic nuclear installation in France. The documents were then examined by the authorities and their technical advisors, with substantial interaction between specialists from the ITER Organization and the nuclear regulator. Finally the examination has concluded with a positive advice to grant the decree to permit the creation of ITER, and to proceed to the next stage of licensing, during which a number of ongoing commitments will have to be fulfilled.

In the course of the examination of the ITER safety files, a number of technical issues were visited. These concerned the provisions in the design to mitigate potential hazards by the implementation of two safety functions: confinement of radioactive material and limitation of exposure to ionizing radiation. The robustness of the confinement systems that protect radioactive inventories had to be justified and their adequacy in all situations had to be demonstrated. Potential challenges to the confinement, even in events regarded as extremely unlikely, had to be fully analyzed. It also had to be shown that radioactive waste generated by the operation of ITER has a viable path for its safe storage and ultimate disposal.

In this paper some of the key technical issues that form part of the ITER safety case are outlined, in the light of the discussions held during the regulatory examination of the files. Some of the issues outlined are the subject of ongoing actions to reach a final conclusion.

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