Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Previous programme


Official Journal Reference

L 361 of 1994-12-31

Legislative Reference

94/911/Euratom of 1994-12-15
To increase the safety of nuclear fission technology through accident modelling and risk assessment, the evaluation of reactor reliability, the inspection of plant structures, the observation of operating behaviour and the study of cooling systems, as well as to increase industrial competitiveness by accelerating the transfer of technology to industry.


The Reactor Safety programme is one of three specific programmes to be implemented by the JRC in support of the Nuclear Safety and Safeguards programme under the Framework Programme of Community activities in the field of research and training for the European Atomic Energy Community (1994 to 1998); the other two concern Fuel Cycle Safety, and Safeguards and Fissile Materials Management.

The programme continues and builds on the achievements made under the Third Framework Programme in the area of reactor safety. Activities for the period 1995-1998 focus on:

- A contribution to accident prevention:
To develop non-destructive analytical (NDA) techniques for the improvement and refinement of inspection procedures and the development of qualification methodologies to facilitate their harmonization;

- Probabilistic safety studies:
To contribute to the improvement of methodologies and to the emergence of consensus on their implementation in safety studies;

- Studies conducted through European networks into the mechanisms of component ageing, a method of attenuation, evaluation of the integrity of structures and inspection possibilities;

- Studies on severe accidents:
. Study to be conducted on the internal and external phenomena relating to the containment in experiments with degradation of the reactor core using real materials and operating at a real climate (this contribution will include participation in the interpretation of the results of experiments simulating accidental releases conducted in national laboratories);
. Contribution to the study of the release of fission products and the transfer phenomena (in conjunction with the activities in this field foreseen under indirect JRC actions).

In addition to the institutional research activities covered by this programme, the JRC also contributes to the implementation of the specific programme on Nuclear Safety and Safeguards through institutional scientific and technical support activities. These comprise activities which are necessary for the formulation and implementation of Community policies and the tasks assigned to the Commission under the Treaty which necessitate the neutrality of the JRC.


Two research areas:

- European networks on component ageing, inspection techniques and structural integrity:
. To manage a European collaborative network and to contribute through research to the study of ageing mechanisms in critical structural components in nuclear power plants. Work also addresses the development and validation of property restoration methods;
. To gather the necessary technical information and associated research for the continuation in Europe of the Association for Inspection Qualification, with emphasis on in-service inspection;
. To establish an international forum facilitating agreement of methods of structural integrity assessment (organization of collaborative studies and practical exercises for the application of the best practices and for the harmonization of European and international standards);

- Severe accident analysis:
To develop a common approach to severe accident analysis and development of prevention and mitigation measures. Research is also to be performed to identify critical aspects in accident scenarios using Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) techniques.


The JRC programme on reactor safety is established under the framework of the specific programme of research, technological development and demonstration to be implemented by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) for the European Atomic Energy Community (1995-1998).

The Commission, assisted by the Board of Governors of the JRC, is responsible for implementing the direct actions covered by the programme. The activities relating to these actions are performed in the relevant institutes of the JRC.

The programme comprises institutional research activities implemented through shared-cost projects, concerted actions and direct research activities. Provision is made for a number of accompanying measures, including:

- The organization of visits to JRC institutes of grant holders, visiting scientists and seconded experts;
- Organization of the secondment of JRC staff to national laboratories, industrial laboratories and universities;
- Systematic exchange of information, through the organization of scientific seminars, workshops, colloquia, scientific publications, etc.;
- Specialized training with an emphasis on multidisciplinarity;
- The independent scientific and strategic evaluation of the performance of the projects and programmes.

In the implementation of its research activities the JRC is required to participate in, or organize networks of, public and private laboratories in the Member States or European research consortia, whenever this is appropriate or feasible. Particular attention must also be paid to cooperation with industry, especially with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

During the period 1995-1998, full use will be made of the networks already launched by the JRC in the area of reactor safety, i.e. AMES (Aged Materials Expertises and Studies), ENIQ (European Network for Inspection Validation) and NESC (European Network for the Evaluation of Steel Components).

On the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, the JRC may, at the request of the Commission, execute projects with legal entities established in third countries provided this is deemed to make an effective contribution to the implementation of JRC activities. Where applicable, cooperation on projects may also take place within the framework of agreements for S&T cooperation between the Community and third countries. Particular attention is paid to cooperation with research laboratories and institutes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and in the independent states of the former Soviet Union.

The total funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the JRC's three Nuclear Safety and Safeguards programmes (Reactor Safety, Fuel Cycle Safety, and Safeguards and Fissile Materials Management) amount to ECU 254 million, of which ECU 87 million is estimated as necessary for institutional suport activities. This is drawn from the overall operational budget of ECU 300 million allocated to JRC activities under the Framework Programme of Community activities in the field of research and training for the European Atomic Energy Community (1994 to 1998), of which a sum equivalent to approximately 6% is reserved for exploratory research. The overall operational budget includes the resources necessary for the JRC to participate in shared-cost actions.

The Commission is required to submit an annual report on the implementation of the JRC actions under the specific programme of research, technological development and demonstration to be implemented by the JRC for the European Atomic Energy Community (1995-1998) to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee before 15 April each year. In addition, regular assessments of the activities covered by the specific programme will be conducted by independent experts who, upon completion of the programme, will carry out a final evaluation of the results achieved compared to initial objectives. A report of this final evaluation will be communicated to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.


Nuclear Fission - Safety
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