"Severe accident with core meltdown is a threat to the containment integrity. As Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents demonstrate, significant release of radioactive products into the environment can cause severe consequences both for people's health and the country's economy. Severe accidents are the focus of considerable research involving substantial human and financial resources worldwide. The research field encompasses too many challenging phenomena, complicated by high temperatures and presence of radioactive materials.
No individual country has sufficient resources to address all important phenomena within the framework of a national research programme, therefore optimised use of recourses and the collaboration at European and international level is very important. Integrating European severe accident research facilities into a pan-European laboratory for severe accident and corium studies and providing resources to other European partners for better understanding of possible accident scenarios and phenomena is necessary to improve safety of existing and, in the long-term, of future reactors. This unique consortium will be able to address and successfully resolve the variety of the remaining severe accident issues related to severe accident analysis and corium behaviour. It will be a valuable asset for the fulfilment of the severe accident R&D programmes that are being set up after Fukushima and the subsequent European stress tests, addressing both national and European objectives.
Joint experimental research is a clear objective in the SAFEST project to provide solutions for stabilisation of severe accident and termination of consequences for the current GEN II and III plants. Consequently, the knowledge obtained in SAFEST shall lead to improved severe accident management measures, which are essential for reactor safety and in addition offer competitive advantages for the nuclear industry and contribute to the long-term sustainability of nuclear energy."
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