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Empirical Risk Analysis of Severe Reactor Accidents in Nuclear Power Plants after Fukushima

Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations

Hindawi Limited

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      Abstract

      Many countries are reexamining the risks connected with nuclear power generation after the Fukushima accidents. To provide updated information for the corresponding discussion a simple empirical approach is applied for risk quantification of severe reactor accidents with International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) level 5 . The analysis is based on worldwide data of commercial nuclear facilities. An empirical hazard of 21 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 4; 62) severe accidents among the world’s reactors in 100,000 years of operation has been estimated. This result is compatible with the frequency estimate of a probabilistic safety assessment for a typical pressurised power reactor in Germany. It is used in scenario calculations concerning the development in numbers of reactors in the next twenty years. For the base scenario with constant reactor numbers the time to the next accident among the world's 441 reactors, which were connected to the grid in 2010, is estimated to 11 (95% CI 3.7; 52) years. In two other scenarios a moderate increase or decrease in reactor numbers have negligible influence on the results. The time to the next accident can be extended well above the lifetime of reactors by retiring a sizeable number of less secure ones and by safety improvements for the rest.

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      Most cited references 2

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      Analysis of external flooding and tsunamis for nuclear power plants at tidal rivers

       H.-P. Berg,  C. Winter (2009)
      The German regulatory body has issued technical documents on methods and data for probabilistic safety assessment, elaborated for a comprehensive integrated safety review of all nuclear power plants in operation. These documents contain, among others, a graded approach for the probabilistic assessment of external flooding. Main aspects are explained such as the underlying probabilistic considerations and the mathematical procedures for the calculation of exceedance frequencies for nuclear power plants at tidal rivers in Germany. Morever, extreme events such as tsunami waves have been investigated.
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        Probabilistic Safety Assessment – a systematic and comprehensive method to evaluate risk

         H.-P. Berg (2009)
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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
          Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
          Hindawi Limited
          1687-6075
          1687-6083
          2012
          2012
          : 2012
          :
          : 1-6
          10.1155/2012/384987
          © 2012

          http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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