Transfer of TSO function from Research Centre Rez to National Radiation Protection Institute
In December 2020, the 4-year period of building the Nuclear Safety Department at the National of Radiation Protection Institute Safety (SURO, v.v.i) will be closed and thus the transfer of the TSO function from Research Centre Rez (hereinafter referred to as CVR) to SURO will be completed. The whole process was based on the document “SUJB Support Section (TSO) for the field of nuclear safety in SURO, v.v.i. - Strategy 2017-2020 “, which was approved by the SÚJB management in December 2016. The essence of this strategy was the gradual personnel and material building of the new Section for Nuclear Safety within SURO v.v.i. via recruitment of new employees and transfer of part of the staff of two CVR sections, the Safety Research Section and Section of R&D in the energetics, to SURO and their further professional growth by deepening the necessary know-how with the support of CVR.-
The ultimate goal of this strategy is to establish a fully functional Nuclear Safety Section within SURO after 2020, which will have all the attributes of competent and independent expertise in all basic areas related to nuclear safety assessment.
This goal has been achieved. At the end of 2020, the staff of the Nuclear Safety section in SURO consists of approximately 32 employees with a total of 24 FTEs. The dynamics of growth in the number of employees in the section 1017-2020 is shown in the attached graph.
The organizational structure of SURO is shown in the next figure.
The Section consists of three departments:
- Department of Nuclear Safety Assessment and Research - Dept. No. 151
- Department of Support for the State Supervision - Dept. No. 152
- Department of Support for SUJB in the Radioactive Waste Management - Dept. No. 153
The Department of Nuclear Safety Assessment and Research specializes in analytical nuclear safety assessment, consisting in the acquisition and practical application of computational codes for nuclear safety analysis and assessment. The professional growth of the department's staff pursues two basic goals:
- building professional competencies in relation to water reactors (VVER, research reactors)
- building professional competencies in relation to generations IV reactors for which the use of new types of fuels and new types of refrigerants (high temperature He, supercritical water, fluoride salts, liquid metals) is envisaged, including fusion reactors and small modular reactors.
The building of professional competencies is realized by active solution of scientific-research projects within the research programs of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TAČR), the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic and the EURATOM H2020 R&D program, ev. commercial contracts. These are projects focused on computational simulations and thermo-hydraulic analyzes of both basic design basis accidents and extended design conditions, including in particular analyzes of fuel melting accidents in applications for VVER 440 and VVER 1000 nuclear power plants.
For these purposes, a "package" of computational codes covering the issues of reactor neutronics, thermohydraulics, thermomechanical behavior of fuel and severe accidents, such as RELAP, TRACE, PARCS, ATHLET, MELCOR, TRANSURANUS, SUBCHANFLOW was adopted in the Section.
The Department of Support for the State Supervision provides direct support to SÚJB's state supervision performance, especially in relation to both nuclear power plants Dukovany and Temelin. This support is aimed at:
- drafting SÚJB safety guides
- assessment of the documentation of the Periodic Safety Review of the NPP Temelin
- SÚJB inspection activities
- evaluation of the efficiency of selected processes of the management system
- evaluation of feedback of operational events
- inspections of the technical safety of a nuclear installation
- inspections of selected technological systems during NPP outages
- evaluation of the safety documentation of the packaging set for the transport and storage of spent nuclear fuel
- evaluation of the pre-siting safety documentation for the location of the deep geological repository
- support of SÚJB in the preparation of documents other contributions to the work of RHWG WENRA, especially in the area of requirements for measures to manage internal and external threats (hazards) affecting the safety of nuclear facilities
- support in assessing the state of fulfilment of selected conditions of the Regulatory Decisions related to operational permits of NPPs.
The Department of Support for SUJB in the Radioactive Waste Management is a department focusing on expert support for the performance of SÚJB state supervision in the area of radioactive waste management covering both pre-diposal and disposal activities. The department is also actively involved in the research projects aimed at supporting the safety of radioactive waste management in both national and international contexts.
Currently, it is participating in EC H2020 EURATOM research projects:
- "European Joint Programme on Radioactive Waste Management" (EURAD), which focuses on research in the field of Radioactive Waste Managementm in particular of high level waste and spent nuclear fuel. Next to the R&D activities, this project deals also with Strategic Studies and Knowledge Management.
- "Pre-disposal management of radioactive waste" (PREDIS), which is focused on the identification and evaluation of methods, processes and technologies applicable to the processing and treatment of RAW before its disposal.
The members of the department are involved in the SITEX.Network (Sustainable network for Independent Technical EXpertise on radioactive waste management), which brings together European TSOs and strengthens their expert functions in the field of RWM, in particular on safety case review. The SITEX.Network members are also representatives of regulatory authorities and experts from the public, thus enabling mutual professional cooperation, exchange of knowledge and experience. SURO representative is a member of SITEX.Network Management Board.
Starting in 2021, the newly built Nuclear Safety Section will be a fully functional SÚJB research and expert team for nuclear safety, a recognized member of the European association ETSON and at the same time a sought-after partner of other domestic and international research organizations dealing with nuclear safety research. Its further personnel and professional growth will depend on the further development of nuclear energy programme in the Czech Republic.