Revised WENRA Safety Reference Levels for Existing Reactors

WENRA has revised its Safety Reference Levels (SRLs) including the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.

"With the revised SRLs WENRA is setting new benchmarks for reactor safety worldwide", says WENRA chairman Hans Wanner in his statement at the occasion of the presentation of the new SRL in a side-event at the 58th IAEA General Conference 2014 in Vienna.

Following the 2011 accident in Fukushima, WENRA mandated its Reactor Harmonization Working Group (RHWG) to review and revise the safety reference levels (SRLs) for existing reactors. The aim of the revision was to integrate the lessons learned from the accident to prevent or control future accidents from similar causes.

By revising the SRLs the RHWG took into consideration IAEA’s work to revise its safety requirements, the conclusions of the Second Extraordinary meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, ENSREG recommendations and suggestions as well as national requirements in WENRA member countries.

The publication of the revised SRLs reaffirms two of WENRA’s main objectives; a harmonized approach to nuclear safety in Europe, and the introduction of continuous improvement of reactor safety into the national regulatory framework.

The review was performed with a focus on natural hazards, containment integrity and accident management measures, and the following issues have been addressed explicitly:

  • safety culture
  • safety of spent fuel pools
  • sites with multiple reactors
  • conditions at the site after an accident
  • need for independent and diverse heat removal means
  • beyond design basis conditions including margins

"We expect not only the WENRA members to implement the new SRL's in a reasonable timeframe, said WENRA Chair Hans Wanner, "but we also hope that regulators outside of Europe will use them as a reference."