News and press releases
A good ten years after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the nuclear phase-out in Germany is about to be completed: Three plants will be finally taken off the grid this year, the last three by the end of next year. But nuclear power plants (NPPs) are by no means shut down everywhere – around the world, very different paths are followed with regard to the use of nuclear energy for electricity generation.
26 April marks the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster: During an experiment, the power of the reactor in Unit 4 increased excessively due to a series of operating errors, and the fuel and coolant overheated.
In the current Covid 19 pandemic, airborne aerosols that contain viruses are considered to be an important transmission route, especially in insufficiently ventilated rooms. To be able to make a sound assessment of the related risk of infection and to derive appropriate recommendations for action, the aerosol behaviour as well as representative ambient conditions must be considered in detail and realistically. Within the framework of the AeroCoV research project, scientists of GRS have applied the COCOSYS simulation code – which was developed and validated for the analysis of accidents and severe accidents in containments of nuclear power plants – for the first time for calculating the dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols. The related research report has now been published (download on the right side).
Sound knowledge about the origin, spread and prevention of fires is essential to be able to assess and improve the fire safety of, among others, nuclear power plants (NPPs). Therefore, GRS continuously participates in research projects on the topic of fire protection in nuclear facilities which are conducted under the auspices of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
On 11 March 2011, the most severe earthquake since records began in Japan occurred off the east coast of the Japanese main island of Honshū. The quake and especially the resulting tsunami devastated large areas of eastern Japan and caused an enormous number of casualties: Ten years after the tragedy, various official statistics count around 20,000 fatalities, and in December 2020, there were more than 2,500 people still considered missing. It is estimated that around one million buildings were destroyed or damaged.
Our five-part series "10 Years of Fukushima" looks at the nuclear accident in Japan from different perspectives. This week we present the lessons learned and consequences that the accident has had for nuclear power plant operation and supervision, both nationally and internationally.
In addition to recovering the highly radioactive core melt from the affected reactor units, the disposal of enormous quantities of contaminated water represents the greatest challenge in the clean-up of the Fukushima Daiichi site. More than one million tonnes of it are stored in large tank areas on the plant site. While the space for new tanks will soon be exhausted at the site, the amount of water is increasing with each passing day.
In our five-part series on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Fukushima, today we look at the dismantling activities. The dismantling of a nuclear power plant (NPP) is a lengthy process.
Safety research for nuclear facilities is one of the main areas of GRS's work.
Physicist Dr Thorsten Stahl heads the Radiation and Environmental Protection Department of GRS, is the company's radiation protection supervisor and was part of the team with which GRS provided technical support to the Federal Government during the accident at Fukushima. In this interview, he explains what makes determining the long-term health effects of the accident so complex and how he assesses a possible discharge of contaminated water from a radiological point of view.