Westinghouse Hosts European Stress Test Workshop
In response to the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant EU member countries have agreed to carry out so-called earthquake “stress tests” at all of their nuclear plants. In support of this initiative Westinghouse organised a Stress Test Workshop for European nuclear utilities, which took place on 12 and 13 May, in Brussels. A total of 37 people representing 12 customer utilities participated in the event. Representatives from Japan also attended.
Anders Jackson, President of Westinghouse’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Region, welcomed the participants. In his opening address he noted that: “As a leader in nuclear design and technology Westinghouse has a responsibility to our customers and our industry. We are holding this workshop to better understand and meet your future needs.” He went on to say that: “The initiative to conduct ‘stress tests’ on the EU’s fleet of operating nuclear reactors has driven stakeholders to multiply actions in preparation for these safety and risk assessments…..Westinghouse is involved in the development of the tests and can bring to bear its original equipment manufacturer experience on severe accident management, and its global design base to assist utilities in addressing them.”
Delegates then listened to an appreciation of events at Fukushima from a Westinghouse plant operator’s perspective. The utility described how its plant might have responded to such a severe event as the one that occurred in Japan, and outlined the many modifications that have been made over the years to increase the safety of operating units.
René Bastien, Westinghouse’s Customer Project Manager for the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Electrabel, reviewed the company’s existing capacity for carrying out possible post-stress-test improvements. He discussed preventive measures, such as enhancing the resistance of plants to “beyond-design-basis station blackout events and enhancing resistant to external events,” as well as the development of mitigating measures and an overall analysis of existing capabilities. Mr. Bastien then went on to discuss related Westinghouse products, such as the Emergency Fuel Pool Cooling System and SHIELD® passive thermal shutdown seal, both of which have garnered increased interested in recent months.
Other topics under discussion during the workshop included:
The workshop concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Yves Brachet, Westinghouse’s Vice President and Managing Director for France, Benelux and the Republic of South Africa.
For further information on the workshop consult the dedicated web pages at: