Areva to continue nuclear plant safety research program until 2015

French nuclear firm Areva will continue the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) research program for nuclear plant safety until the end of 2015, at its technical center in Germany.

The program, which was launched in 2011, investigates safety issues and responses for existing and new pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants.

The company’s experts will simulate hypothetical, beyond-design-basis events that may occur in nuclear power stations, with the intention to develop the strategies to control and mitigate such events, and their effects on the facilities.

The new research project, which will be conducted in the primary coolant loop test facility (PKL) in Erlangen, will especially focus on the simultaneous failure of multiple safety systems, up to a complete black-out.

German nuclear power plant operator Areva and Germany’s federal economics ministry are jointly funding this project under the umbrella of the OECD. The annual budget of the project is about €1m.

Areva Germany managing director Stefan vom Scheidt remarked about the OECD’s renewed confidence and support for the project.

“We have been performing tests on our unique test facility since the early 1970s. This strong international interest shows once again the importance of AREVA’s know-how and infrastructure in the field of nuclear safety,” said Scheidt.