Understanding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident

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The NEA is helping Japan and the wider international community better understand the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the site’s current status.

As part of these efforts, the project called the Analysis of Information from Reactor Buildings and Containment Vessels of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (ARC-F) was launched in 2019 following a recommendation by the NEA’s Senior Expert Group on Safety Research Opportunities Post-Fukushima (SAREF) . The main objective is to consolidate the views of participants and experts to achieve a better understanding of severe accident progression and of the status inside reactor buildings and containment vessels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The project focuses mainly on the analysis of data and information gained from examinations of the plant. Another objective of the project is to establish a framework for information sharing between Japanese organisations and international experts in reactor safety.

The ARC-F Project started in January 2019 and is supported by 12 countries with 22 partners. Nearly 70 experts from the project gathered virtually on 17-19 January 2022 for the concluding meeting of the project to exchange views on the understanding of the accident progression inside and outside the reactor pressure vessel in the three damaged reactors, the hydrogen explosion events, the release of radioactivity, and the related radiological consequences. They also discussed the main achievements and the open issues they will reflect upon in the final reporting of the project. They also agreed on future work to be addressed in the follow-up project to enhance understanding of the accident and of the situation at the plant, called FACE (Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident Information Collection and Evaluation).

The FACE project is due to start in July 2022 and will integrate activities from ARC-F and the Preparatory Study on Fuel Debris Analysis (PreADES). It will also aim to provide guidance to support decommissioning plans and to address open issues in areas such as modelling of severe accident progression and understanding of observed releases of fission products. Of particular interest to the international community and Japanese partners is a round-robin activity to prepare the analysis of fuel debris.

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