Other activities

Besides its regulatory activities, Bel V is involved in other activities directly derived from the requirements of the regulations :

Documentation
 

A systematic survey of the technical literature has been established for many years, covering journals, books, conference proceedings; abstracts are usually written and introduced in a data base, together with rules and regulations from the USA, from Europe (France, Germany, Finland,...) and from international organizations (IAEA, ICRP,...).

Feedback of operating experience
 

Even if the operating experience from foreign plants had already been considered in the initial safety analyses of the Belgian nuclear power plants, it has been formalized only after the TMI accident. Various data bases have been developed at Bel V: they provide a very effective help to safety assessment and a feedback to nuclear installations, if applicable.

Training of Bel V engineers
 

In order to reach and to maintain a adequate level of competence within Bel V, an initial in-depth training for newcomers and continuous training for all its personnel are provided as well as a on-the-job training.

Probabilistic safety analysis (PSA)
 

Bel V has initiated and has led the Belgian participation to different research programmes in reliability and risk analysis, organized by the European Commission (EC). On the basis of this experience, Bel V has promoted the use of the PSA technique in the safety analysis of the Belgian nuclear power plants. Bel V performs an on line critical review of the PSA methodology, assesses the plant modelization and data and approves the overall results, as well as the implementation of PSA-induced modifications. Bel V unit inspectors collaborate with Bel V PSA specialists in these assessments.

Severe accidents
 

After Chernobyl, studies of severe accidents have been required by Bel V from the Belgian nuclear power plants. The aim of those studies is to characterize the phenomena linked to core melt, to assess their impact on the risk of large radioactive releases and to analyse the possible safety features and human interventions to prevent core melt. A collaboration has been established with IRSN to validate computer codes.

Research and development
 

As a Regulatory Bodies which must keep abreast with the evolution of nuclear safety related knowledge, Bel V has focused its R & D efforts on the following main topics :

• probabilistic safety analyses

• codes for transients and accidents adapted to Belgian plants (collaboration with IRSN)

• use of finite elements for thermal and mechanical analysis

• HALDEN research project

• software reliability

• radioactive wastes

• ageing related activities

• safety principles for future reactors