Comparing nuclear risks OECD report

This report by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency looks at how the safety of nuclear power has improved over the years, as designs have progressed from Gen I to Gen III. It highlights the importance of the defence-in-depth concept and the increased focus on safety culture. Using probabilistic safety assessment, it compares core damage frequencies and the large radioactive release frequencies to show how the designs of nuclear power plants have evolved to reduce the likelihood and consequence of sever accidents.

It compares severe accident data(accidents with five or more fatalities) from a wide range of energy sources to illustrate that nuclear energy risks are often much lower than in other industries. The comparison examines both immediate fatalities and delayed (latent) fatalities, while recognising that the latter are more difficult to estimate and verify.

Finally, the report uses results from opinion surveys to consider public confidence in nuclear operations and how this is correlated with trust in legislation and regulatory systems.

From these assessments, conclusions are drawn on the need to continuously enhance safety and to improve public knowledge of how nuclear power plants are operated and regulated. Vital to public confidence is the need for transparency and openness in the decisions and activities related to nuclear power plants. You can read the full report here.

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