The Fukushima-daiichi NPP accident as a stress-test for the national system for public protection in the event of a severe nuclear power plant accident
The circumstances of the accident at Fukushima-Daiichi NPP, which began on 11 March 2011 are suggested to be used as the basis for stress tests for the national strategy of public protection in the event of severe beyond design basis accident at the nuclear power plant. Stress testing the public protection strategies is able to show the degree of stability of the national system in case of the most unfavorable events at the NPP and provide an understanding of the possible vulnerabilities and the ways to overcome them. The article provides definition of the «Fukushima» stress-test model and discusses the actions of Japanese authorities undertaken as the reaction to this stress test. Application of the «Fukushima» stress test allowed identifying significant vulnerabilities of the public protection strategy in case of accident at the NPP. The public protection strategy using in Japan for decades passed prior to the Fukushima-Daiichi accident through multiple inspections in the course of more than one hundred field exercises conducted on different levels of response. The main vulnerability of the strategy was the special emphasis made in Japan on the use of computer-based systems for projecting the public emergency exposure in the decision-making during the initial phase of emergency. It is suggested to use the «Fukushima» stress test for identifying the vulnerabilities of the strategy of public protection in case of accident on NPP, which is established in the Russian Federation. The lessons learned from the testing shoul be used for further improvement of the national strategy.
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