Site and Seismic Safety

The seismic safety of nuclear installations has received substantial attention in the IAEA within the framework of its statutory functions for establishing IAEA Safety Standards and assisting Member States in their application.

Over the past years, attention has been renewed worldwide due to the occurrence of strong earthquakes, some of which affected existing nuclear installations beyond their original design levels.

In 2008, the IAEA launched the International Seismic Safety Centre (ISSC) to address in an integrated manner the safety of nuclear installations in respect of all external hazards, including site selection and evaluation aspects for nuclear installations. These siting-related aspects were also a 'core' field of activities since the 1970s in the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety.

The role of the ISSC is to assist IAEA Member States in external hazard assessment, and in aspects of site selection and site evaluation. With the support and participation of Member States, and with scientific guidance provided by a newly-established Scientific Committee, the ISSC serves as a global focal point for safety against external hazards for nuclear installations world-wide. The ISSC develops IAEA Safety Standards related to and provides for their application in the areas of site selection, site evaluation and seismic design, through safety review services (experts' missions, workshops, etc.) tailored to the specific needs of a Member State.

In addition, the ISSC conducts topical technical research projects to contribute to the resolution of current seismic safety issues that affect design and operational aspects of nuclear installations.

Feedback into current Safety Standards from lessons learned from recent strong natural events has become essential, and its dissemination to the international nuclear community is one of the main missions of the ISSC.

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Resource Characteristics

Last Resource Update : 2012 - Jun

Nuclear Power | Nuclear Safety | Nuclear Security

Organizational Source
NSNI - Division of Nuclear Installation Safety

Data Type
Reference Material

Fukushima, Site and Seismic Safety