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IAEA Press Release 2011/27 : Source of Iodine-131 in Europe Identified


17 November 2011 | The IAEA has received information from the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) that the source of the iodine-131 (I-131) detected in Europe was most probably a release to the atmosphere from the Institute of Isotopes Ltd., Budapest. The Institute of Isotopes Ltd. produces radioisotopes for healthcare, research and industrial applications. According to the HAEA, the release occurred from September 8 to November 16, 2011. The cause of the release is under investigation. As previously mentioned, the levels of I-131 that have been detected in Europe are extremely low. There is no health concern to the population. If any member of the public were to breathe iodine for a whole year at the levels measured in European countries, then they would receive a dose in the range of 0.01 microsieverts for the year. To put this into perspective, the average annual background is 2400 microsieverts per year. The IAEA was first notified of the presence of trace levels of I-131 by authorities from the Czech Republic on 11 November. Since this notification, the IAEA contacted several member states throughout the region to determine the cause and origin. The IAEA also worked with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to conduct air dispersion modelling, as part of efforts to determine the source.

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The Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority has submitted the 4th National Report of Hungary


The Fourth Report prepared within the framework of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management has been submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency on 12 October 2011.

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HAEA Press Release: HAEA completed its preliminary report regarding the Targeted Safety Reassessment of Paks Nuclear Power Plant


The completion of the Targeted Safety Reassessment was demanded by the Council of the European Union for each and every European nuclear power plant. During the course of the reassessment those responses to extreme situations had to be investigated. The recommendation for the implementation of such remedial actions, which would enable the avoidance of consequences such as in Fukushima, in every reasonably imaginable situation, was expected. The reassessment shall be carried out in accordance using the method accepted by the European Commission and its regulatory working group (ENSREG). Paks Nuclear Power Plant handed over the progress report, regarding the reassessment, to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority. The HAEA prepared the preliminary national report for the European Commission based upon this report. From the positive statements we emphasize that the design basis of the plant corresponds to the internationally accepted standards and, concerning all the initiating events within the design basis, the basic safety functions are maintained. This statement is largely based on the result of the Periodic Safety Review (PSR) of the plant completed in 2008. During the course of that review, the results of the actions decided during the previous PSR, carried out 10 years earlier, were evaluated and new safety enhancement arrangements were also decided upon. In the frame of these arrangements, several modifications and measures are already in the advanced stage, which are aimed at improving the management of events beyond the design basis – including sever accidents – in order to stabilize the processes and to effectively mitigate the consequences. Although the assessments are not yet completed, there are some unquestionably positive statements along with some findings which might help to further strengthen the capabilities of the plant against some extreme conditions. Some of these were already known before starting the TSR and appropriate corrective actions are being elaborated and implemented, some other parts were only revealed during this reassessment. The safety significance of the latter ones has not been established yet. Further to the investigation of the problem areas laid out by ENSREG, the reassessment carried out by HAEA also includes the national legislation regarding the requirements of nuclear safety. Paks Nuclear Power Plant will complete its final report before the 31st of October 2011, which will then be evaluated by the HAEA before the 31st of December 2011. The HAEA will identify the actions that the power plant must take, to achieve the goals of the reassessment, and then shall inform the European Commission regarding the results of the reassessment. The reports from the European countries will be subject to an international reassessment organised by the European Commission in the first half of 2012. The preliminary report can be accessed on the website of the HAEA. We will continuously keep the Hungarian public informed with regard to the procedures and results of the reassessment. Preliminary National Report on the Targeted Safety Reassessment of the Paks NPP

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The HAEA has received the TSR progress report from the Paks NPP


The European Council required the operators of the European nuclear power plants to evaluate the safety of the plants in line with the requirements of the Targeted Safety Reassessment (TSR). In the evaluation they should assess the possible response to extreme conditions and propose measures to avoid any consequences similar to those occurred in Fukushima. The HAEA set the requirements based on methods accepted by the European Commission and its regulatory working group, the ENSREG and published them on its website. The progress report prepared by the Paks NPP was handed over to the HAEA in the middle of August. The HAEA will assess the report and prepare a preliminary report to the European Commission by 15 September, 2011. The final report of the Paks NPP should be ready by 31 October, and the HAEA will finish its evaluation by 31 December, 2011. The HAEA will define the measures to be implemented by the Paks NPP in order to reach the goals of the reassessment and inform the European Commission about the results. There will be an international peer review process organised by the European Commisssion to evaluate the national reports of the European countries, the details of which are under discussion. The summary of the progress report of the Paks NPP can be reached on the website of the HAEA and the Paks NPP. The public will be informed in due time about the process and results of the reassessment. Summary of the Progress Report

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