Although nuclear technology has been used for power generation for half a century, there are still unanswered questions about the safety of this technology, as well as a fundamental risk of major accidents. A major reactor accident can result in vast areas becoming uninhabitable, with catastrophic social, economic and health impacts. The much-vaunted “new” reactor designs have been unable to gain a foothold in the market and still raise questions about safety, transport, dismantling and interim and final storage, which have yet to be resolved. The ageing of reactors and the associated upgrading and repair issues also affect safety levels at nuclear facilities.
The researchers at the Oeko-Institut conduct comprehensive assessments of the safety of nuclear installations in Germany and other countries. They analyse potential risks at existing nuclear power plants, as well as those associated with future-focused concepts such as small modular reactors and Generation IV systems and other nuclear facilities such as uranium enrichment plants. They provide information about the consequences of major accidents and the potential impacts of terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants and military conflicts in their vicinity.