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CNSC Severe Accident Research

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
NUGENIA General Assembly Meeting
April 10–12, 2018

Prepared by:
Magdy El-Hawary
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


This paper summarizes the nature of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the research activities it conducts, with particular emphasis on severe accident research.

The CNSC is the government regulatory authority for the use of nuclear energy and nuclear substances in Canada. The CNSC was established in May 2000 under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act passed by the Parliament of Canada. The CNSC’s mandate includes the implementation of Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and the dissemination of objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

The CNSC’s activities include the establishment of a regulatory framework and the performance of compliance activities for nuclear facilities. These activities include the conduct of regulatory research to strengthen the regulatory framework and to independently assess the technical information submitted for compliance by licensees.

The paper presents samples of CNSC research done in safety analysis, including the following current endeavours related to severe accidents

  • participation in the Modular Accident Analysis Program (MAAP) user’s group
  • development of a MAAP GRAPE graphical software
  • H2/CO combustion and passive autocatalytic recombiner (PAR) behaviour
  • molten metal solidification in internal pipes (for CANDU reactors)
  • participation in the EU project FASTNET and in the NUGENIA (Nuclear GENeration II & III Association) project SARNET (Severe Accident Research NETwork of Excellence)

For new projects, the following severe accident research activities are in the planning stage:

  • participation in the USNRC Cooperative Severe Accident Research Program (CSARP)
  • development of severe accident computer code for irradiated fuel bay (IFB)
  • development of H2 measurements technologies in containment for severe accidents monitoring
  • performance of validation and verification work for H2 prediction techniques during severe accident management

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