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The Use of the International Atomic Energy Agency Reactor Assessment Product Tool at the CNSC Emergency Operations Centre

Abstract of the technical presentation presented at:
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Consultancy Meeting (WEBEX virtual meeting)
June 17, 2020

Prepared by:
Mohamed E. Shawkat


The IAEA developed a Reactor Assessment Tool (RAT) for use in case of a nuclear emergency. It is the main tool offered to the member states to assess (or diagnose) the status of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) and to perform prognosis to estimate whether there has been a release, release duration (if any), and severity of radiological consequences. The RAT has several modules that represent many nuclear reactor designs including the PHWR (or CANDU) reactor. IAEA held several consultancy meetings with the aim to improve the RAT and make it more usable by all member states by changing the different reactor modules to follow a systematic approach and improve the prognosis and the Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) portions. CNSC actively participated in all IAEA consultancy meetings either in-person or virtually to ensure that the CANDU module is well presented in the RAT. The RAT is used at the CNSC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to:

(1) provide IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) with the essential information during the emergency event and as it progresses

(2) as the basis for the Reactor Assessment Product which, in turn, is used as a communication tool:

  • within different CNSC-EOC groups as well as with the Emergency Executive Team
  • with Federal organizations interfaced by CNSC
  • between US-NRC and CNSC

IAEA issued a new version of the RAT based on the recommendations of the consultancy meetings that have the following features:

  • follow a systematic approach for all reactor designs (3D/3P or 4D/4P approach)
  • diagnosis and prognosis are performed in two separate steps with the ability of comparing the results on the same screen (two tabs are used instead of one tab to represent the assessment stage and the prognosis stage)
  • provide quick and easy glance to see overall station status
  • provide more details about mitigation techniques availability during assessment and prognosis stages
  • provide more details about past, current or future releases (if any)
  • SFP assessment and prognosis stages that will follow systematic and generic approach for all NPPs (3D/3P approach)

CNSC will continue using the RAT as an informative and communication tool within its EOC since the new improvement of the RAT is consistent with CNSC 4D/4P approach and will enhance the communication between the CNSC and the IAEA-IEC.

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