Programme Nuclear Waste Management, Safety and Radiation Research (NUSAFE)
After the reactor accident in Fukushima (Japan) in 2011, the German parliament decided with support of a broad societal consensus to terminate nuclear energy production with the last nuclear power plant (NPP) to be shut down in 2022. Helping to make this phase out as safe as possible is one of the objectives pursued by the KIT in its Program for Nuclear Safety Research as part of the Research Field Energy of the Helmholtz Association. Also the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, and the repository issue, will keep society and thus also research busy for decades to come. Consequently, opting out of electricity production from nuclear power must not imply giving up the appropriate competences in nuclear technology. These competences continue to be required in the areas of reactor safety, decommissioning, final disposal, radiation protection and crisis management, for the critical attendance of international developments as well as for the competent assessment of nuclear plants and facilities, which will continue to be operated around Germany.
Therefore, education and training of highly qualified scientists is indispensable. Only in this way the necessary competence can be preserved, which not only research, but also nuclear facility operators, licensing and regulatory authorities and expert organizations will need also in the future.
Nuclear safety research at Karlsruhe has played a leading role for decades. The KIT Energy Center constitutes the center of excellence in Germany with its activities about nuclear waste management and safety, final storage, and radiation protection research.
For this reason, the Program Nuclear Safety Research within the Research Field Energy of the Helmholtz Association will continue to study scientific and technical aspects of the safety of nuclear waste management and of nuclear reactors. This work constitutes provident research in the interest of society and, hence, must be preserved for a long time to come.
Scientists work in four research areas within the Program Nuclear Safety Research in the interest of societal provident research:
Safety of nuclear waste management.
Safety of nuclear reactors.