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Nuclear safety is today an important topic of discussions and debate, whenever we talk about Nuclear Energy. The concerns have arisen after the accidents at Chernobyl in Russia and Fukushima in Japan. Subsequent to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the approach in all nuclear facilities right from their inception, has been to minimize the chance of any mal-operation, minimize the consequences of any event should it occur and containing any radiation from the plant, referred to as the Defence in Depth approach. Safety regulation under the International atomic Energy Agency has been the hallmark in the Nuclear arena. New designs like GEN IV utilize passive systems for shutting down and heat removal, making such designs more immune to failures in active systems. The follow up of the survivors of the Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings and their future off-springs have shown that a maximum of 2 cancers could only be attributed to the bombs. To appreciate the nuclear power and its benefits to mankind, one needs to understand the different safety approaches from site selection to operation of Nuclear reactors. It is also necessary to look at the regulatory approaches adopted, which assures safety. This course is expected to provide information to the graduate and post graduate students undergoing courses in nuclear engineering in IITs and other Universities on all aspects of nuclear safety.


Module No







Energy sources, Nuclear Power Production, medical and Societal applications of radiation



Nuclear fuel cycle



Basic Physics of Nuclear Reactors



Atomic Structure, isotopes, Radioactivity , half life



Basics of fission reaction, Moderation, Criticality, Decay heat, Reactivity and Feedback, Breeding



Nuclear Reactor Types



Components of Nuclear Reactor, Present Reactor Types



Generation IV Concepts



Radiation sources and Protection



Radiation and its units, Natural background and man made Radiation



Biological Effects, Exposure limits and protection, Sources of radiation, shielding



Safety Principles



Safety objectives, Defence in depth philosophy, Multiple barriers, Rad-waste management



Levels of defence, Redundancy, Diversity Principles, Event analysis, core inventory, emergency response



Safety Approach



Deterministic approach- Design Basis Events & Beyond Design Basis Events, Acceptance Criteria



Probabilistic approach- Fault tree, event tree, failure rates



History of Events in Nuclear reactors and facilities



INES Scale, TMI, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Windscale, Thorp Reprocessing



Kshtym, Vandellos, Tokaimura, NRX, David Besse, Enrico Fermi, Narora Fire, Monju and FBTR Sodium Leak, Radiation over exposures in Industry and Medical applications



Analysis of Some Events in NPP



Heat transfer and Fluid flow prediction, validation, Safety set points, Safety actions for events



Spurious opening of Pressuriser valve in a PWR, LOCA analysis Indian PHWR, Station Blackout without Reactor Trip, FBTR



Quality Assurance



Quality Assurance Plan, materials, Design, Fabrication, Maintenance Surveillance, In Service Inspection, Training & Qualification, Quality Audit



Siting of Nuclear plants



Site evaluation Stages, Site Rejection Criteria, Earthquake, Geological criteria, Meteorological considerations



Flooding, Tsunami, Shoreline erosion, chemical explosion, Radiological impact study, Radioactivity pathways to humans, environmental Impact study



Engineered Safety Systems



Shutdown systems in PWR,BWR,PHWR, Reactivity Worth of  shutdown system, Trip Signals, Safety Logic



Operating Environment, Grouping of safety systems, Heat Removal systems, Emergency Core Cooling, Containment and subsystems



Assessment of Radiological Consequences



Basis of Containment, Quantity of Radioactive materials, Neutron activation of Structures, Transfer and deposition in buildings, Containment leak rate, Environmental Transport and Deposition, source term



Safety Regulation In India



Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, functions, safety Documents, Safety Review of site, design, regulatory inspections, safety review for PFBR, Koodankulam



Regulatory review of operating plants, Licensing stages, licensing of operating personnel, Training simulator, safety up-gradation Review  after TMI Chernobyl,  



Review after Fukushima, safety review for decommissioning, Safety Review of Radiation Facilities, medical X-ray units, Gamma irradiators



Safety Practices in Indian NPP



Radiological Protection to workers and public, Dose limits, Health physics, AERB Review



Environmental radiological surveillance, Radiation around Coal and Nuclear Power plants, Emergency Preparedness and planning, on-site emergency



Offsite Emergency Plans, National Disaster Management Authority, Crisis management Group of DAE, State and District level Committees, Emergency Exercises



Passive Safety



Definition, Categorization, Passive Reactor Shutdown systems for PHWR, FBR, Passive Decay Heat Removal Systems for PWR,PHWR,



Passive safety for containment cooling,  Passive containment spray, hydrogen removal through PAHR, Passive features of AP600 and Advanced Heavy Water Reactor  Designs, Issues related to Passive safety



The reader must have a general picture about the various energy sources and their applications

  1. Vaidyanathan.G., Nuclear Reactor Engineering(Principles and Concepts),S.Chand & Company, New Delhi, 2013.
  2. Jacques LIBMANN,Elements Of Nuclear Safety, Les Editions de Physique 1996.
  3. Nuclear Power Reactor Safety. By E. E. Lewis. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York (1977). 630 pp
  4. Gianni Petrangeli, Nuclear Safety, Butterworth Heinemann, 2006,488 pp.
  5. NPTEL WEB COURSE on Nuclear Reactor Technology, K.S.Rajan, 2013

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