European project to bolster earthquake protection

09 November 2020

A new EU-funded project aims to improve confidence in nuclear safety by advancing the approach to seismic safety assessments for nuclear power plants. The 'methods and tools innovations for seismic risk assessment' (METIS) Horizon 2020 project is being led by France's EDF Group.

(Image: EDF Energy)

The METIS project was officially launched after a virtual kick off meeting on 29-30 September. The project will run from September 2020 until 2024. It has a total budget of EUR5 million (USD6 million), of which EUR4 million is funded from the European Commission under its Safety margins determination for design basis-exceeding external hazards programme.

The METIS project will be delivered by an international consortium consisting of 13 European partners from France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, the UK and Ukraine, together with three organisations from Japan and the USA. The consortium brings together universities, research organisations and industrial companies.

The research will develop methods to improve the ability to define safety limits for extremely rare events, which go beyond current design analyses. The refined seismic probabilistic safety assessment is expected to provide meaningful support in defining regulations for safe design of nuclear power plants, as well as for assessing plant safety in real-time in case of temporary unavailability of relevant safety equipment or structures.

EDF said the outcome of the project will allow for "risk-informed decision-making in the European context and METIS will help to optimise the use of existing and future reactors and will contribute to competitiveness of the European nuclear industry."

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly EUR80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020). It is the financial instrument for Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News