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Finland : International evaluation recognizes SAFIR2022 and KYT2022 nuclear safety research programs - evaluation also of SAFER2028

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    An international evaluation of the ongoing SAFIR2022 and KYT2022 safety research programs for nuclear power plants and nuclear waste management, commissioned by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, has been completed. A preliminary plan for the future SAFER2028 research program was also being evaluated. The evaluation report was published on 17 May 2022.

    Public nuclear safety research programs create the conditions for the continued safe and economic use of nuclear power, the preservation of the necessary knowledge, the development of new knowledge and participation in international cooperation.

    The evaluation team concluded that the ongoing SAFIR2022 and KYT2022 research programs provide substantial and high-quality scientific information. The programs receive funding from the state funds of the State Nuclear Waste Management Fund, to which funds are collected from the licensees of nuclear facilities and those responsible for waste management in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Act.

    The main goal and value of the research programs is to develop new know-how and information needed to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear waste management, as well as proportionate regulation.

    According to the evaluation, in some cases the research has focused on a lot of researched topics, the usefulness of which in terms of increasing information or security can be considered low. However, these research topics can be considered useful for training new professionals.

    The projects of the SAFIR 2022 and KYT2022 research programs launched by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy are developing Finnish expertise in nuclear safety and nuclear waste management. The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) participates in the program management teams and research steering groups. The programs are coordinated by the Technology Research Center VTT Oy.

    The forthcoming preliminary plan for the SAFER2028 program will also be assessed

    In addition, the evaluators were asked for their views on the preliminary design of the SAFER2028 research program. The six-year research program SAFER2028, which will start in 2023, will bring together the current national research on nuclear safety and nuclear waste management into the same program.

    The new activities planned for the SAFER2028 research program, in particular the doctoral training network, were considered good in the report. New functions can be further developed significantly through the results of the evaluation.

    The evaluators welcome the research topics on non-technical nuclear safety included in the preliminary SAFER2028 plan. In current research programs, for example, funding for social and organizational projects has been relatively limited.


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