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About EESS
External Events Safety

The EESS is responsible for supporting Member States, upon request, in achieving a high level of safety in the protection of nuclear installations (power reactors, advanced reactors, small modular reactors, microreactors, research reactors, fuel cycle facilities, waste repositories, fusion facilities) against external hazards using peer reviews, advisory services and capacity building actions based on the IAEA Safety Standards and technical documents on purpose developed and maintained.

The EESS is responsible for developing and revising IAEA Safety Standards and technical documents, in cooperation with Member States’ experts, in the areas of siting, design and safety assessment in relation to external hazards affecting the nuclear installations and the site surroundings, such as: natural hazards (e.g. earthquakes, floods, high-winds, geotechnical effects, etc.), human induced hazards (aircraft crashes, explosions, impacts, etc.), security related hazards originated outside the site boundary (e.g. aircraft crash), and radiological dispersion into the environment.

The Site and External Events Design (SEED) peer review service assists Member States in the application of safety standards to site selection, site characterization, environmental impact, design of structures, systems and components and safety assessment of nuclear installations against external hazards. SEED Capacity Building services are also offered to develop technical competencies in embarking countries, the development of regulations on siting, environmental impact assessment, design and safety assessment.

In addition, the EESS serves as an international centre of excellence among the IAEA Member States in site specific hazard assessments and engineering protection of new and existing nuclear installations against external hazards, providing a forum for sharing of experience and lesson learnt in its area of competence. This activity is supported by fact finding missions, analysis of past events recorded in the Incident Reporting System (IRS), and operation of the External Events Notification and Information System (EENS) developed at the EESS, which provides the IAEA Incident Emergency Centre (IEC) with alert and forecast on EE hazards worldwide, analysis on the event development and damage induced to nuclear installations.

To comply with its statutory mandate, the section manages a high number of extra-budgetary projects (EBP plus hyperlink to new page) funded with Member States’ voluntary contributions, dedicated to the development of enhanced methods and tools to support the assessment of sites and nuclear installation safety against external hazards. The EESS portal, restricted for registered users, allows stakeholders to collaborate and exchange information on such projects.

The Section provides support to Member States in building and sustaining capacity in nuclear safety. Learn more about the Section's work in this area.