Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant has been completed. Russia, which supplied the reactor, is now training Iranians to operate the facility. And the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, of which Iran is a member, says it is committed to imparting a “culture of nuclear safety” for all member nuclear power operators. As last month’s nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima power plant shows, such safety considerations can become a life-or-death matter.
Workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, north of Tokyo, on the Pacific Ocean coast, have struggled to prevent the spread of radiation following damage incurred by that massive earthquake in March. Their efforts reflect the extensive emergency training they, and other nuclear power workers worldwide, are given. That includes the personnel at Iran’s new Bushehr nuclear power plant.
The nuclear power industry will never forget what happened 25 years ago at the Chernobyl facility in Ukraine. There, an experiment with the cooling system – one not provided for in the training regimen – led to a reactor explosion and what became the world’s worst nuclear power disaster.
Especially after Chernobyl, the global nuclear power industry has focused on what it calls a “culture of nuclear safety.” At The Nuclear Energy Institute – a U.S. trade group, Tony Pietrangelo explains the concept.
“The safety culture exists on a continuum,” said Tony Pietrang…