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An Introduction to Nuclear Safety: The Concept of Defence-in-Depth

April 18, 2018 -1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Dr Gustavo Rubio Antón CEng FIMechE - Safety Analyst, Nuclear Safety & Radiation Protection Inspections (Belv), will give a guest lecture at the University of Bristol.

  • Date: Wednesday 18th April
  • Time: 1pm -2pm
  • Location: Berry Lecture Theatre, HH Wills Physics Laboratory


An introduction to nuclear safety: The concept of Defence-in-Depth

The concept of Defence-in-Depth (DiD) is the primary mean of preventing and mitigating the consequences of accidents in a Nuclear Power Plant. According to the IAEA safety glossary, DiD is “a hierarchical deployment of different levels of divers equipment and procedures to prevent the escalation of anticipated operational occurrences and to maintain the effectiveness of physical barriers placed between a radiation source or radioactive materials and workers, members of the public or the environment, in operational states and, for some barriers, in accident conditions”.

Application of this concept throughout design and operation provides protection against occurrences and accidents, including those resulting from equipment or human induced failure. It ensures in a robust way the fulfilment of each fundamental safety function (control of reactivity, confinement, cooling) in all foreseeable plant conditions.

This lecture will introduce basic concepts of nuclear safety and will discuss the relationship between safety and risk, before describing the different levels of DiD and their associated safety objectives. We will then be ready to describe the three types of analysis used in nuclear safety engineering to demonstrate the integrity of the barriers of the different levels of DiD and how the nuclear power plant will deliver the safety functions required to meet the safety

This will include a discussion on Design Basis Analysis (DBA) and how it ensures that the design is fault tolerant for accidents within the design basis of the plant, Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) to ensure that risks are acceptable and balanced and, finally, Severe Accident Analysis (SAA) for the provision of mitigating measures against unlikely faults.

External Visitors

This lecture is primarily for students and staff on the MSc Nuclear Science and Engineering, but is open to all. If you are interested in attending please email sw-nuclearhub@bristol.ac.uk


April 18, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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South West Nuclear Hub office
0117 394 1791


HH Wills Physics Laboratory
Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, England BS8 1TL United Kingdom
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