The Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 put environmental risks related to extreme weather conditions in focus. Consequently, European national and supranational authorities asked for risk and safety assessments to be performed in the 143 nuclear power plant units of the European Union, in order to double-check “the ability of nuclear facilities to withstand damage from hazards such as earthquakes, flooding, terrorist attacks or aircraft collision”.
In the Nuclear Power Plant operated by Elektriciteits Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland (EPZ) in Borssele, Netherlands, safety is a key concern and a priority since it has been operational in 1973. Primary relevant safety scenarios for external incidents at the Borssele site are related to storm and flooding. Although “the initial results give absolutely no reason to question the safety of the Borssele Plant” said the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation after the stress test organized in 2011, the Borssele Plant operator EPZ decided to go deeper on safety development with an improvement plan.
The monitoring system has to be designed to work independently from the electrical network, i.e. on batteries. The low power consumption technology for the GammaTRACER XL2 as well as for the ShortLINK radio data receiver ensures an autonomous operation for up to ten years.
In case of a mobile network overload or blackout, the dose rate measurement data can be transmitted for several days to a central server up to 5 km with the ShortLINK radio transmission system, using only battery power.