- Selection and assessment of sites to establish high power nuclear plants and other nuclear facilities.
- Technical advice on risk analysis for existing facilities that may have suffered natural or technological disturbances requiring the assessment of their impact on safety systems.
INVAP, together with IMERIS (an institute specialized in earthquake engineering and earth sciences, dependent on the National University of Cuyo’s Engineering School), has formed a multidisciplinary professional team devoted to the selection and assessment of sites to establish nuclear plants and other nuclear facilities through the use of advanced technology and methodologies. This group of professionals identifies, selects and assesses one-square-kilometer sites out of vast regions of more than one million square kilometers, in accordance with the latest standards and international recommendations.
Site studies include a detailed survey and 3D modeling of the surface, the earth's crust and the subsoil up to more than 130 m deep. These studies are based on satellite ground and underground information, as well as on in-site samples, and field and laboratory analysis, in order to identify and evaluate the risks caused by several external events, either environmental or human (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, the shifting and sinking of the earth, electrical storms or sand-storms, tornadoes, plane falls, explosions and fires,) that might affect the facility's safety. A detailed analysis of the facility’s influence on the environment and of the transfer of radionuclides to the local community is also carried out, including the preventative and mitigation actions to be taken in case of nuclear and radiologic emergencies.
INVAP’s wide experience both in the safe design of nuclear plants and in the evaluation of the radiologic impact on humans and the environment under normal operating conditions or in emergencies guarantees a comprehensive study of the potential sites from the physical and technological safety viewpoint, and allows to perform a continuous surveillance of the facility during its whole lifetime and when dismantling the multiple engineering and natural safety barriers.
Besides the aspects specifically related to safety, the studies also involve the analysis and optimization of strategic infrastructure and development factors through the evaluation of the national government’s contribution to the projects and the economic, demographic, geopolitical, social and cultural factors that influence the final decision on the ultimate location of a facility.
As regards the safety assessment of facilities where natural disasters (earthquakes, failures) or technological accidents (explosions, fires) took place, our specialized groups in engineering and risk assessment have validated the efficient operation of processes, structures and systems in nuclear reactors, enrichment facilities, fuel elements manufacturing plants and radioisotope production plants in several countries, such as Argentina, Algeria, Egypt and Australia, among others.