The Nordic countries are surrounded by large ocean areas where there is frequent traffic of foreign nuclear-powered vessels, both naval and civilian. All Nordic countries have such vessels operating in their economic zones, and some countries in their territoral waters. In addition, Norway receives visits from NATO naval nuclear-powered vessels in sheltered waters or to harbour on a regular basis. New emerging technologies and designs such as floating nuclear power plants, vessels with small modular reactors etc., are of increasing concern. Having a good understanding of the risk and hazard represented by these vessels, is an important fundament for both regulation and emergency preparedness and response.
A number of previous NKS projects have been fully or partly related to understanding the hazard represented by these vessels. Some examples are NKS RAK-2 (1994-1997), NKS SBA-1 (1998-2001) and the follow-up NKS Knowledgebase (2002-2003), NKS NUCVESS (2004-2005), NKS NordThreat (2008), NKS MareNuc (2010-2011), NKS NORCOP-COAST (2015), and NKS COASTEX (2016-2017). We see a need for complementing these projects with a project that updates the existing information on relevant nuclear-powered vessels from both Russia, China and NATO countries, and related reactor designs and fuel specifications based on open sources. We would like to review past minor and major incidents and accidents, and define credible release scenarios for radioactive material from the reactor during possible incidents or accidents. This project would be a foundation for a possible future project on source term estimations for nuclear-powered vessels and floating nuclear power plants in operation today.
The project will feature two workshops during 2020. The first workshop is related to information gathering on vessels, reactors designs, fuel specifications, past incidents and accidents, and a review of available litterature, while the second workshop is related to discussions on credible release scenarios. Findings from these workshops will be summarized in the final report and disseminated to all Nordic countries. The first of these workshops will be in Norway, the second will be on Iceland.