Research activities in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection encompass a broad spectrum of aspects in terms of nuclear safety, radiation protection and nuclear non-proliferation. Nuclear non-proliferation activities imply preventing nuclear material and equipment for civilian purposes from being used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Current areas include:
- How are human beings affected by low levels of ionising radiation?
- How does the design of control rooms at nuclear power plants influence nuclear safety?
- How do radioactive substances and material affect the environment?
- How should nuclear safety and radiation protection be ensured in the short and long term when it comes to a spent nuclear fuel repository?
- How should safety be maintained at ageing nuclear power plants?
The Authority provides funding for both basic and applied research. Many projects provide direct assistance to the work of the Authority and give essential input so that decision-making and recommendations rest on scientific grounds.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has a mandate to provide funding for research activities within its remit and has been tasked with:
- contributing toward the development of national competence for the needs of today and tomorrow within the Authority’s area of operation
- taking initiatives for research and studies while also conducting situational and scenario analysis and development work
- performing calculations and measurements in order to produce data for overall risk assessments in the field of radiation protection
- maintaining competence in order to anticipate and meet future needs
In order to fulfil these objectives, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has an annual research budget totalling approximately 80 million Swedish kronor. The research activities financed by the Authority are mainly conducted by institutions of higher education and consulting firms. This research gives new knowledge, which in turn is applied as part of the Authority’s regulatory supervision.
Project findings are published either in the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s report series, in scientific journals or in some other way.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has a research committee that provides recommendations and viewpoints on this research.
The task of the research committee is to assist the Authority with situational and scenario analyses and evaluations of the Authority’s research and development work in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear non-proliferation and radiation protection.
The committee is set up by the Director General and consists of the chairperson and eight members who are elected for three-year terms with an optional extension.