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The development of a regulatory framework for the licensing of a fusion power plant

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Title: The development of a regulatory framework for the licensing of a fusion power plant
Authors: Lukacs, Matthew
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Determining an appropriate regulatory framework for fusion power plants (FPPs) is a key step in the development of fusion power. Decisions made in the near future regarding fusion regulation will have a significant impact on the deployment of FPPs in years to come, not just in the UK but internationally too. Whilst many countries are yet to decide on the best approach to regulating fusion, there are some countries (France, Canada, etc.) that have already decided FPPs will be regulated under the same framework as nuclear fission power plants (NPPs). The widespread adoption of an NPP approach could lead to unnecessarily onerous regulatory practices that are not justified by the hazard potential of FPPs. This thesis aims to draw on the current knowledge of FPPs and current regulatory regimes, both national and international, to determine an appropriate regulatory framework for FPPs. The key safety issues relating to FPPs are explored, including the current approach to fusion safety and methods of accident identification. The results of a sensitivity analysis to gauge the hazard of potential of FPPs are reported. When considering what is an appropriate regulatory system, it is important to remember that regulation should be based on the hazard potential (the unmitigated risk to the public) and not the mitigated risk. On the basis of FPP hazard potential and associated safety, security and safeguards analysis, four main FPP regulatory options for the UK are mapped out and analysed against criteria that are necessary to deliver an effective and efficient regulatory system. The most appropriate option, based upon a proportionate regulatory approach, suggests that a nuclear licensing framework should be adopted. This thesis then develops this proportionate licensing approach and explores how it can fit within the UK legal system.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Date Awarded: Aug-2022
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/99636
DOI: https://doi.org/10.25560/99636
Copyright Statement: Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Licence
Supervisor: Williams, Laurence
Bluck, Michael
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ; European Commission
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/L015900/1
Department: Materials
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Materials PhD theses

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