Press Release 043/2011

Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan – Consequences for Nuclear Facilities at Fukushima

KIT Establishes Working Groups to Evaluate the Events


Under the direction of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for the Helmholtz Association and with the Alliance of Competence in Nuclear Engineering being involved, six working groups have been established to study the consequences of the natural disasters in Japan for the nuclear power plants at Fukushima. It is the objective to summarize the scientific expert reports and to answer major questions relating to the current events at the Japanese power plants. In addition, conclusions shall be drawn with respect to German nuclear facilities. The working groups will focus on the following topics:

1. Degree of destruction of the individual reactor components
2. Calculation of the accident sequence and of energy release in the reactor core; prognosis of the further potential accident development
3. Effects of the hydrogen explosions on plant components and identification of critical boundary conditions of further hydrogen explosions
4. Radioactive emissions and propagation calculations for various accident scenarios
5. Effects of radioactive releases on the population
6. Comparison of the safety aspects of German and Japanese boiling water reactors

KIT has gathered vast experience from the experimental investigation and calculation of severe accidents at nuclear facilities. Moreover, KIT has developed calculation models, by means of which the propagation of radioactive substances can be calculated. These models are used all over Europe.

The results of the working groups will be published promptly on the homepage of KIT (


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

jh, 15.03.2011


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presseQyh9∂kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Inge Arnold
Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing (PKM)
Phone: +49 721 608-22861
Fax: +49 721 608-25080
inge arnoldOzh4∂kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.