European Framework Programme, CAST

December, 2010

Tecnatom has completed the first phase of the research project CAST (Comparative Assessment of Training Programmes focussing on Safety) within the Seventh European Framework Programme.

From October 25th to 28th, the first phase of testing and training on the Control of Stress through Biofeedback, corresponding to the research project CAST (Comparative Assessment of Training Programmes focussing on Safety) included in the Seventh European Framework Programme, took place at Tecnatom.

The project is scheduled to last two years and includes the participation of fourteen partners from six European Union countries. The fundamental objective is to evaluate the curricular profiles of those required to intervene in emergencies of a catastrophic nature, be they accidental or deliberately caused.

During the week the Emergency Response team members considered were Operating Instructors from Almaraz and Trillo nuclear power plants, who volunteered to carry out the tests and the training. These tests will be complemented with those planned for performance on the simulator of the Garoña nuclear power plant next year, which will lead to an assessment of the applicability of these technologies and methodologies in the nuclear sector.

The activities carried out were aimed in part at obtaining data on the physiological response of the instructors through biofeedback, using the simulator as a scenario. In addition, sessions on the control of breathing, muscular tension and heart rate were performed. The objective of the above was to establish the effect that training with these techniques might have on improving the control of these parameters in an emergency.

Although the definitive results are not yet forthcoming, considerable improvement was observed over the four days in the capacity of the volunteers to control their breathing and physiological responses, and the data acquired in the last sessions allowed the experts to forecast good results as regards the applicability of the methodology.

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