NEA Monthly News Bulletin - October 2010

The economics of medical radioisotopes: explaining the shortage

The supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and its decay product, technetium-99m (Tc-99m), is a vital component of modern medical diagnostic practices. Unfortunately, supply reliability has declined over the past decade due to unexpected or extended shutdowns at the few ageing, Mo-99 producing, research reactors and processing facilities. In response to the shortage and to support its High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR), the NEA has published The Supply of Medical Radioisotopes: An Economic Study of the Molybdenum-99 Supply Chain. The first in a series on this issue, the report offers a unique analysis of the economic structure and present state of the Mo-99/Tc-99m supply chain. It finds that shortages are a symptom of long-term problems linked to inadequate capital investment and insufficient remuneration for reactors producing Mo-99. The study presents options to governments and other decision-makers for creating sustainable economic structures that will help ensure a long-term, reliable supply of these important medical isotopes.

New publications

Radioactive Waste in Perspective
ISBN: 978-92-64-09261-7, 204 pages.

Evolution of the System of Radiological Protection
Implementing the 2007 ICRP Recommendations - Fifth Asian Regional Conference, Chiba, Japan, 3-4 September 2009
ISBN: 978-92-64-99147-7, 28 pages (176Kb).

Geoscientific Information in the Radioactive Waste Management Safety Case
Main Messages from the AMIGO Project
ISBN: 978-92-64-99138-5, 56 pages.

Rôle des informations géoscientifiques dans le dossier de sûreté pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs
Principales conclusions du Projet AMIGO
ISBN: 978-92-64-99139-2, 56 pages (502Ko).

The Supply of Medical Radioisotopes
An Economic Study of the Molybdenum-99 Supply Chain
ISBN: 978-92-64-99149-1, 128 pages (818Kb).
Summary in English | Synthèse en français

Nuclear safety and regulation

CNRA: Setting the stage for regulation of new reactors
The Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) Working Group on the Regulation of New Reactors (WGRNR) organised an International Workshop on New Reactor Siting, Licensing and Construction Experience from 15-17 September 2010 in Prague, Czech Republic with more than 60 participants from 24 OECD and non-OECD countries in attendance. The workshop was organised in four main technical sessions. The first session included overviews of the regulatory licensing processes in countries with mature regulatory programs, as well as the challenges faced by new entrants. The second session focused on construction experience, including feedback on the experiences at Olkiluoto-3, Tomari-3, lessons learnt from past and ongoing projects in the US, and Flamanville-3. The third session addressed human and organisational issues that affect new nuclear build projects, licensing procedures, and capacity-building in licensee organizations. The last session focused on siting practices and issues. Please click here for more information on WGRNR.

Information flows at computational fluid dynamics workshop
The Workshop on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for Nuclear Reactor Safety Applications – organised jointly by the OECD/NEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – was held on 14-16 September 2010 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. More than 190 participants representing 20 countries and 40 organisations attended the latest session in this series of workshops that enable information exchanges between numerical analysts and experimentalists in the field of CFD application to nuclear reactor safety. In-depth discussions followed keynote speeches and presentations on CFD application topics including advanced reactors; containments; boiling/bubbly flow; bundle flow; fire; drycask; mixing; plant applications and pressurised thermal shock. Poster sessions displayed participants' results of the T-junction benchmark organised by the OECD/NEA in co-operation with Vattenfall. Session chairs and co-chairs presented preliminary conclusions, including the observation that best practice guidelines developed within the CSNI Working Group on the Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA) are increasingly applied, and that quality experimental work is being developed in order to validate CFD tools. Pending approval by the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), the next CFD workshop will be organised in 2012 in Korea.For more information, please visit the CFD section on the NEA website.

Radioactive waste management

NEA Forum on Stakeholder Confidence – a decade of progress
The Forum on Stakeholder Confidence (FSC) celebrated its 10th anniversary in Paris on 15 September with a colloquium entitled "Looking Back, Looking Forward in Stakeholder Engagement". Attendees from OECD/NEA member countries included Forum members, community representatives, academics, politicians and journalists. Presentations were made on a decade of progress in addressing governance issues and social dimensions of radioactive waste management. Other themes included relationship-building between host communities and facilities, as well as partnering arrangements in launching waste management projects. Over the past decade, the FSC has issued several major reports that provide the basis for analysing the societal dimension of radioactive waste management. They are available on the FSC section of the NEA website.

Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling prepares for annual meeting in Washington
The Core Group of the Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD) met in September to finalise preparations for the next annual meeting (WPDD-11, Washington DC, 16-19 November). During the WPDD-11 meeting, participants will decide on a strategic plan for its future work including a proposed project on radiological characterisation that may start immediately. Participants will also discuss a revised, standardised cost structure for developing decommissioning cost estimates. This cost structure was developed jointly with the IAEA and the European Commission. The WPDD-11 meeting will also include special sessions on R&D needs for decommissioning and on decommissioning in the United States. It will be followed by a visit to the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site.

Nuclear development

Uranium Group holds 45th meeting in Canada's uranium capital
The Joint NEA/IAEA Uranium Group recently held its 45th meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the uranium capital of Canada. Held in conjunction with the U2010 international uranium conference, this meeting marked the start of production of Uranium 2011: Resources, Production and Demand, the "Red Book". The 42 delegates and 5 observers from 23 countries – including representatives from countries not regularly participating in recent years, such as Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia and Mongolia – attested to the continued high interest in uranium and the Red Book. Following the two-day meeting, 44 participants took part in a tour of mines and mills in northern Saskatchewan.

Nuclear science

Workshop on structural materials for innovative systems held in the Republic of Korea
The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) hosted the second OECD/NEA workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems (SMINS) from 31 August to 3 September 2010 in Daejon, Republic of Korea. The workshop helped stimulate the exchange of information on current materials research programmes with special emphasis on R&D issues for innovative nuclear systems such as Generation IV reactors, accelerator-driven systems and fusion devices. Issues related to the modelling of austenitic materials far from equilibrium and to materials for fission-fusion systems were also discussed. In the summary session, participants discussed critical experiments, modelling needs and round-robin opportunities. Technical tours of the Hanaro reactor and material irradiation test facility at KAERI and to Doosan heavy industry in Changwon were organised. More information is available here.

Third meeting on integral experiments for minor actinide management
The Expert Group on Integral Experiments for Minor Actinide Management held its third meeting on 13-14 September 2010. The objectives of this group are to assess recent, ongoing and planned research activities and to identify additional experimental work required for the efficient management of minor actinides, especially in sodium fast reactors (SFR) and accelerator-driven systems (ADS). The group reviewed a list of existing integral experiments for minor actinide management performed in member countries and discussed the accuracy of current data. At the next meeting in February 2011, the group will start discussing the need for further work in the areas of high-accuracy experiments and measurement of new nuclides.

WPNCS expert group meetings
The Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety (WPNCS) – which coordinates NEA work on development and validation of modelling tools for different criticality safety applications – met on 10 September 2010, preceded by meetings of the WPNCS Expert Groups on Burn-up Credit, Advanced Monte Carlo Techniques, Uncertainty Analyses for Criticality Safety Assessment and Criticality Excursions. WPNCS members discussed the status of existing activities and potential technical issues for further study. The newly formed Expert Group on Advanced Monte Carlo Techniques established a two-year programme of work, which will provide guidance to scientists on the use of Monte Carlo codes for depletion and perturbation analyses. The Expert Group on Uncertainty Analyses for Criticality Safety Assessment has produced a draft state-of-the-art report in this area, covering the estimation of bias and uncertainty of computer codes used to derive criticality safety limits. Several common themes emerged during presentations on national criticality safety programmes, including the trend towards higher enrichment in thermal reactor fuel designs and the challenges posed by criticality assessment for waste management operations.

Data Bank

NEA Data Bank newsletter

Computer program services

New computer programs available

29-SEP-10 CCC-0759 TITAN 1.19, A Three-Dimensional Deterministic Radiation Transport Code System
29-SEP-10 CCC-0726 CNCSN 2009, One, Two- and Three-Dimensional Coupled Neutral and Charged Particle Sn Parallel Multi-Threaded Code System
24-SEP-10 DLC-0236 ZZ PHOBIA: Photon Buildup Factors to Account for Angular Incidence on Shield Walls.
24-SEP-10 CCC-0768 NRCDOSE72 1.1.9, Evaluation of Routine Radioactive Effluents from Nuclear Power Plants with Windows Interface
23-SEP-10 CCC-0737 GENII 2.09, Environmental Radiation Dosimetry System
23-SEP-10 CCC-0774 GRSAC, Graphite Reactor Severe Accident Code
17-SEP-10 CSNI0039 ROSA-III/912, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment for LOCA, 5% Split Break Test
17-SEP-10 CSNI0044 ROSA-III/971, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment LOCA, Loss of Offsite Power Transient
17-SEP-10 CSNI0045 ROSA-III/984, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment for LOCA, 2.8% Split Break Test
17-SEP-10 CSNI0043 ROSA-III/952, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment for LOCA, Reference MSL Break Test
17-SEP-10 CSNI0042 ROSA-III/926, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment for LOCA, 20% Double-Ended Break
17-SEP-10 CSNI0041 ROSA-III/922, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment for LOCA, 5% Split Break Test
17-SEP-10 CSNI0040 ROSA-III/916, BWR Rig of Safety Assessment for LOCA, 50% Split Break Test

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