NEA Monthly News Bulletin - February 2011

United States officials visit the NEA

On 16 January 2011, US Senator Tom Carper, Chair of the US Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, met with NEA officials in Paris, France. Senator Carper plays an influential role in crafting comprehensive energy and climate legislation. Senator Carper was provided with an overview of NEA activities and the status of nuclear power around the world. NEA senior staff and Senator Carper discussed the crucial role that the NEA plays in supporting nuclear safety world wide and noted that nuclear energy could help the US decrease its reliance on fossil fuels and reduce related noxious particles/CO2 emissions.

On 20 January 2011, Dr. C. S. Eliot Kang met with NEA senior staff to discuss the latest NEA activities and views on current international developments with regard to nuclear energy. Currently serving as Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dr. Kang is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Affairs in the US Bureau of International Security and Non-proliferation. During the meeting, Dr. Kang provided comprehensive information on US priorities in the field of international nuclear safety and security.
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New publications

NEA News

NEA News is the professional journal of the NEA, featuring substantive articles on the latest nuclear energy issues. In this edition: Security of energy supply and the contribution of nuclear energy, Regulatory issues for new nuclear build and new entrants, Transition from thermal to fast neutron nuclear systems, and more...

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Disponible également en français. (PDF | Flash)

Nuclear Law Bulletin No. 86

Published twice a year, the Nuclear Law Bulletin covers legislative developments in almost 60 countries around the world as well as reporting on relevant jurisprudence and administrative decisions, bilateral and international agreements and regulatory activities of international organisations.

ISSN: 0304-341X, 116 pages.
Disponible également en français.

Nuclear safety and regulation

Forum on Long-term Operation

The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) will hold a Forum on Long-term Operation on 8 June 2011. This forum will bring together high-level representatives from nuclear regulatory organisations, technical support organisations, industry and stakeholders to discuss the key safety challenges for the continued safe operation of nuclear power plants in the long term. The forum will promote engaging dialogue on the management and regulation of major nuclear power projects. Find out more about the forum on the NEA website.

Nuclear development

Carbon pricing, power markets and the competitiveness of nuclear power

On 11 January 2011, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) hosted an international workshop to discuss factors affecting the competitiveness of nuclear power. The workshop brought together more than 40 experts on carbon and electricity markets. The NEA presented its work on "Carbon Pricing and the Competitiveness of Nuclear Energy" which seeks to assess the impact that carbon pricing will have on the competitiveness of nuclear power generation in comparison to gas- and coal-fired power generation. The results of this research, slated to be published in summer 2011, will identify the precise conditions for the competitiveness of nuclear power and draw a number of policy-relevant conclusions. Further reading: "How competitive is nuclear energy?" (NEA News, Vol. 28, No. 1), Projected Costs of Generating Electricity: 2010 Edition.

Medical radioisotopes

Meeting of the High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes

On 27-28 January 2011, the NEA hosted the fourth meeting of its High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR). As with previous meetings, the participants included members of the HLG-MR and invited representatives from the medical isotope industry as well as the nuclear medicine and research reactor communities. The meeting focused on developing a policy approach to ensure the long-term, secure supply of molybdenum-99 and its decay product, technetium-99m, the most widely used medical isotope. The next meeting will take place in June 2011 and will be the last meeting of the HLG-MR under its current mandate. At that meeting, the HLG-MR expects to finalise its recommended policy approach and its final report.

Nuclear science

Assay data of spent nuclear fuel

The Expert Group on Assay Data of Spent Nuclear Fuel of the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety (WPNCS) held its fourth meeting on 24-25 January 2011. Over 30 experts representing 11 NEA member countries met to review the current programme of work and to establish activities for the next two years. Assay data refers to data sets of experimentally determined isotopic composition of spent fuel samples from commercial or research reactors. Along with details from relevant reactor operating history, these data are essential to understanding the evolution of the fuel's composition both during and after irradiation. They may also be used to validate fuel depletion calculations. Rigorous assessment of the accuracy of assay data necessitates a full review of the conditions under which they were obtained. This is one of the main tasks of this expert group, along with the preservation of these evaluated assay data in the NEA Spent Fuel Isotopic Composition (SFCOMPO) database.

Heavy liquid metal technology

The Expert Group on Heavy Liquid Metal Technology of the NEA working Party on Scientific Issues of the Fuel Cycle (WPFC) met on 17-18 January 2011 to finalise revisions to the handbook on heavy liquid metal technology which was published in 2007. Updates based on recent research include new results from the European Development of Environmental Modules for Evaluation of Toxicity of Pesticide Residues in Agriculture (DEMETRA) project. The second edition of the handbook will be issued in the first half of 2011 following a peer review. The WPFC Task Force on Benchmarking of Thermal-Hydraulic Loop Models for Lead-alloy-cooled Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems met on 19-20 January 2011. The report on the first phase of the benchmark on forced convection will be issued in the near future, while specifications for a second phase on natural circulation were discussed.

New reports on nuclear data evaluation

The NEA Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) provides a worldwide framework for co-operative activities between major nuclear data evaluation projects. Two WPEC subgroups recently completed their work and the final reports are now available. Subgroup 24 was established to develop a methodology for the production of covariance data in the fast neutron region. The report describes the different approaches and compares results obtained with existing nuclear reaction codes. Subgroup 30 focused on improving the accessibility and the quality of the Experimental Nuclear Reaction Data (EXFOR) database. The report describes the translation process from EXFOR into more user-friendly tabulated data files, as well as the various methods developed to verify and correct the contents of the database. These reports and more information on the WPEC are available on the NEA website.

Data Bank

NEA Data Bank newsletter

Computer program services

New computer programs available



PHITS-2.24, Particle and Heavy Ion Transport code System



ORIP-XXI, isotope transmutation simulations



GENII 2.10, Environmental Radiation Dosimetry System



TITAN 1.21, A Three-Dimensional Deterministic Radiation Transport Code System


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