NEA Monthly News Bulletin - November 2012

New at the NEA

In addition to approving the NEA Programme of Work for 2013-2014, at its 18-19 October meeting the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy held a policy debate on Nuclear Safety Defence-in-Depth. Speakers included Dr. C.S. Kang, Chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (Republic of Korea), Dr. M. Weightman, HM Chief Inspector, Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (United Kingdom), Commissioner W.D. Magwood IV, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (United States) and Mr. L. Stricker, Chairman of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). Participants in the debate recognised that the concept of defence-in-depth is valid, but that issues have been raised post-Fukushima regarding its implementation which needs to be further reviewed and improved. They stressed that responsibility for safety lies with the operator, but that the regulator has an important role to play in ensuring that the barriers in place to protect the public and the environment remain effective. The fundamental importance of a robust safety culture was also highlighted.

New publications

The Long-term Radiological Safety of a Surface Disposal Facility for Low-level Waste in Belgium
ISBN 978-92-64-99196-5, 100 pages.


Nuclear development

Nuclear Development Committee

On 3-4 October, the NEA Nuclear Development Committee finalised its programme of work for 2013-14 and reviewed the progress of current activities. The Committee held a special session on the financing of nuclear power plants and heard presentations from Finland, Russia, Turkey and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), notably on the co-operative financing approach used in Finland and the Build, Own, Operate approach which is being used in Turkey. In addition, several countries provided updates on the status of their nuclear power programmes following the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The representative from the United Kingdom also gave participants an overview of the electricity market reforms being developed to facilitate new nuclear build in the UK.

International Energy Week

On 25-26 October, the NEA supported International Energy Week in Moscow, Russia, during which the NEA Director-General Luis Echávarri gave a plenary presentation on nuclear energy issues following the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The NEA also participated in a roundtable session on nuclear energy, co-moderated by Ron Cameron and with presentations from Alexey Lokhov and five Russian presenters. The roundtable session considered the challenges for the nuclear industry into the future, as well as developments in innovative materials and reactor designs. Many references were made to the imminent accession of the Russian Federation to the NEA, which will take effect on 1 January 2013.

Radioactive waste management

International Conference on Geological Repositories

On 1-3 October, the 4th International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR) was held in Toronto in co-operation with the NEA and hosted by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) of Canada. More than 200 high-level participants from 15 countries attended to review progress made in the last five years in developing deep geological repositories for long-lived, high-level radioactive waste. The geological disposal of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel is widely accepted to be a safe and feasible solution, whereas "wait and see" strategies – long-term storage with no means of disposal – are considered to be unethical as this approach places a burden on future generations. Some national programmes for high-level and low- and intermediate-level waste have reached the stage of industrial implementation. For more information on deep geological disposal, see the NEA press kit on radioactive waste management.

Preserving records, knowledge and memory of radioactive waste

On 12-13 October, the NEA hosted the second workshop of the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) Expert Group on the Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory across Generations (RK&M). Given that radioactive waste must be disposed of over several millennia, one of the key challenges to future societies will be the preservation of records of the waste, knowledge of what the waste means and memory of its disposal. During the workshop, participants discussed experience gained and research carried out by members of the expert group and others in the fields of academia, archiving and art. The group has also created links to organisations such as UNESCO, the Long Now Foundation and the US Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management. Fifty participants from 11 countries attended the workshop, representing national governments, universities, waste management agencies, nuclear safety authorities and community groups. Three international organisations were represented.

Nuclear science

International Reactor Physics Handbook of Experiments

On 22-24 October, the NEA hosted the 9th meeting of the Technical Review Group of the International Reactor Physics Handbook of Experiments (IRPhE) Project. The project aims to support the preservation and exchange of high-quality reactor physics experimental benchmarks. Much of the experimental data dates back to the infancy of nuclear power programmes and exists in a form that requires significant effort to use. As part of the project, the experimental data is collected and compiled into a benchmark evaluation, in an internationally agreed format, guaranteeing consistency between data collected in various countries over a period of decades. The technical review group ensures the quality and completeness of these benchmarks. Once approved by the review group, the benchmarks are subsequently made available by the NEA to requesters, and are then used to validate the computer codes and nuclear data applied to the design and operation of reactors. Further information is available on the NEA website.

Data Bank

NEA Data Bank newsletter

Computer program services

New computer programs available



RADTRAD 3.03, Model for Radionuclide Transport and Removal and Dose Estimation



AMP, Advanced Multi-Physics



SAEROSA, Single-Species Aerosol Coagulation and Deposition with Arbitrary Size Resolution



PRISME, Fire and smoke propagation tests

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