NEA Monthly News Bulletin - July 2014

New at the NEA

Nuclear power and adaptation to climate change

New at the NEA feature - Nuclear power and adaptation to climate change

On 12 June 2014, the NEA participated in the International Energy Agency's (IEA) 4th Forum on the Climate-Energy Security Nexus, which was hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum focused on the water-energy nexus, and involved stakeholders from industry, experts on climate change modelling and adaptation strategies as well as policymakers. The NEA presented the current status of its activities conducted through the Ad hoc Expert Group on Climate Change: Assessment of the Vulnerability of Nuclear Power Plants and Cost of Adaptation. This expert group is looking in detail at the particular threats that climate change is likely to pose to the nuclear power sector, such as the availability and quality of cooling water, or the risk of floods. On 23-25 June 2014, the expert group met to discuss the economic impact of climate events on NPP operation and possible adaptation strategies, some of which have already been implemented to strengthen the resilience of NPPs against climate change. The group also discussed the potential impact of extreme weather events on the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, in particular uranium mining activities, and the challenges of operating NPPs in hot climates. A report is targeted to be published at the end of 2014.

New publication

The Characteristics of an Effective Nuclear Regulator
NEA No. 7062, 140 pages.

Nuclear safety and regulation

Safety culture of the nuclear regulatory body

At its biannual meeting on 2-3 June 2014, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) approved the formation of a senior-level task group which will address the safety culture of the nuclear regulatory body. It also approved the release of three technical reports: Nuclear Regulatory Organisations, the Internet and Social Media; a Supplementary Report on the Regulation of Site Selection and Preparation; and a Report of the Survey on the Design Review of New Reactor Applications: Volume 1 – Instrumentation and Control. During the meeting, CNRA members were also encouraged to send participants from their respective organisations to the International Workshop on Operating Experience Programme Effectiveness Measures, which will be held in September 2014 in Garching, Germany, and hosted by the Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS).

Nuclear development

Costs of nuclear accidents

On 3-4 June 2014, the NEA Ad hoc Expert Group on Costs of Nuclear Accidents, Liability Issues and Their Impact on Electricity Costs met to discuss a range of issues relating to the estimation of financial losses due to nuclear accidents. The expert group discussed the categorisation of different losses, the methodology for their definition and possible quantification. Experts also discussed hypothetical scenarios for different releases of radioactivity in the event of a nuclear accident. The NEA methodology of estimation of losses due to nuclear accidents will be applied to these scenarios in order to identify key drivers for the costs. The final meeting of the expert group will take place in December 2014, and the study is expected to be finalised early in 2015.

Radiological protection

Occupational radiation protection in severe accident management

On 17-18 June 2014, an International Workshop on Occupational Radiation Protection in Severe Accident Management was organised by the Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE), which is co-sponsored by the NEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The event was hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) in Washington DC, United States. The objectives of the workshop, which was attended by nearly 70 participants from 17 countries, were to identify best practices in occupational radiation protection approaches to severe accident management as well as the limitations for developing effective management, and to select national experiences for inclusion in the final version of the ISOE expert group's interim report. Several plenary and break-out sessions were organised to gain perspectives from utilities, nuclear regulatory authorities and other participants, yielding views and suggestions which may complement the interim report. The report is to be submitted for ISOE Management Board approval in the latter part of 2014.

Nuclear law

NEA participates in legal and nuclear power conferences in the Russian Federation

In June 2014, the NEA Secretariat addressed current developments in nuclear law during two conferences held in the Russian Federation. On 9-11 June at ATOMEXPO in Moscow, the NEA provided an overview of the history and role of nuclear law programmes at the Agency. The Secretariat also delivered a presentation on Japan's experience of implementing its compensation system for nuclear damage following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The NEA has been working closely with the Japanese delegation to the OECD to provide further information on the topic so that other experts and policymakers can benefit from the lessons learnt from Japan. On 18-21 June, and as part of the 4th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, sponsored by the Russian Federation's Ministry of Justice, the NEA Head of Legal Affairs participated in panel discussions to address international liability conventions and the insurance of nuclear risks.

Data Bank

Data Bank Task Force and Management Committee hold meetings

On 10 June 2014, the Task Force on the Future Programme of the Data Bank held discussions to identify ways to increase the benefits of Data Bank products and services to its member countries and other NEA areas. The conclusions to be drawn from this review process, expected in 2015, will be an important input to the next six-year NEA Strategic Plan, which begins in 2017. On 11 June 2014, the meeting of the Executive Group of the Nuclear Science Committee (Data Bank Management Committee) was held. Participants reviewed Data Bank activities in 2013, including computer program services, nuclear data services and efforts to modernise the IT infrastructure of the NEA, as well as the proposal for the 2015-2016 Data Bank programme of work and budget. The Executive Group approved a second, one-year extension of the current mandate of the JEFF project (JEFF-3.2), pending further decisions regarding the next phase of the JEFF project (towards JEFF-4).

JEFF Report 24: General description of fission observables

The Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) Project is a collaborative effort among member countries of the Data Bank to develop a reference nuclear data library. The JEFF library contains a number of different data types, including neutron interaction data, radioactive decay data and fission-fragment yield data. During the past four years, a general fission (GEF) model has been developed and validated in close co-operation with participants to the JEFF Project with the objective to further improve fission yield data in future releases of the JEFF library. The GEF code implements novel theoretical concepts developed to model low energy nuclear fission with a demonstrated capability to calculate fission yields and associated quantities for a large range of nuclei and excitation energies. As a result, most of the fission observables can be generally predicted by GEF with an accuracy that complies with the needs of nuclear energy applications. Read the JEFF Report 24 here.

Computer program services

Training courses



IRPHE2014-HANDBOOK, International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments

An online archive of previous editions is available here.

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