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NEA Monthly News Bulletin – February 2018

New at the NEA

Country-specific safety culture forum, January 2018, Stockholm, SwedenFirst-of-its-kind nuclear safety culture forum puts the spotlight on national context

The influence of national context on nuclear safety culture was the focus of the country‑specific forum held on 23-24 January 2018 by the NEA in Stockholm, Sweden, in co-operation with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM). Nearly 50 experts spent one and a half days self-reflecting upon their national cultural attributes in relation to safety culture. They held focus group discussions, analysed data and identified traits relevant to their national context that may strengthen or jeopardise safety. Read more about the forum

Webinar on an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness and response, January 2018Webinar on an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness and response

On 12 January 2018, the NEA organised a webinar to launch its latest report – Towards an All-Hazards Approach to Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learnt from Non-Nuclear Events. This new NEA report promotes a comprehensive, all‑hazards and transboundary approach to serve as the foundation for enhancing national resilience and responsiveness to emergency situations, created by natural, human-made, nuclear or non-nuclear crises. The webinar featured remarks by William D. Magwood, IV, Director-General of the NEA, Thierry Schneider, Director of the French Nuclear Protection Evaluation Centre and Vice-Chair of the NEA Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health, Anthony Cox, Acting Director of the OECD Environment Directorate, and Jack Radisch, Senior Project Manager at the OECD Directorate for Public Governance. A detailed presentation was also given on the report's main findings and key messages, followed by a question and answer session. Watch the webinar recording here:

IYNC-WiN 2018IYNC-WiN 2018

The NEA is a proud co-sponsor of the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) 2018 conference, which will be organised jointly with the 26th WiN Global Annual Conference on 11‑17 March 2018 in Bariloche, Argentina. The conference will provide a global forum for young professionals and women in the nuclear field to discuss and to collaborate on knowledge transfer, nuclear science and technology research and implementation, professional development and communication. Find out more and register at‑bariloche‑argentina.

New publications

Towards an All-Hazards Approach to Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learnt from Non-Nuclear Events

Nuclear safety

Post-Fukushima safety research contributing to decommissioning strategy planningPost-Fukushima safety research contributing to decommissioning strategy planning

A kick-off meeting for the NEA Preparatory Study on Fuel Debris Analysis (PreADES) Project was held on 18-19 January 2018. The PreADES Project was proposed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) as a follow-up project of the NEA Senior Expert Group on Safety Research Opportunities Post‑Fukushima (SAREF), reflecting the recommendations in the SAREF report issued in February 2017. At the kick-off meeting, participating experts confirmed the programme for their collective research on fuel debris characterisation and agreed to prioritise the needs for fuel debris sample analysis. They also agreed on designing a future R&D framework for fuel debris analysis.

Post-Fukushima safety research contributing to decommissioning strategy planning On 22-23 January 2018, the NEA Benchmark Study of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (BSAF-2) Project organised a two-day joint workshop on the status of Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning and relevant NEA post-Fukushima projects. The workshop was attended by BSAF-2 members, experts involved in relevant NEA activities and experts from Japanese organisations engaged, as well as by the PreADES Project meeting participants. Participants discussed updates on the decommissioning operations at the Fukushima Daiichi site, as well as the estimation and evaluation of accident progression scenario and fuel debris distribution. The workshop programme also included discussions on Analysis of Information from Reactor Building and Containment Vessel and Water Sampling in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (ARC-F) Project proposed by the JAEA.

Post-Fukushima safety research contributing to decommissioning strategy planningCurrently nearing its second phase, the BSAF-2 Project also held its Programme Review Group and Management Board meetings on 24-26 January. The project is aimed at improving severe accident codes, deepening the understanding of severe accident phenomena, evaluating current status of units 1, 2 and 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and providing useful information for the decommissioning strategy planning of these units. The project members discussed the final project report that they will prepare and present at the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) meeting in December 2018.

Radiological protection

International Independent Scientific Commission for investigation of detection of Ruthenium-106 in Europe

On 31 January 2018, the NEA participated as an observer in the first meeting of the International Independent Scientific Commission (Ru-Commission) in Moscow, Russia. The Commission was established in December 2017, with the initiative of the Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBRAE), to investigate the origin of the radioactive isotope Ruthenium-106 detected in Europe in September-October 2017 and its possible effect on the population health. At this meeting, experts from Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden presented the results of their measurements, studies and findings related to the detection of Ruthenium-106. As a result of the exchanges, the Commission agreed on the following conclusions:

  1. Based on the measurements in different European countries and Russia, the entire activity of Ru-106 found in the air in between the end of September to the beginning of October, 2017, is estimated as ~ 100 TBq.
  2. Based upon the available data, no health effects are expected for the population.
  3. Modelling calculations performed in different countries are consistent with each other, though there are too many uncertainties to make conclusions about the location of the Ru source at the moment.
  4. In some countries, measurements of Ru-103 were made. The ratio of Ru-106/Ru-103 was the same and corresponds to a fresh spent fuel.
  5. The Commission needs to collect and verify all available data, to form a unified Database and assess the quality of the data. There is a need to request Roshydromet on the local weather conditions data and additional data on precipitation measurements.
  6. There is a need in additional measurements upward the wind direction from localities where Ru-106 was found in the Chelyabinsk Region. The Commission considers helpful to get measurements from Romania on deposition of Ru-106 due to the highest values of Ru-106 activity detected.
  7. The hypothesis on the "medical" origin of Ru-106 (as a source for medical therapy) can be excluded.
  8. According to Roshydromet data, a specific atmospheric phenomenon of descending air flow circulation was observed in the Chelyabinsk Region around the end of September. These data shall be taken into account for further consideration.
  9. The Commission noted that the Rostechnadzor inspections were conducted at the PO "Mayak" and NIIAR (Dimitrovgrad) facilities covering the operations during the period August – November 2017, and no deviations from normal technological processes were found.
  10. The Commission agrees to work transparently and communicate the outcomes and conclusions to the public.
  11. The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled to take place on 11 April 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Radioactive waste management

Cost estimation for decommissioning

On 22-23 January 2018, the NEA Decommissioning Cost Estimation Group (DCEG) held a meeting to discuss benchmarking in decommissioning costing of nuclear power plants. The group aims to yield insights into decommissioning costs, to evaluate new approaches to cost data sharing and analysis, and to promote the development of benchmarking methods specific to decommissioning nuclear power plants. At this meeting, participating members discussed possible benchmarking approaches, decommissioning data collection and sharing, barriers to introducing benchmarking approaches and recommendations. The group plans to issue a final report in 2018-2019 covering i) validation of cost estimates; ii) understanding of cost drivers and causes of variation; iii) project cost control and management; iv) regulation and oversight of decommissioning financing and disbursement; and v) building of a shared perception of the potential value-added of implementing benchmarking approaches in decommissioning costing.

Nuclear law

International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL)Applications now open for the International School of Nuclear Law

The International School of Nuclear Law (ISNL) is a two-week understanding of the various legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. To date, the ISNL has provided a unique educational opportunity to nearly 1000 graduate students and young professionals worldwide. The next session of the ISNL will take place from 27 August to 7 September 2018 in Montpellier, France. Applications may be submitted online until 31 March 2018. For more information on the course and to apply, see:

Nuclear Law Bulletin Index coverNuclear Law Bulletin Index

With each new edition of the Nuclear Law Bulletin (NLB), an update to the NLB Index is published on the NEA website. Issued as a resource for research purposes, the NLB Index groups together information and articles published in the Bulletin over the past 50 years, classified by country and organised by case law, legislative and regulatory activities and bilateral agreements. Separate sections detail information related to international organisations and multilateral agreements. The current Index covers NLB issues 1-99 and is available at:

Nuclear science and data

Enhancing experimental support for advancements in nuclear fuels and materialsEnhancing experimental support for advancements in nuclear fuels and materials

In 2017 the NEA Nuclear Science Committee (NSC) agreed to the launch of an initiative aimed at efficiently utilising experimental capabilities for the testing and deployment of evolutionary and innovative fuels and materials. Towards this goal, the NEA organised a workshop on 8-10 January 2018 on Enhancing Experimental Support for Advancements in Nuclear Fuels and Materials. bringing together high-level speakers representing utilities, fuel vendors, technical support organisations (TSOs), regulatory bodies, research organisations and experimentalists. The workshop focused on identifying requirements and barriers faced when deploying innovative materials. Participants agreed that additional alignments for the use of material test reactors, as well as international frameworks facilitating transport and disposal of irradiated materials, would allow for more efficient use of international resources. They also noted the decrease in available infrastructure and emphasised the importance of material test reactors to ensure sufficient testing of advanced fuels and materials. There was consensus that multi-lateral and multi-national co-ordination of experimental programmes would be beneficial in utilising the existing infrastructure and clearly identifying gaps that can be best filled by restarted and new facilities. To this end, the NEA will work with the workshop participants and its membership in order to collect proposals aimed at optimally co-ordinating activities that aim to address the needs identified at the workshop, with a particular focus on joint experimental projects.

Thermodynamic characterisation of severe accident analyses

The Management Board of the NEA Thermodynamic Characterisation of Fuel Debris and Fission Products Based on Scenario Analysis of Severe Accident Progression at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (TCOFF) project met on 15-17 January 2018. The meeting provided the participants with the opportunity to assess and to discuss the status of different ongoing tasks before the preparation of an intermediate project report. In view of their potential participation in the project, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Saint Petersburg State University (SPSU) were represented at the meeting and proposed to provide highly valuable contributions. SNL representatives proposed to perform MELCOR analyses of the Three Mile Island and Fukushima Daiichi accidents. In particular, the SNL is prototyping an improved representation of materials interactions, and performing tests to assess the effects and implications of the improved thermodynamic models on the description of the late-phase melt progression and debris compositions. SPSU representative proposed to carry out a high-temperature mass spectrometric study of the vaporisation and the thermodynamics of some oxide systems of interest for the TCOFF activities, e.g. multi-component SrO-containing samples. They also proposed to share the unpublished results obtained earlier in the UO2-ZrO2 system at high temperatures through Knudsen Effusion Mass Spectrometry (KEMS). An amendment to the current TCOFF Project Agreement is being prepared in order to formalise the participation of SNL and SPSU in the project.

Nuclear multi-physics data, benchmarks and validation

On 22-23 January, the NEA Expert Group on Multi-physics Experimental data, Benchmarks and Validation (EGMPEBV) Task Force 1 held a technical workshop on Traditional and Novel Measurement Methods for Validation of Multi-physics Modelling & Simulation Tools: Application to Pellet-Clad Mechanical Interaction (PCMI). Hosted by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the workshop was attended by representatives from the CEA, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (IRSN), Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), NINE Nuclear and Industrial Engineering and Studsvik. The workshop programme featured a session on the current developments and improvements on PCMI instrumentation, experimentation techniques and data treatment – particularly those taking place at the CEA Cadarache research centre and at INL within the framework of the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT). These techniques were then applied specifically to review the MPCMIV exercise based on experimental ramp data from the Studsvik R2 tank-in-pool testing reactor. The expert group was thus able to develop suggestions on how such experiments might be re-designed in the future so as to maximise the exercise's usability for validation of novel multi-physics codes. The workshop also included a visit to the CABRI experimental pulse reactor, where the participants viewed the newly installed water loop for testing of fuel in prototypic pressurized water reactor (PWR) conditions and discussed the working capabilities of the fast-neutron hodoscope.

Computer program services

Training courses

25-JAN-18 PSR-0614 COBRA-SFS CYCLE 4A, Code System for Thermal Hydraulic Analysis of Spent Fuel Casks
19-JAN-18 IAEA1438 FE-SHIELDER, shielding thickness of Iron for any photon emitting radionuclide between 0.5 and 10 MeV
17-JAN-18 NEA-1882 XSUN-2017, Windows interface environment for transport and sensitivity-uncertainty software TRANSX-2, PARTISN and SUSD3D
17-JAN-18 PSR-0317 TRANSX-2.15, Neutron Gamma Particle Transport Tables from MATXS Format Cross-Sections

An online archive of previous editions is available here.

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