Regional ministerial meeting in Romania
Ministers and senior officials from 10 countries explored the benefits of enhanced regional co‑operation in the field of nuclear energy during a two day ministerial meeting in Bucharest, Romania, on 25-26 October 2018. Co‑organised by the NEA and the government of Romania, the meeting was opened by the Vice Prime Minister of Romania, Viorel Ştefan, who confirmed the government's full support for enhanced regional co‑operation to meet the energy, socio‑economic and environmental goals of the future. A session featuring ministerial statements from all participating countries highlighted the importance of regional co‑operation on nuclear energy, technology and radioactive waste management. Read more
ENEN and NEA sign MOU to foster nuclear education and training
The European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) and the NEA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co‑operate in the field of nuclear education, training and knowledge transfer – an increasingly important concern for NEA member countries. The MoU aims to advance the ENEN and NEA's common aim of improving existing educational activities in the nuclear field, and maintaining the capability and expertise necessary to ensure the continued safe and efficient use of nuclear technology. ENEN and the NEA will cultivate joint efforts to develop education tools, approaches, methods and opportunities that will help foster the development of the next generation of nuclear scientists.
The United Kingdom becomes a party to the GIF Framework Agreement
The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems has been ratified by the United Kingdom. The instrument of ratification to the Framework Agreement signed by Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, was deposited to the NEA by Ian Johnson and Rob Arnold of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 17 October 2018. The United Kingdom will start participating in GIF research and development activities in 2019. The GIF is a co-operative international endeavour which was established to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation of nuclear energy systems. For more information on GIF, see www.gen-4.org.
Decommissioning of nuclear installations and legacy management
The NEA Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management held a kick‑off meeting on 16‑17 October 2018 in Paris, France. In close co‑ordination with other NEA committees, the new committee will lead NEA activities in the areas of decommissioning of nuclear installations and legacy management. Comprised of policy developers and technical experts representing regulatory bodies and implementers, the committee will facilitate comprehensive exchanges of national experiences and lessons learnt in the field. It will also provide a platform for NEA member countries to share information on national policies and best practices in order to advance the state of the art in decommissioning and legacy management. During the kick‑off meeting, the participants held operational discussions on the structure and governance of the committee, as well as on its guiding documents, including its mandate, statement and future programme of work. "The CDLM has been created to address an issue of growing importance for all NEA member countries - whether they are building new nuclear power plants or phasing them out," said the Chair of the CDLM kick‑off meeting, Jean-Paul Minon. "This new committee will enable the NEA to assist its members in defining strategies to address a broader range of decommissioning and legacy management issues."
The NEA has long recognised the importance of IDKM due to the long duration of radioactive waste management, the volume of interrelated information, data and knowledge produced, and the need to preserve and transfer this to future generations. To this end, it has been working on three initiatives: the Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory Across Generations (RK&M), the Radioactive Waste Repository Metadata Management (RepMet), and the Expert Group on Waste Inventorying and Reporting Methodology (EGIRM). To present the outcomes of these initiatives, the NEA will organise a workshop on Information, Data and Knowledge Management (IDKM) on 22‑24 January 2019 in Paris, France. The workshop will explore the needs and challenges in managing information, data and knowledge for radioactive waste management organisations, regulators and other stakeholders. For more information and registration, visit oe.cd/idkm2019.
The NEA is pleased to co-operate with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and the United Kingdom National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to organise a Global Forum on Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy in Gyeongju, Korea, on 10-13 June 2019. The forum will bring nuclear power plant leaders, regulators and technology providers from around the world together in a collaborative environment to determine how the industry can more rapidly implement innovative solutions in operating plants. It will focus on accelerating deployment of innovative solutions to address the most urgent challenges facing the current global fleet of nuclear power plants. Registration information will be available in late December. Find out more at www.epri.com.
Safety of advanced nuclear reactors
The NEA Working Group on the Safety of Advanced Reactors (WGSAR) held a meeting on 10-12 October 2018 with delegates from the regulatory bodies and technical support organisations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, Generation IV International Forum (GIF) experts, and IAEA representatives. Participants discussed two forthcoming technical reports addressing regulatory perspectives on safety aspects related to sodium-cooled fast reactors. They developed a proposal for a new study on regulatory approaches related to the use of analytical codes and methods in the safety assessment of advanced reactors. They also discussed an ongoing study on regulatory approaches to fuel qualification for advanced reactors. The GIF representatives provided updates on their ongoing activities and proposed a new joint GIF/WGSAR study on risk-informed, performance-based regulatory approaches to event selection and component classification.
Nuclear power plant operating experience
The NEA Working Group on Operating Experience (WGOE) met on 11-12 October 2018 in Vienna, Austria, to exchange information and experience relating to operating incidents and events occurring at nuclear power plants. The meeting agenda included an array of topics, including the WGOE activities relating to the interface between safety and security at nuclear power plants, and non-conforming, counterfeit, fraudulent and suspect items (NCFSI) events. As part of its normal programme of work, the group approved the proceedings of the 2017 workshop on best practices with regulatory operating experience databases and the new structure of the International Reporting System for Operating Experience (IRS), known as the Blue Book. Following the WGOE meeting, a consultancy meeting was held on 15-19 October 2018 to develop a preliminary draft of the IRS Blue Book for the period 2015-2017.
Nuclear safety culture
The NEA Working Group on Safety Culture met on 2-4 October 2018 to continue discussing and developing its projects on 1) Self-Reflection/Self-Assessments and 2) Safety Culture Competence Building. During the meeting, the participating delegates provided specific details on how their regulatory bodies addressed these topics in order to contribute to the building of a catalogue of best practices and various approaches. Discussions on Self-Reflection focused on various methods that delegates employed to gain insights into the culture within their organisations and the challenges they encountered. For Safety Culture Competence Building, delegates provided examples of training materials associated with safety culture, and shared approaches to determining the effectiveness of competency building practices.
Human and organisational factors within the nuclear industry
On 18-19 October 2018, the NEA Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF) held its 25th meeting in Ottawa, Canada, along with its first learning forum organised with the intention to continue advancing the topic of human and organisational factors (HOF) and its importance for nuclear safety. The forum featured the following presentations: "Systemic Thinking at Vattenfall Nuclear Power Plant" by Sweden; "Safety Theories and Case Study" by Canada; "Training on a Systemic HOF Cause Analysis Method" by Japan; and "Competencies and Training to Ensure a Group's Resilience During Severe Accidents" by Canada. The WGHOF decided to hold more learning forums on topical issues identified by host countries of its future meetings.
Several WGHOF members also attended and presented at the 2018 International Severe Accident Management Conference (ISAMC) held earlier in the week by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), following an initiative by the NEA Working Group on Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA). The conference provided the opportunity for experts involved in other technical areas to better understand human aspect considerations in severe accident management.
Operational safety of deep geological repositories
The NEA Expert Group on Operational Safety (EGOS) held its annual meeting on 8 October 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Participants assessed progress on current activities, including projects on fire assessment, waste acceptance criteria and an NEA hazard database. They shared recent national developments on operational safety issues. The meeting also included an information-sharing session on the lessons learnt from the May 2018 fire incident at the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory. The updated countermeasures at the facility were noted, including (i) the removal of apparatus and cables after use, (ii) periodic inspections of tunnel electricity facilities, (iii) the improvement of preventive measures against sparks and blowouts, (iv) the expansion of protection materials such as flame-retardant sheets and sputtering sheets.
Current understanding and future direction of safety case development
The NEA Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) organised a symposium on the "Current Understanding and Future Direction for the Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste" on 10-11 October 2018 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, hosted by COVRA and held in co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (EC). Some 143 participants from 17 member countries discussed the progress made since the previous symposium in 2013, shared good practices and considered future challenges. They highlighted the importance of stakeholder engagement as a key part of successful deep geological repository projects. In the margins of the symposium the IGSC also held a group meeting to discuss the report on "Managing Information and Requirement in Geological Disposal Programmes", which focuses on the information and requirements management for the disposal of the radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.
The NEA will organise a workshop on the application of remote and robotic systems in nuclear back-end activities on 30-31 January 2019 in Marcoule, France. The purpose of this workshop is to facilitate the exchange of information among those interested in developing and implementing remote and robotic systems for radioactive waste management and decommissioning projects. Participants will be invited to discuss possible approaches to forging a common understanding on approaches to the development and application of robotic and remote systems through dialogue at the international level. For more information on the workshop and to register, see oe.cd/nea-nuclear-robotics-2019.
NEA participates in DEM 2018
The NEA participated in the International Conference on Dismantling Challenges: Industrial Reality, Prospects and Feedback Experience (DEM 2018), organised by the French Nuclear Society (SFEN) on 22-24 October 2018 in Avignon, France. The event was attended by nearly 500 participants to discuss the latest decontamination and dismantling technologies, as well as the challenges encountered in nuclear decommissioning projects. During his opening remarks, NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, spoke about dismantling strategies and highlighted the close interrelations between decommissioning and radioactive waste management. Dr Gloria Kwong, Acting Head of the NEA Division of Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning, was a speaker in the session on "International Collaboration in Decommissioning", and presented the role of the NEA in assisting member countries to achieve safe, sustainable and socially acceptable solutions for decommissioning.
Uranium supply and demand
The Joint NEA/IAEA Group on Uranium (UG) met on 1‑3 October 2018 in Vienna, Austria. With continuing interest in uranium supply and demand, 43 delegates from 30 countries and the Euratom Supply Agency took part in the meeting and discussed the results of the next edition of Uranium: Resources, Production and Demand, also known as the Red Book. Participants also discussed various uranium market issues, including the production cutbacks in some major producing countries (e.g. Canada and Kazakhstan) and delays in some mine development plans. They noted, however, that the review of nuclear capacity projections to 2035 continues to point to a growth in uranium demand, especially in Asia.
Nuclear development committee celebrates
The NEA Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle, which addresses cross-cutting strategic issues relating to nuclear technology, innovation, economics and policy, held its 70th meeting on 10-11 October 2018 in Paris. On the occasion of this milestone, the meeting featured a special session on "Technology Innovation for Nuclear Energy". In the context of its programme of work, the committee evaluated its priorities and endorsed future activities, including the Red Book, Nuclear Energy Data (the Brown Book), the long‑term operation of nuclear power plants, cost reduction for new build projects, advanced nuclear systems to meet the needs of future energy markets, and the security of supply of medical radioisotopes.
Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Symposium
The fourth symposium of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) took place on 16-17 October 2018 in Paris, jointly held in association with the Atoms for the Future 2018 Conference organised by the French Nuclear Society Young Generation Network. The call for papers for this year's symposium attracted nearly 100 papers, half of which were presented during technical sessions. The event, which brought together over 260 participants, also featured plenary sessions on the development of advanced reactors, the benefits of early engagement with regulators, the role of innovation, and the status of demonstration projects. It was followed by a meeting of the GIF Policy Group, during which the outgoing Chair Mr François Gauché of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) welcomed the ratification of the GIF Framework Agreement by the United Kingdom. The Group elected Mr Hideki Kamide of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency as its Chairman for the 2019-2021 period.
NEA Nuclear Law Bulletin is accepting submissions
The NEA Nuclear Law Bulletin (NLB) welcomes submissions from professionals and academics. If you are interested in writing an article, contact the NEA Office of Legal Counsel at email@example.com. Details on the publication process, time frames, language and house style are available at oe.cd/nea-nlb-sub.
The five-day NEA International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE) course aims to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. This intensive course has been designed to accommodate the needs and interests of lawyers working in either the public or the private sectors but will also be of interest to scientists, engineers, policymakers, managers and other professionals working in the nuclear field. The next session of the INLE will take place on 18-22 February 2019. For more information on the course and to apply, see oe.cd/INLE.
Partitioning and transmutation of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
The 15th Information Exchange Meeting on Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation (15IEMPT) was held on 30 September-3 October 2018, hosted by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) in Manchester, United Kingdom. The event brought together 122 experts from 15 countries and three international organisations to discuss state-of-the-art developments in the field of partitioning and transmutation. Participants addressed various topics related to advanced nuclear fuel cycles, including scenarios studies, transmutation systems, modelling and data, advanced fuels for transmutation and multi recycling, waste management, and recycling technologies. The next IEMPT will be held in September 2020 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Building Multinational Fuel and Materials Testing Capacities for Science, Safety and Industry
In 2017 the NEA launched an initiative to strengthen experimental capabilities for the testing and deployment of evolutionary and innovative nuclear fuels and materials. A core aspect of this initiative, which has now become even more relevant given the closure of the widely-used Halden Reactor in Norway, is to establish a co-ordinated approach to the development and implementation of key experiments at various facilities around the world. Towards this goal, the NEA organised a workshop on "Building Multinational Fuel and Materials Testing Capacities for Science, Safety and Industry" on 4-5 October 2018. The event brought together participants representing utilities, fuel vendors, technical support organisations (TSOs), regulatory bodies, research organisations and experimentalists, and continued the dialogue launched at an NEA workshop held in January 2018. Discussions focused on the strategic necessity of re-establishing a viable multinational fuel and material testing framework, as well as on a new joint project proposal. The NEA is currently working with the workshop participants to establish the proposed joint project and to finalise the workshop statement, which will be discussed further with several NEA standing technical committees and distributed among the NEA member countries to inform the decision-making process in this field.
ICSBEP and IRPhEP Technical Review Group Meetings, and a pilot for SINBAD
The NEA International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP) and International Reactor Physics Experiments Evaluation Project (IRPhEP) aim at compiling and evaluating respectively critical and subcritical experimental data, as well as reactor physics experimental data, into standardised benchmarks published within a handbook. These handbooks allow scientists to use experimental data for the validation of calculational tools and nuclear data libraries. The Technical Review Groups for both these projects met on 22-25 October 2018. Participants reviewed and approved four new evaluations for the ICSBEP Handbook, and five new evaluations for the IRPhEP Handbook. The updated versions of these handbooks will be made available in the coming weeks. Furthermore, a preliminary technical review group meeting centred around evaluating data collected in the NEA/RSICC Shielding Integral Benchmark Archive and Database (SINBAD) experiments was held during the same week, benefiting from the expertise of the technical reviewers of ICSBEP and IRPhEP. Two evaluations were presented and a task force was established to develop a dedicated format/content guide modelled on the established ICSBEP process.
Training courses on state-of-the-art computer codes
The NEA Data Bank organised two training sessions in October 2018 on the Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code (MCNP), a computer program widely used in nuclear engineering and research. The courses attracted 29 participants from 12 countries, who benefited first-hand from the knowledge and dedication of the code development teams. The NEA Data Bank Computer Program Services organises several training sessions every year, contributing to the dissemination of state-of-the-art codes and engaging the nuclear community. These week-long courses provide a unique opportunity to bring together code users from around the globe and facilitate exchanges on the use of computer codes. Further information on the NEA Data Bank training courses is available at oe.cd/nea-db-course.
|9-OCT-18||NEA-1903||CRISTAL V2.0.2, Criticality calculation package
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