Japanese State Minister Tadahiko Ito visits the NEA to discuss further co‑operation
Mr Tadahiko Ito, State Minister of the Cabinet Office and of the Environment, Japan visited the NEA on 3 May 2018 to meet with NEA representatives including Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer Daniel Iracane, Deputy Director‑General for Management and Planning Masahiko Fujihara, and Deputy Head of the NEA Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety Ted Lazo. State Minister Ito thanked the NEA for its contributions to the recovery of Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and discussed possible follow‑up to the 2016 NEA workshop on "Post‑accident Food Safety Science" held in Fukushima. In particular, the Minister expressed his thanks for the NEA's support for the Soma Agricultural High School students who took part in the workshop, and underlined the importance of taking care of the younger generation during the Fukushima prefecture recovery process. The State Minister also gave an update on the impressive progress with off‑site decontamination in the surrounding areas of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and a nuclear emergency response exercise to be held in Japan later this year. Dr Iracane outlined ongoing work towards developing an international instrument to formalise the framework for post‑accident food management and the second NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Decision Making to be held in 2019.
New NEA committee to focus on decommissioning and legacy management
The NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy held its biannual meeting on 19‑20 April 2018. Among the decisions taken, the committee approved the establishment of the new NEA Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management, which will enable the NEA to assist its members in managing a broader range of decommissioning issues including the management of legacy sites and legacy waste. In forming the new committee, the NEA will convene a balanced composition of policy developers and experts representing regulatory bodies and implementers in order to facilitate comprehensive exchanges of experiences and best practices in the field of nuclear decommissioning and legacy management. Accordingly, the committee delegates will share their national expertise in decommissioning planning and strategies selection, as well as lessons learnt in managing decommissioning challenges. The new committee will co-ordinate closely with other NEA bodies, as well as with relevant activities in other multilateral institutions.
NEA celebrates its diamond jubilee by looking to the future
Nearly 200 senior leaders in the international nuclear sector from 31 countries came together in Paris today to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and to discuss the current state and future prospects for nuclear energy. To mark the occasion, the NEA organised a special high‑level session for senior leaders in the nuclear sector. "There have been many successes and accomplishments over the last 60 years. While we take this opportunity to recognise the tremendous contributions of the men and women who have served with the NEA over the decades, we are excited by the road before us, the challenges ahead and the as yet unknown priorities of tomorrow," said Director‑General Magwood during his opening remarks at the session. "The work of the NEA is always just beginning." Read more
First reactivity-initiated accident test completed successfully at the renovated CABRI facility
Within the framework of the NEA CABRI International Project (CIP) a first test simulating a reactivity initiated accident (RIA) in conditions reproducing those in a pressurised-water reactor (PWR) was successfully carried out on 16 April 2018. The test was performed at the Cabri facility in Cadarache, France by the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety - IRSN), with the support of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), in the new pressurised-water loop that was installed recently as part of a major renovation programme.
The NEA CIP Project investigates fuel and cladding behaviour in PWRs during RIAs that involve a sudden localised accidental increase of core power that would arise from, for example, control rod ejection. The CIP began in March 2000 and two RIA tests using high burn-up PWR fuel were performed in 2002 in an experimental loop filled, at that time, with liquid sodium. "After ten years of major refurbishments, the Cabri reactor is now equipped with a new configuration that will enable the NEA CIP Project to study the safety behaviour of fuels in more fully representative PWR conditions," noted the NEA Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer Dr Daniel Iracane. "The successful completion of this test positions Cabri as a new major asset for the continuous enhancement of our knowledge base, and for the future of nuclear fuel safety worldwide."
More information on the NEA CIP project is available here.
Webinar on Full Costs of Electricity Provision
On 13 April 2018, the NEA organised a webinar to discuss the findings from its latest report – The Full Costs of Electricity Provision. Market prices and production costs account for an important share of the overall economic impacts of electricity. However, there has been a growing recognition that the market value of electricity is not the whole story. As currently constituted, the price of electricity in today's markets does not accurately reflect the costs of electricity on the society and the environment. As a result, decisions made regarding supply and future planning based on current market prices fail to capture all of the factors needed to ensure reliable electricity supply in the future. This report summarises and synthesises the most recent research in full cost accounting of electricity. Find out more at oe.cd/nea‑electricity‑costs‑webinar‑2018
NEA co‑sponsors the joint conference of the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) and Women in Nuclear Global
The NEA co‑sponsored the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) 2018 conference, which was organised jointly with the 26th WiN Global Annual Conference in Bariloche, Argentina, on 11‑17 March 2018. The conference brought together 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. NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, who was recognised as a key supporter who helped launch the IYNC almost 20 years ago, was a featured speaker in the keynote session on "Challenge the present, empower the future". During his speech, he highlighted the need for nuclear technology to evolve to meet future challenges and the importance of attracting young students to study nuclear science and engineering. He also noted that the NEA encourages its membership to explore ways of attracting, recruiting and retaining women in science and technology. Ms Yeonhee Hah, Head of the NEA Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety, provided a keynote speech at the launch of the IYNC Mentor Program. She was also a featured speaker in the workshop session on "Strategic Communication in a Nuclear Crisis". While in Argentina, the NEA delegation visited the Embalse Nuclear Power Station, which is currently undergoing a life extension programme.
NEA official visit to Brazil
On 20 March 2018, the NEA visited The National Nuclear Energy Commission of Brazil (CNEN) to participate in an information exchange seminar organised by the CNEN's Directorate of Radiological Protection and Security (DRS) and attended by representatives from important actors in Brazil's nuclear power programme. NEA Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer Dr Daniel Iracane presented the Agency's activities, its role among international organisations and its work on nuclear technology, safety and radioactive waste management. Discussions addressed a wide range of associated issues, including stakeholder involvement. During the seminar NEA representatives were also introduced to the main lines of nuclear energy policy, research and education in Brazil. While in Brazil, the NEA delegation also visited the Angra Nuclear Power Plant and other institutions in order to gain insights into nuclear technology in Brazil. The seminar and the visit were both very informative and constructive, and took place in a spirit of openness, and mutual recognition of the benefits of international co‑operation. The NEA wishes to thank the CNEN and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the well‑prepared seminar and fruitful exchanges during the visit.
NEA Director-General makes first visit to Hungary
On 5-6 March 2018, NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, undertook his first official visit to Hungary for meetings with the Ministry of National Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA), Public Limited Company for Radioactive Waste Management (PURAM), the Hungarian Nuclear Society and the Hungarian Young Generation Network (FINE). Central to his visit were discussions with Minister János Süli (pictured on the right), Minister István Mikola, and State Secretary for Energy Affairs András Aradszki. While in Hungary, the Director General visited the Paks Nuclear Power Plant and various other nuclear facilities, including the CERES (Cooling Effectiveness on Reactor External Surface) facility, Budapest Research Reactor, PURAM Spent Fuel Interim Storage Facility, National Radioactive Waste Repository (NRWR) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Energy Research. On 6 March, he delivered the lecture “Addressing Global Nuclear Challenges in an Era of Change” to students and staff at the Institute of Nuclear Techniques (NTI) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME). The Director-General’s visit to Hungary proved to be an excellent opportunity to exchange views on nuclear energy issues, education and research, as well as on how to continue strengthening the NEA’s engagement with Hungarian entities.
NEA high-level visit to China
From 25 February to 1 March, NEA Director‑General Magwood led a high-level visit to China. Bilateral meetings were held with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), the National Energy Administration (C/NEA) and the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). Technical visits were made to the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant and the Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, where China is building the first Hualong One nuclear power reactor. The NEA delegation also visited some of the country's leading research centres, including the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP), which is leading China's development and demonstration of molten salt reactor technology; the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). On 28 February, Director‑General Magwood delivered a lecture on NEA work and activities to nuclear science and engineering students at Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU). The visit, which was very informative and constructive, exemplified the valuable exchange of information and ideas from which China and the NEA can both benefit. Highlighting the growing relationship between the NEA and China, the Agency will welcome in March a Chinese radioactive waste expert on secondment to work at the NEA in Paris for the next two years. She will be the first Chinese expert to join the NEA's main secretariat staff.
First-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 Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in Stockholm, Sweden, in co‑operation with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM). The purpose of this forum was to create awareness on potential safety culture challenges related to national context, with the objective of helping organisations maintain a healthy safety culture for safe operations of nuclear installations and for effective regulatory activities. The event brought together over 60 experts from the Swedish nuclear community and international observers from France, Finland, Japan, Korea, South Africa and the United States, representing the industry and regulatory organisations. Read more
Just published: Towards an All-Hazards Approach to Emergency Preparedness and Response
In the post-Fukushima context, emergency preparedness and response (EPR) in the nuclear sector is more than ever being seen as part of a broader framework. In order to achieve an all-hazards approach to emergency management, a major step in the process will be to consider experiences from the emergency management of hazards emanating from a variety of sectors. The NEA thus joined forces with the OECD and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) to collaborate on this report, which confirms similarities in EPR across sectors, identifies lessons learnt and good practices for the benefit of the international community and demonstrates the value of an all hazards approach. Download the report at oe.cd/nea-all-hazards-pub-2018.
Webinar launching a new NEA flagship report
On 12 January 2018, the NEA will organise 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. Built on contributions resulting from the collaboration between the NEA, the OECD and the EU Science Hub - Joint Research Centre, and enriched with a broad range of national experiences, the report will contribute to improve the preparedness of governments facing the challenges and societal expectations related to modern emergency crises. Find out more and register at oe.cd/nea-all-hazards-2018.