NEA Mandates and Structures

Expert Group on Back-end Strategies (BEST)

Chair(s): Bill MCCAUGHEY, United States
Secretary:  Won Il KO
Vice-Chair(s): Cécile EVANS, France
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:09 March 2017
End of mandate:08 March 2019

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract of document NEA/NDC(2017)2

Mission and objectives

This expert group (EG) will catalogue the various nuclear fuel cycle options being investigated or pursued by member countries, with a particular interest in clearly capturing the aspects that differentiate them, that countries consider most important, or that make the options attractive or unattractive for application in a certain country. The EG will make use of existing studies, such as the U.S. Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Screening report and NEA committees’ and members’ work on fuel cycle scenarios and multi-criteria analysis, and incorporate qualitative and quantitative aspects that are important to various countries’ policies and decisions. 

This expert group will produce a report that provides the latest status of countries’ research, development and/or deployment of advanced fuel cycles, serving as an update to past “Trends in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle” reports. While of interest to countries currently pursuing nuclear power programmes, it will also provide important points of consideration to countries that are planning to develop nuclear programmes and related fuel cycle facilities as well as those considering or facing planned phase out and decommissioning.

Organisational structure and mode of operation and co-operation

Members of the expert group will be nominated by the members of the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and Fuel Cycle (NDC), and will perform their work in close collaboration with other NEA divisions with fuel cycle activities, mostly closely with the Division of Nuclear Science (in particular the Working Party on Scientific Issues of the Fuel Cycle). This study may be partly funded through voluntary contributions.

Nominated experts will meet on a regular basis (approximately twice a year) to:

This expert group should produce a report highlighting the main criteria influencing the choice of different nuclear fuel cycle options.


The duration of the mandate is two years.