NEA Mandates and Structures

Working Group on Fuel Safety (WGFS)

Chair(s): Zoltan HOZER, Hungary
Secretary:  Didier JACQUEMAIN
Vice-Chair(s): Marc PETIT, France
Masaki AMAYA, Japan
Anna ALVESTAV, Sweden
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Participant(s): India
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:31 December 1999
End of mandate:31 December 2020

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document NEA/CSNI/R(2017)17


The main mission of the Working Group on Fuel Safety is to advance the current understanding and address safety issues related to fuel safety.

Specifically, the WGFS will:

  1. Report to the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), assist the Committee with its work and carry out the programme of work approved by the CSNI.
  2. Assess the technical basis for current safety criteria and their applicability to new fuel designs and materials. The assessment will focus on anticipated transients and postulated accident conditions. Information relevant to fuel performance under normal operating conditions will be considered only to the extent necessary to assess the safety behaviour, focussing on mechanical behaviour of fuel assemblies.
  3. Determine needs and priorities for future research programmes in the area of fuel safety behaviour, with the aim of understanding and adequately modelling key phenomena and of quantifying safety margins.
  4. Review, from the safety point of view, the adequacy of fuel codes and methodologies used for different core assessments as related to high burn-up fuel, new fuel designs and materials. Cores with different fuel assembly designs and with MOX fuel are to be considered. Neutronic, thermal-hydraulic and materials aspects are considered as they relate to core safety assessment.
  5. Provide a forum where safety-relevant fuel issues emerging from operating experience and research work can be addressed and resolved in an effective manner.

The Working Group will aim at facilitating international convergence in fuel safety issues, including experimental approaches, interpretation and use of the experimental data or of other relevant information.

Co-operation with other NEA bodies will be actively pursued, as appropriate, e.g. with the Working Group on the Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA) on issues involving thermal hydraulics and/or fuel damage, with the Working Group on Fuel Cycle Safety (WGFCS) on fuel-storage issues and with subsidiary bodies of the Nuclear Science Committee (NSC) working on fuel issues. This will result in optimisation of both the resources mobilised by member countries for NEA activities and the quality of the work produced.

The Working Group will perform its activities mainly through organising topical meetings on specific subjects or through task forces dedicated to covering specific programme items.