Under the guidance of the Nuclear Science Committee (NSC), the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Advanced Fuel Cycles (WPFC) studies advanced nuclear fuel cycles, including fuel cycle scenarios, innovative fuels and materials, separation chemistry, waste disposal and coolant technologies
Created in 2004, the WPFC was restructured in 2020 with a revised scope that puts additional emphasis on the back-end of nuclear fuel cycles and on advanced fuel cycles of innovative systems.
The WPFC's objective is to provide the member countries with up-to-date information, preserve knowledge on, and develop consensus in the following areas.
Fuel cycle scenarios
Recycling and waste technologies
Fuels and materials
Reactor coolant and components technologies
Advanced fuel cycles, partitioning and transmutation (P&T) and accelerator-driven systems
The WPFC also aims at:
The WPFC liaises closely with other NEA working groups, especially with the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle (NDC), the Working Party on Nuclear Energy Economics (WPNE) and with the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) to ensure the respective programmes of work are complementary and to provide advice and support where required, undertaking jointly work where appropriate. Particularly close working relationships are maintained with the Working Party on Scientific Issues and Uncertainty Analysis of Reactor Systems (WPRS) and the Working Party on Multi-scale Modelling of Fuels and Structural Materials for Nuclear Systems (WPMM) as well as with the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). The WPFC also works in co-operation with other international organisations (European Commission, International Atomic Energy Agency).
Working Party meeting information from 2004 to date can be found in the WPFC members' area below.
The goal of the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle is to provide authoritative, reliable information on nuclear technologies, economics, strategies and resources to governments for use in policy analyses and decision-making.
The NEA launched the Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology (NEST) Framework in partnership with its member countries to help address important gaps in nuclear skills capacity building, knowledge transfer and technical innovation in an international context.
The Working Party on Multi-scale Modelling of Fuels and Structural Material for Nuclear Systems (WPMM) was established to deal with the scientific and engineering aspects of fuels and structural materials, aiming at establishing multi-scale models and simulations as validated predictive tools for the design of nuclear systems, fuel fabrication and performance.
The Working Party on Scientific Issues and Uncertainty Analysis of Reactor Systems (WPRS) studies the reactor physics, fuel performance, and radiation transport and shielding in present and future nuclear power systems.
Under the guidance of the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Advanced Fuel Cycles (WPFC), the Expert Group on Fuel Recycling and Waste Technology (EGFRW) focuses on the separation processes relevant to recycling technologies for spent nuclear fuel including reprocessing, waste treatment, recycling and reuse of spent fuel components but excluding long-term (dry/wet) spent fuel storage technologies.
The expert group monitored the feedback from version 0 of the Lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) handbook, collected, analysed and checked the consistency of expected new results from ongoing heavy liquid metal-related programmes, and updated the handbook and released version 1.
Under the guidance of the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Advanced Fuel Cycles (WPFC), the Expert Group on Innovative Fuel Elements (EGIFE) conducts joint and comparative studies to identify technical issues and support the development of innovative fuels that can be implemented in advanced nuclear fuel cycles.
The expert group conducts joint and comparative studies to support the development, selection and characterisation of innovative structural materials that can be implemented in advanced nuclear fuel cycles, under extreme conditions such as high temperature, high dose rate, and corrosive chemical environment and long service lifetime.
Under the guidance of the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Advanced Fuel Cycles (WPFC), the Expert Group on Reactor Coolants and Components Technology (EGCoCoT) undertakes activities with the goal to collect, evaluate and preserve relevant scientific data and to "translate" fundamental scientific understanding into application in support of i) the Development of construction codes used for design (design rules), ii) Key technical issues for licensing, and iii) Recommendations for Operation, Inspection and Handling.
The task force developed best practice guidelines by performing a benchmark study on thermo-hydraulic modelling of heavy liquid metal coolant, e.g. lead and lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) alloy.