Maintaining current technical levels in nuclear technology and preserving existing integral data accumulated in the course of nuclear development to date is a pressing issue in many NEA member countries.
The NEA Nuclear Science Committee (NSC) conducted a study on research and development (R&D) needs in nuclear science, held a workshop on R&D needs for current and future nuclear systems and published a report on the subject. The NSC also reviews existing integral reactor physics data in the context of the IRPhE project. The Nuclear Development Committee (NDC) is also working in this area, and the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) has reviewed the need for experimental R&D facilities in the area of safety and published the CSNI report on Support Facilities for Existing and Advanced Reactors (SFEAR).
Further to these efforts, the NSC formed an expert group to anticipate future nuclear science R&D and test facility needs based on the results of the above NEA activities and in close collaboration with other NEA standing technical committees.
The expert group prepared a report on the status of integral data and the future needs for nuclear science R&D and test facilities. To this end, the group carried out the following:
The expert group held meetings to review and exchange information on the status of integral data and the needs for research and test facilities for future R&D in the nuclear science field. These included nuclear data, reactor physics, fuel behaviour, materials science, fuel cycle chemistry, nuclear production of hydrogen, high-performance computing and thermal-hydraulics. The work was done in close collaboration with the CSNI and the NDC.
The group also established a database of nuclear science R&D and test facilities to help clarify the status and needs of these facilities. The expert group completed its work and the final report was published in 2009.
The International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments (IRPhE) contains reactor physics benchmark specifications that have been derived from experiments that were performed at various nuclear facilities around the world.