The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) held their biannual meetings from 6 to 9 December 2021 and discussed the evolving nuclear regulatory environment. Nuclear safety community responses to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, expanding interest in SMR and Generation IV reactors, and recent lessons learnt from nuclear safety-relevant events were among the many subjects discussed.
The CNRA, a forum for collaboration amongst senior officials from nuclear regulatory bodies, held its 46th bi-annual meeting on 6-7 December 2021. The meeting was attended by 59 delegates from 26 countries, as well as representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission. The committee discussed the schedule for implementing a package of reforms that will revise its vision, mission, governance, and organisational structure. These reforms are part of a long-term effort dubbed the “Strategic Review” and their aim is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the CNRA. Among the key activities discussed were the completion of mandates for post-2022 working groups and a process for selecting the new working group members, chairs, and vice chairs. The CNRA also agreed to complete its review of the Working Group on the Regulation of New Reactors’ Report on the Survey of the Regulatory Approach on the Oversight of New NPP Construction by the end of January 2022.
The Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), which is a forum for collaboration on the technical basis for the safety of nuclear installations, held its biannual meeting during the same week, on 8-9 December 2021. It was the 70th meeting for this NEA Committee, which has existed since 1973, and it gathered more than 50 experts from around 30 countries. The CSNI work on nuclear safety research has been important for many years and is even more so now as nuclear is experiencing new momentum in the global effort to combat climate change. The committee approved 11 technical reports and 12 proposals for new safety-related investigations. The topics covered ranged from an assessment of root causes for common cause failures of motor-operated valves to the application of computational fluid dynamics codes for the assessment of safety-related phenomena. The Committee set its priorities for future work taking into account current nuclear safety challenges. Special emphasis will be given to analyses and research needed to support safety demonstrations of innovative nuclear technologies, including ones to be used for small modular reactors. To this end, the NEA and IAEA will organise the International Symposium on Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) for Reactors of Singular Designs, to be held in the United Kingdom in February 2022. The event will help scientists from all over the world share knowledge and exchange experience gained on safety modeling of innovative reactors designs.
The next CSNI meeting will take place on 30-31 May 2022.