NEA Mandates and Structures

Technical Review Group for the International Criticality Safety Benchmarks Evaluation Project

Chair(s): John BESS, United States
Secretary:  Ian HILL
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:30 September 2000
End of mandate:30 June 2021

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document [NEA/NSC/WPNCS/DOC(2019)9]



Under the direction of the Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety (WPNCS), the Technical Review Group will coordinate the programme of the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP) and the development of the ICSBEP handbook and database. These comprise an evaluated set of benchmark specifications derived from experiments performed at various nuclear critical facilities around the world. The benchmark specifications are intended for use by criticality safety engineers to validate calculational techniques used to establish minimum subcritical margins for safe operations with fissile material. Close links will also be maintained with the technical review group for the Shielding Integral Benchmark Archive and Database (SINBAD).

The Technical Review Group will also develop a database tool (DICE) to facilitate user access to the ICSBEP benchmarks.


The main objective of the ICSBEP is to provide the nuclear community with an evaluated set of benchmark specifications by collecting criticality experiment data from the nuclear criticality laboratories, worldwide. More specifically the objectives are as follows:

The Technical Review Group will closely co-ordinate its work with other subsidiary bodies of the Nuclear Science Committee developing databases of integral experiments. In particular, there will be close links with the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS) Expert Group on Reactor Physics and Advanced Nuclear Systems (EGRPANS). This group is responsible for co-ordinating the development of the International Reactor Physics Experiments (IRPhE) database.

A key element of the evaluation process is a rigorous analysis of the uncertainties, including quantification of correlations between experiments. There will be strong linkage between the ICSBEP Technical Review Group and the WPNCS Subgroup on the Role of Integral Experiment Uncertainties and Covariance Data in Criticality Safety Validation.