The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is a specialised agency within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organisation of industrialised countries, based in Paris, France. More...
Australia joins the Generation IV International Forum (GIF)
Following unanimous acceptance by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) members, Australia became the 14th member of the Forum on 22 June 2016. The GIF Charter was signed by Dr Adrian (Adi) Paterson, CEO of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). With a staff of about 1 200 people, 250 of whom have doctorate degrees, ANSTO has a balanced mix of fundamental and applied research capabilities, with research facilities in the field of material science centred around the Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) reactor, a multi‑purpose research reactor that also produces medical radioisotopes. Neutron beam instruments which use OPAL's neutrons are used for characterising materials. In addition, ANSTO has several accelerators for ion beam analyses. In order to become fully engaged in the GIF's research activities, particularly in the area of materials for very high temperature and molten salt reactors for which ANSTO has expressed interest, Australia will need to sign the GIF Framework Agreement and its Extension. For more information on GIF, see www.gen-4.org.
NEA takes part in the World Nuclear Exhibition
On 28-30 June 2016, the NEA participated in the second World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) in Le Bourget, France, which brought together key figures in the global nuclear energy industry. NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV was a featured speaker in the panel discussions on "Innovations for 21st Century Nuclear Energy" and "Safety, Quality and Project Delivery Certainty – Key Ingredients for Any Successful Major Project". Mr Magwood also chaired the WNE Awards Ceremony, which bestowed the award for progress in nuclear safety upon AREVA for modular multi‑purpose robots in support of nuclear investigation operations. Dr Jaejoo Ha, Head of the NEA Division of Nuclear Development, participated in the panel discussion on "Pragmatic Management of the Back-end of the Fuel Cycle – A Pathway to Sustainability". NEA representatives were present throughout the Exhibition at its publications and information stand.
China signs extension of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Framework Agreement
On 23 June 2016, the People's Republic of China signed the ten-year extension of the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. A signing ceremony was held at the OECD in the presence of His Excellency ZHAI Jun, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to France, and Mr William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is a co-operative international endeavour which was set up in 2005 to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation of nuclear energy systems. For more information on GIF, see www.gen-4.org.
Safety of nuclear installations
The NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) held its biannual meeting on 8‑9 June 2016. As part of its normal programme of work, the Committee approved 13 new tasks and 10 reports, including the final report of the NEA Senior Expert Group on Safety Research Opportunities Post‑Fukushima (SAREF), which was established to identify research activities that would address safety research knowledge gaps and support safe and timely decommissioning in Japan. In its report, the group recommends activities that can take advantage of the information and insight gained from the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant both in the near term and the long term. Among the two near-term activities suggested by SAREF are a preparatory study for actual fuel debris analysis and a project to collect and analyse information from the reactor buildings and containment vessels of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Participating members agreed that these two near-term activities should be further developed into proposals for joint projects to be considered by the Committee at its next meeting in December 2016.
Nuclear regulatory activities
The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) held its biannual meeting on 6‑7 June 2016. Among the decisions taken, it approved the release of the Report of the Survey on the Design Review of New Reactor Applications: Volume 4 – RCS and Associated Systems. It agreed to proceed with next steps for formulating a mandate with priorities and milestones for an ad hoc group on safety culture. It also agreed to hold a topical discussion on the impact of the economic situation on relations between licensees and regulatory bodies at the next CNRA meeting in December 2016. Additionally, participation was encouraged in the forthcoming NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Decision Making to be held on 17‑19 January 2017 in Paris, France. During the meeting, the Committee recognised the valuable contributions of its outgoing chair, Dr Jean Christophe Niel, up until recently Director‑General at the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and now Director‑General at the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), and elected its new Chair, Mr Victor McCree of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Continued engagement and safe implementation of geological repositories
The fifth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR) will take place on 6‑9 December 2016 in Paris, France. The conference, on "Continued Engagement and Safe Implementation of Geological Repositories", aims to take stock of progress made since 2012 in developing and implementing geological repositories for long-lived radioactive waste, and to facilitate mutual learning through exchanges of international perspectives and experiences. It will convene senior-level decision-makers from countries with active programmes for deep geological repositories and provide a forum to explore how the various actors manage the implementation of repository programmes in their countries. For more information and to register, visit www.icgr2016.org.