Nuclear Energy Agency Online Bulletin


Covers new material for May 2003:

New publications
Nuclear safety
Radioactive waste management
Nuclear science
Legal affairs
Data Bank

New publications

Utilisation and Reliability of High Power Proton Accelerators
Workshop Proceedings, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, 12-16 May 2002
ISBN 92-64-10211-6. 432 pages

Burn-up Credit Criticality Benchmark - Phase IV-A
Reactivity Prediction Calculations for Infinite Arrays of PWR MOX Fuel Pin Cells
ISBN 92-64-02123-X. 87 pages (1.03 mb).

Burn-up Credit Criticality Benchmark - Phase IV-B
Results and Analysis of MOX Fuel Depletion Calculations
ISBN 92-64-02124-8. 179 pages (815 kb).

Burn-up Credit Criticality Benchmarks
Complete Collection of Published Reports as of May 2003
CD-ROM. Issued free with Phase IV Benchmark publications.

A New Approach to Authorisation in the Field of Radiological Protection
The Road Test Report
ISBN 92-64-02122-1. 75 pages (342 kb).

Regulator and Industry Co-operation on Nuclear Safety Research
Challenges and Opportunities
ISBN 92-64-02126-4. 42 pages (153 kb).

Disponible également en français :
Coopération autorités de sûreté-industrie pour la recherche en sûreté nucléaire
Défis et potentialités
ISBN 92-64-02127-2. 42 pages (227 ko).

Nuclear safety

A meeting of the experts participating in the Steam Explosion Resolution for Nuclear Accidents (SERENA) programme was held at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) in Daejeon, Korea, on 13-16 May 2003. The SERENA programme is investigating the field of steam explosions resulting from fuel/coolant interactions in a nuclear reactor with a view to determining by mid-2005 if current knowledge is sufficient for managing the risk under reactor conditions and if additional analytical experimental work is needed. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the results and conclusions of Task 2 of the programme (a comparison of various approaches for calculating jet break-up and pre-mixing) and to prepare Task 3 (the comparison of various approaches for calculating the explosion phase). The meeting also discussed collaboration between the SERENA Programme and the KAERI Test for Real Corium Interaction with Water (TROI) programme.

A meeting of experts to develop further the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) Action Plan for Integrated Assessments of Safety Margins was held in Paris on 19-20 May 2003. Integrated assessments are needed in order to evaluate the overall impact of multiple synergistic safety margin modifications made during nuclear power plant operation. These modifications include implementing power uprates, extending operating cycles, changing fuel design, increasing fuel burn-up -- all of which must be considered in combination with plant ageing and plant life extension. The proposed Action Plan will be examined by the CSNI at its annual meeting on 19-20 June 2003.

Related links

Documents from the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI)
Documents from the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA)
Forthcoming workshops and seminars

Radioactive waste management

Recently updated information about the regulatory control of radioactive waste management in NEA member countries is now available on the NEA website. Information for 15 NEA member countries is provided using a standard template designed by the NEA/RWMC Regulators' Forum. The summaries include information about national policies for radioactive waste management, institutional frameworks, legislative and regulatory frameworks, available guidance, classification and sources of waste, the status of waste management, current issues and related R&D programmes. As part of this update 11 summaries were revised and information for the Slovak Republic added. The remaining summaries will be updated shortly. The summaries are available at

Nuclear science

The NEA Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) met in San Diego, USA, on 12-15 May 2003. The meeting reviewed the status of major nuclear data evaluation projects, as well as the related nuclear data measurement activities. The group working on the uranium-235 fission neutron spectrum co-operative project has now completed its work and will issue a final report shortly. It was agreed to revise the High Priority Request List for Nuclear Data and to increase efforts to include uncertainty (covariance) information in the evaluated data files. More information about the WPEC is available at

The NEA Expert Group on Reactor-based Plutonium Disposition (TFRPD) met in Paris on 15 May 2003. The group is studying the use of mixed-oxide fuel (MOX) made from the plutonium of dismantled nuclear weapons in western pressurised water reactors and the Russian VVER-1000 reactor design. It is hoped that the group's work will lead to a favourable licensing environment for the use of this fuel. The group's current studies are focusing on MOX fuel behaviour and any associated reactor physics issues. In this framework, the group has recently released experimental data in order to validate its methods and compare its results with those from countries with long-standing experience of operating MOX-fuelled reactors. More information is available at

The Working Party on the Physics of Plutonium Fuels and Innovative Fuel Cycles (WPPR) met on 16 May 2003. The group's discussion covered the forthcoming publication of a state-of-the-art report on "Plutonium Management in the Medium Term", co-operation with the TFPRD on physics benchmarks and the programme of work for the next three years. The new programme of work will concentrate inter alia on pebble bed reactors loaded with MOX, uranium oxide and thorium-based fuels. The development of a benchmark on the radioisotope inventories of different fuel cycles was also approved during the meeting. It is planned to revise the scope of the WPPR to reflect changing NEA member country interests and priorities.

Legal affairs

The Framework Agreement for the Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Programme in the Russian Federation (MNEPR) was signed by several OECD member countries and the Russian Federation in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 May 2003. The MNEPR provides a legal framework under which multilateral nuclear assistance projects in north-west Russia, particularly in the Barents Sea region, can proceed. More information is available at

Data Bank

Nuclear data

Since the release of the Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) General Purpose File 3.0 in 2002, work has focused on the testing and the benchmarking of this file. An online form has been created ( to facilitate the sharing of information among JEFF-3.0 users and developers. The form allows users to provide detailed feedback (e.g. processing problems and data representation anomalies) on the file. This information is then summarised and discussed at regular JEFF meetings. Agreed corrections are made available for users who wish to implement them before the next official release.

At the latest JEFF meeting held in Paris on 28 April 2003, contributions to the validation of the JEFF-3.0 library were presented by the French Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) and the Dutch Nuclear Research & consultancy Group (NRG). A series of fast reactor criticals (MASURCA, SNEAK) were calculated using the JEFF-3.0 library and the results show improvements over JEF-2.2. A series of benchmarks drawn from the International Handbook of Evaluated Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiments incorporating various combinations of fuel compositions and spectra were analysed using (amongst others) the JEFF-3.0, Evaluated Nuclear Data File B-VI.8 and Japanese Evaluated Neutron Data Library 3.3. This study confirmed the findings of previous work presented at the US Cross Section Evaluation Working Group: the most recent versions of the evaluated files produce consistent results. Validation efforts within the JEFF project are now focused on solving the problem of reactivity under-prediction for light water reactor lattices. This research is being carried out under the auspices of the WPEC. Information on the project is available at

The NEA has received copies of the JAERI Progress Report [INDC(JPN)-190], which covers the period January-December 2002. The report contains single-page updates from the various Japanese institutions involved in nuclear data research. To request a free copy, please contact Mark Kellett ( at the NEA Secretariat, including your full name and postal address.

Computer program services

A page listing all new programs in the last 12 months can be found at: Detailed news concerning the computer program service is available at:

  27-MAY-2003 NEA-1553 SINBAD FUSION, Neutronics Benchmark Experiments (Now tested)
  27-MAY-2003 NEA-1552 SINBAD ACCELERATOR, Shielding Benchmark Experiments (Now tested)
  09-MAY-2003 IAEA1336 MTR_PC, Modular System for Neutronics, Thermohydraulic and Shielding Calculation (Now tested)
  02-MAY-2003 NEA-1696 IFPE/REGATE L10.3, FGR and Fuel Swelling during power transient at medium burn-up (SILOE reactor) (Arrived)

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SINBAD FUSION, Neutronics Benchmark Experiments (Now tested)
SINBAD ACCELERATOR, Shielding Benchmark Experiments (Now tested)
MTR_PC, Modular System for Neutronics, Thermohydraulic and Shielding Calculation (Now tested)
IFPE/REGATE L10.3, FGR and Fuel Swelling during power transient at medium burn-up (SILOE reactor) (Arrived)