NEA Monthly News Bulletin - July 2010

New publications

Coûts prévisionnels de production de l'électricité : Edition 2010
ISBN : 978-92-64-08432-2. 232 pages.

Nuclear Production of Hydrogen: Fourth Information Exchange Meeting, Oakbrook, Illinois, United States, 13-16 April 2009
ISBN: 978-92-64-08713-2. 464 pages.

Decommissioning Considerations for New Nuclear Power Plants
ISBN: 978-92-64-99132-3. 16 pages (2.4 Mb).

Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap
48 pages (3 Mb).

L'organisation du travail pour optimiser la radioprotection professionnelle dans les centrales nucléaires
ISBN : 978-92-64-99134-7. 132 pages (1.6 Mo).


Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award
Richard J.K. Stratford, Director of the Office of Nuclear Energy, Safety and Security, Bureau of International Security and Non-proliferation, U.S. Department of State and Chairman of the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy, was honoured with the Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award. The Smyth Award is the highest recognition given jointly by the American Nuclear Society and the Nuclear Energy Institute. Further information.

NEA Director-General Luis E. Echávarri was chosen as this year's recipient of the EURELECTRIC award which distinguishes outstanding contributions in the electricity sector. This is a personal recognition of Mr. Echávarri in relation to his role as OECD/NEA Director-General and his career during which he has highlighted the contribution of nuclear power to security of energy supply at competitive costs and the development of a low-carbon economy. Read more.

Medical radioisotopes

The NEA hosted the third meeting of the High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR) on 24-25 June. Participants included representatives from the medical isotope industry as well as the nuclear medicine and nuclear regulation communities. This meeting marked the mid-point of this two-year initiative and included presentations on new actions to produce medical radioisotopes in Argentina, Brazil and Russia. Two draft studies, undertaken for the HLG-MR, were presented by the NEA. The first examined the economics of the molybdenum-99/technetium-99m supply chain; the second explored a wide range of current and emerging molybdenum-99/technetium-99m production technologies. These studies will be finalised and distributed to key decision-makers and the general public in the coming months. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2011 and will focus on policy options to ensure reliable supplies of medical radioisotopes over the long term. More on the HLG-MR.

Nuclear safety and regulation

The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) held their biannual meetings in June.

The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) held its 23rd meeting on 7-8 June. The committee's working groups and the senior task group gave presentations on the status of work and proposals for future activities. In addition, the Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP) presented the conclusions of the recent 10th International Workshop on Inspection Practices and requested CNRA review and approval for a report on the Inspection of Licensees' Corrective Action Programmes. The Working Group on Operating Experience (WGOE) also presented conclusions from the recent meeting on Maintaining and Transferring Knowledge on Operating Experience. For all group presentations, the committee discussed the current activities and provided feedback and guidance. Furthermore, the CNRA decided on next steps for updating its Operating Plan, including to ensure that the plan is aligned with the newly approved NEA Strategic Plan and the CSNI/CNRA Joint Strategic Plan. Finally, the CNRA decided to establish a new senior-level task group to address long-term operation issues from the regulatory perspective, and to hold an international forum on long-term operation on 8 June 2011. More on the CNRA.

On 9-10 June, the NEA welcomed 67 participants from 29 member countries and international organisations during the 47th meeting of the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI). In addition to regular business, the Task Group on Advanced Reactor Experimental Facilities (TAREF) presented its final report on Fast Sodium Reactor Safety Studies. In total, ten final reports by the working groups, task groups and/or joint projects were reviewed and approved by the CSNI along with ten new technical work proposals. The CSNI revised its Operating Plan in accordance with the new NEA Strategic Plan and the Joint CSNI/CNRA Strategic Plan, both of which will provide vision for the committee over the next six years. The committee held a roundtable technical discussion on the safety of research reactors as a first step to identify technical and knowledge gaps that could warrant investigation. More on the CSNI.

The "OECD/NEA THAI Project Final Report – Hydrogen and Fission Product Issues Relevant for Containment Safety Assessment under Severe Accident Conditions [NEA/CSNI/R(2010)3]" has just been released. A broad spectrum of safety issues were investigated and could fill existing data gaps. Passive autocatalytic recombiner (PAR) investigations resulted in an almost complete picture of its behaviour. Results of this experimental programme have provided assurances of PAR performance under realistic conditions. The Thermal-hydraulics, Hydrogen, Aerosols and Iodine (THAI) Project database will be used to validate and improve computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and lumped parameter codes used in reactor safety analysis, thereby increasing confidence in existing tools. The analytical activities of project partners provided intensive analyses of experimental data through pre- and post-test calculations. Remaining questions will be addressed in future investigations. An OECD/NEA THAI-2 Project is scheduled to start in late 2010. OECD/NEA THAI Project Final Report

Radioactive waste management

The WPDD Decommissioning Cost Estimation Group (DCEG) held its third meeting on 15-16 June. The group discussed a standardised structure for presenting decommissioning cost estimates through a standard categorisation of cost items. The proposed structure and associated users manual were developed as part of a joint project with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (DG-ENER).  The revised cost structure was approved in principle and will be completed by the end of 2010, pending the finalisation of the associated "Yellow Book". The group also decided: 1) to undertake a study on cost control in decommissioning projects which will include a survey of current practices in member countries in identifying physical indicators to measure progress; and 2) to consider establishing a forum to exchange best practices on developing cost estimates with the proposed standardised cost structure. More on the DCEG.

The fourth meeting of the Working Group on Reversibility and Retrievability took place on 21-23 June. Topics included costs of retrievability; research and development; the implications of reversibility and retrievability for regulation; monitoring and institutional control; ethics and values; and decision-making processes. Delegates reviewed progress on the working group report. A near-final draft of this report will be used as a discussion document for the Reversibility and Retrievability (R&R) Conference to be held in Reims, France on 14-17 December 2010. A conference website has been set up at; conference registration will open soon. More on the Reversibility and Retrievability Project.

The first meeting to launch the project on Long-term Preservation of Information and Memory took place on 29-30 June. The project participants acknowledged that requirements for records, markers and other long-term memory measures are required in some countries by law or regulatory authorities, while the timescales for the duration of these activities vary by country and types of waste. National programmes would benefit from a shared, broad-based and documented understanding at the international level of the range of methods and concepts for the long-term preservation of information and memory. Such understanding can be used as a reference for those national programmes that are involved in siting and licensing repositories and would also foster the development of more robust strategies and regulations for radioactive waste management programmes, whatever their stage of implementation. The programme will be financially supported by project participants.

Nuclear science

The NEA Nuclear Science Committee (NSC) met on 9-11 June. Committee members approved the restructuring of the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS). The committee also reviewed the three-year mandates and the programmes of work of its five working parties in accordance with the newly adopted NEA Strategic Plan for 2011-2016 and the evolving programme of work. More on the NSC.

The NEA Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) reviewed the status of major nuclear data libraries as well as worldwide progress in nuclear data measurement during its meeting on 3-4 June. The following six working party subgroups (Sg) have completed their work: Covariance Data in the Fast Neutron Region (Sg24), Processing of Covariance Data (Sg28), U-235 Capture Cross-section in the keV to MeV Energy Region (Sg29), Improvement of Accessibility and Quality of the EXFOR Database (Sg30), and Unresolved Resonance Treatment for Cross-section and Covariance Representation (Sg32). Reports will be published in late 2010 and early 2011. The working party also discussed its mandate and programme of work for the next three years. In addition to maintaining the High Priority Request List (HPRL) for nuclear data, the WPEC will establish the following five subgroups:  Meeting Nuclear Data Needs for Advanced Reactor Systems (Sg31), Methods and Issues for the Combined Use of Integral Experiments and Covariance Data (Sg33), Co-ordinated Evaluation of Pu-239 in the Resonance Region (Sg34), Scattering Angular Distribution in the Fast Energy Range (Sg35) and Usage of Experimental Data for Evaluation in the Resolved Resonance Region (Sg36). More on the WPEC.

Data Bank

The Executive Group of the Nuclear Science Committee (Data Bank management committee) met on 9 June to review computer program and nuclear data services provided by the Data Bank to its member countries. The delegates approved the new mandate for the Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) Project from June 2010 to June 2013. The Executive Group endorsed the proposed 2011 and 2012 Data Bank budgets with a strong preference for zero real growth in order to avoid any deterioration of services provided to member countries and to other parts of the Agency. More on the Data Bank.

The Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) Project held its biannual meeting on 31 May-2 June. About 60 participants discussed the progress of new data evaluation work in member countries and gathered feedback from users of the present nuclear data library (JEFF-3.1.1). The JEFF Scientific Coordination Group discussed its mandate and programme of work for the next three years, including the release of the next major version of the library, JEFF-3.2, which will focus on fast reactor performance and the inclusion of additional uncertainty information. More on JEFF.

The newly released Java-based nuclear information software – JANIS 3.2 – allows users to access major evaluated libraries, including the latest releases (JENDL-4.0, RUSFOND-2010, CENDL-3.1 and TENDL-2009), and implements new features to display data uncertainty and their correlation. JANIS 3.2 is accessible online and on DVD together with its main databases. More on JANIS.

Computer program services

New computer programs available

02-JUL-2010 USCD1238 ALICE2010, Particle Spectra from HMS precompound Nucleus Decay
24-JUN-2010 ESTS0219 TOUGH2, Unsaturated Ground Water and Heat Transfer
T2VOC, H2O, Air, VOC Flow Simulation in Porous Multidimensional Media
ITOUGH2, Inverse Modeling for TOUGH2 Multiphase Flow Simulators
TOUGHREACTV1.2, Chemically reactive non-isothermal flows of multiphase fluids in porous and fractured media
TMVOCV1.0, Multicomponent, multiphase, nonisothermal flows of water, soil gas, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)
ECO2N, a TOUGH2 fluid property module for mixtures of water-NaCl-CO2
23-JUN-2010 NEA-1858 IFPE/CANDU-FIO-130, CANDU experiment FIO-130 Fuel Behaviour under LOCA Conditions
23-JUN-2010 IAEA1430 ZZ POINT-2009, a Temperature Dependent ENDF/B-VII.0 Cross Section Library
17-JUN-2010 ESTS0608 RSAC-6, Gamma doses, inhalation and ingestion doses, fission products inventory after fission products release
16-JUN-2010 NEA-1840 SERPENT 1.1.7, 3-D continuous-energy Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup calculation, lattice physics applications
16-JUN-2010 NEA-1676 ERRORJ, Multigroup covariance matrices generation from ENDF-6 format

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