NEA Monthly News Bulletin - December 2011

New at the NEA

The NEA meets with Japanese nuclear safety authorities to discuss stress tests

As part of the NEA’s commitment to support Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, NEA regulatory experts met with their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo on 16-18 November. The Japanese government requested the meetings to gain insights into post-Fukushima national reviews and stress tests to better inform its own stress tests. The programme included an experts’ meeting on the national reviews, a seminar with the Japanese nuclear industry and public and a public meeting with the advisory committee supporting the regulatory reviews of licensee safety margin analyses for Japanese stress tests. While the national reviews implemented in all countries are identifying further enhancements for nuclear safety and regulation, Japan will also use the stress test results in its reactor restart decision-making process. Regulatory experts from Japan, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, the NEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) exchanged insights into stress test regulatory review methods and improving public confidence in regulatory oversight. Japan has requested a similar programme on regulatory infrastructure for early next year. Presentations from the meetings are available on the NEA Fukushima information exchange page.


New publications

Publications on sale can be ordered at the OECD bookshop.

Free publications are available at this link. Paper copies may be requested by sending an e-mail.

NEA News
NEA News is the professional journal of the NEA, featuring substantive articles on the latest nuclear energy issues. Included in this issue:

  • Carbon pricing and the competitiveness of nuclear power
  • Fukushima: liability and compensation
  • NEA international peer reviews of post-accident protection policy
  • MDEP: producing results in a challenging time for nuclear power

Carbon Pricing, Power Markets and the Competitiveness of Nuclear Power - Executive summary
12 pages.

Vient de paraître en français :
La tarification du carbone, les marchés de l'électricité et la compétitivité du nucléaire – Synthèse
12 pages.

Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap
48 pages.

Now available in Chinese:
Chinese version of Nuclear Energy Technology Roadmap
48 pages.


Nuclear safety and regulation

Insights and approaches on the Fukushima accident

The Proceedings of the Forum on the Fukushima Accident: Insights and Approaches are now available on the NEA website. This forum was the first international opportunity for top nuclear regulators, along with industry executives, to focus exclusively on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident and to discuss the path forward for enhancing the safe operation of nuclear power plants. Co-organised by the NEA and the French Presidency of the G8, the forum was held on 8 June 2011 at the OECD Conference Centre in Paris, France.

Best-estimate methods and uncertainty evaluations

On 16-18 November, the NEA Working Group on Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA) organised a Workshop on Best-Estimate Methods and Uncertainty Evaluations (BEPU) in Barcelona, Spain. Hosted by the Technical University of Catalonia and the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council, the workshop brought together approximately 70 experts who discussed 27 papers covering the latest developments in BEPU methods and the state of the art; international comparative activities; BEPU applications in licensing, safety analysis, and regulatory and industry activities; and BEPU extension to new fields [e.g. coupled computer codes, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and integrated safety assessment methodologies]. Representatives from the NEA presented a keynote address on BEPU which included examples of ongoing activities within the CSNI and the NEA Nuclear Science Committee (NCS). The proceedings of the workshop are expected to be issued in 2012.


Radioactive waste management

WPDD: A decade of decommissioning and dismantling

The NEA Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD) celebrated its 10th anniversary with a one-day seminar during its 15-17 November meeting. The chairperson of the Radioactive Waste Management Committee and representatives from the European Commission (EC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) congratulated the WPDD for its work in helping governments ensure that decommissioning can be done safely, efficiently and in a cost-effective way. During the seminar, participants discussed the current status of decommissioning; challenges to decommissioning including financial, infrastructure and human resources issues; lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident; and decommissioning in the next decade. Approximately 40 decommissioning experts attended the annual meeting to review ongoing WPDD activities, to participate in a topical session on radiological characterisation and to discuss future endeavours of the WPDD in the context of the anniversary seminar.

Workshop on future challenges facing geological repositories

The NEA will host an international workshop on 25-27 January 2012 to discuss challenges over the next five to ten years in licensing, constructing and operating the first deep geological repositories (DGRs) for high-level waste and spent fuel. These challenges imply important changes for waste management organisations and regulatory authorities, as work on disposal shifts from mainly research, development and demonstration to industrial application. New issues include operational safety and reliability, increased demands on human resources, quality assurance activities, requirements management systems and effective project management for construction (including procurement activities) with due consideration of long-term safety imperatives. The workshop will offer participants the opportunity to discuss these emerging issues in the construction and operation of a DGR from the perspective of both the regulator and the implementer.  For more information or to register for the workshop, please visit the NEA website.

Preservation of records, knowledge and memory across generations (RK&M)

Long-term preservation of records, knowledge and memory (RK&M) in radioactive waste management is a multidisciplinary work area in which much learning is expected over the coming years. As part of the NEA RK&M initiative, which runs from 2011 to 2014, the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee has just released its Collective Statement on Records, Knowledge and Memory Preservation across Generations. For more information on the RK&M initiative, please visit the NEA website.


Radiological protection

Sharing information on occupational exposure

The 21st meeting of the Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) Management Board (MB) met on 9-10 November to discuss programme implementation in light of its forthcoming 20th anniversary in 2012. The results of two decades of ISOE research will be tabled during the ISOE International As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) Symposium, organised by the North American Technical Centre in January 2012, and further discussed during the ISOE European Symposium in June 2012. During the November meeting, the ISOE MB also agreed on a proposed framework for co-operation with the Secretariat of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). This framework will facilitate the ISOE’s regular transfer of data and information on occupational radiation exposures at nuclear facilities to UNSCEAR. It will also help to increase awareness among authorities, operators, the scientific community and civil society of the levels and trends of occupational exposure to radiation. In addition, the data will be used to inform decision-making on radiation-related issues.

New analyses of radiation dose rates

The Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE) Working Group on Data Analysis (WGDA) met on 7-8 November. The WGDA is the core group of the ISOE programme that manages the world’s largest database on occupational exposure information for 401 operating nuclear power plants and 81 units in cold-shutdown or some stage of decommissioning in 29 countries. These facilities represent approximately 91% of the world's operating commercial power reactors. During the meeting, the WGDA agreed to create new data analyses concerning radiation dose rates for employees at different types of reactors at various stages of their life cycles. The status of data collection and the use of some specific questionnaires were discussed and proposals were introduced for the approval of ISOE Management Board.


Nuclear development

Uranium supply and demand projections following the Fukushima accident

The Uranium Group held its 47th meeting on 2-4 November. This long-standing group, representing a co-operative effort between the NEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is responsible for producing the biennial publication Uranium: Resources, Production and Demand, commonly known as the "Red Book". During this meeting, participants covered a wide range of topics in order to finalise aspects of the 24th edition of the Red Book that is due to be published in June 2012. Representing both uranium producing and consuming countries and industries, 30 delegates nominated by 23 governments discussed uranium supply and demand issues that have arisen over the last two years. Particular emphasis was placed on long-term uranium supply and demand projections following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

Nuclear energy's role in decarbonising electricity systems

On 9 November, the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Energy Economics (WPNE) hosted an International Workshop on Nuclear Power and the System Effects of Electricity Generation. Participants discussed system costs of power generating technologies, which are the total costs above plant-level costs to supply electricity at consistent loads and supply security. They also validated the NEA’s quantitative methodology for assessing costs, which is a first in this field. System costs have become increasingly important to industry experts and decision-makers due to costs associated with decentralised, intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Although nuclear energy has system costs of its own, its key role in this context relates to its interaction with intermittent renewables in decarbonising electricity systems. While nuclear is flexible enough to provide back-up and balancing services, it is affected by intermittency leading to reduced load factors as well as by lower electricity prices due to renewables supply with very low short-term variable costs. This is why sharing system costs between those who create them, those who are affected by them and electricity consumers at large is so important.


Medical radioisotopes

Impacts of converting to low-enriched uranium on medical radioisotopes' supply and costs

On 22-23 November, the NEA held a workshop on the market impacts of converting to the use of low-enriched uranium (LEU) targets for molybdenum-99 production, including on costs and global/regional security of supply. During the workshop, supply chain experts agreed on the general framework of capacity and cost models of the supply chain, identified the key market impacts from conversion and held preliminary discussions on the degree of the impacts. Over the next year and a half, the project participants will seek to assess the impacts and to develop policy options and recommendations related to the market impacts of conversion. The High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR) plans to issue an interim report in 2012 and to complete the project in 2013.


Data Bank

NEA Data Bank newsletter

Data Bank workshops and training courses

The NEA Data Bank offers approximately six workshops and training courses on computer programs each year in the interest of knowledge transfer and preservation. The classes are taught by the authors of the computer codes.  Participants gain hands-on experience and acquire competence in the use of the codes for problem-solving. Click here to view the list of courses currently offered by the NEA Data Bank.

NEA co-organises the second Neutron Resonance Analysis School (NRAS 2011)

On 14-18 November, the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) hosted the second Neutron Resonance Analysis School (NRAS 2011) in Geel, Belgium. NRAS 2011 was co-organised by the IRMM, the NEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (CEA, France), with support from the European Commission through the European Facility for Innovative Reactor and Transmutation Data (EUFRAT) project under the European Commission’s  7th Framework Programme. More than 40 young nuclear physicists from over 17 countries were trained in the highly specialised field of nuclear interactions with low-energy neutrons. Lectures and exercises were given by experts in the fields of time-of-flight measurements, data reduction and analysis, Evaluated Nuclear Data File (ENDF) and Experimental Nuclear Reaction Data (EXFOR) formats, as well as in nuclear data visualisation tools such as the NEA Java-based nuclear information software (JANIS).

Computer program services

New computer programs available

15-NOV-11

NEA-1849

ZZ PSBT, NUPEC PWR Sub-channel Bundle Tests Benchmark (Arrived)

14-NOV-11

CCC-0784

DIF3D10.0, Variational Nodal Methods, Finite Difference Methods to Solve N diffusion & Transport Theory Problems (Arrived)

14-NOV-11

CCC-0254

ANISN-ORNL, 1-D Neutron Transport & Gamma Transport in Slab, Cylindrical, Spherical Geometry with Anisotropic Scattering (Arrived)

14-NOV-11

CCC-0759

TITAN 1.24, A Three-Dimensional Deterministic Radiation Transport Code System (Arrived)

14-NOV-11

CCC-0768

NRCDOSE72 1.2.1, Evaluation of Routine Radioactive Effluents from Nuclear Power Plants with Windows Interface (Arrived)

09-NOV-11

NEA-1769

ZZ UAM-LWR, Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling, Coupled Multi-physics and Multi-scale LWR analysis (Tested)

08-NOV-11

NEA-1848

ZZ KALININ3, KALININ-3 Coolant Transient Benchmark (Tested)

28-OCT-11

NEA-1868

ZZ PIXE2010, Proton/alpha ionization (K,L,M shell) tabulated cross section library (Tested)

27-OCT-11

NEA-1846

FSKY4C, Gamma Ray Skyshine Analysis Code (Tested)


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