NEA Monthly News Bulletin - July 2012

New at the NEA

OECD/NEA Director-General in the UK: nuclear power post-Fukushima

On 25-26 June, OECD/NEA Director-General Luis Echávarri and high-level officials from the United Kingdom (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) held in-depth discussions on electricity market reform and prospects for new nuclear power plants, and explored ways to enhance UK and NEA co-operation. On 25 June, the Director-General addressed a wide audience of top nuclear energy decision-makers, experts and industry CEOs at the opening of the 7th annual Platts European nuclear power conference where he spoke about the impact of the Fukushima Daiichi accident on nuclear power and the safety implications for the future. The UK Minister of State for Energy, Charles Hendry, also addressed the conference which focused on new nuclear build and associated challenges.

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.

OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) follow-up to the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident
16 pages.

Methods for Safety Assessment of Geological Disposal Facilities for Radioactive Waste
ISBN: 978-92-64-99190-3, 240 pages.

The Role of Nuclear Energy in a Low-carbon Energy Future
ISBN: 978-92-64-99189-7, 96 pages.

Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation
ISBN: 978-92-64-99174-3, 404 pages.


Nuclear safety and regulation

CNRA to create new task group on accident management post-Fukushima

At its 4-5 June meeting, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) decided to establish a new task group which will address the challenges and changes to accident management programmes after the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi accident. The group will be created in the coming months on the recommendation of the CNRA Senior-level Task Group on Impacts of the Fukushima Accident, and will report to the CNRA in December with tasks and a work schedule. Committee members discussed the conclusions from two recent workshops: the senior-level International Workshop on Crisis Communication and the expert-level International Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Workshop. They also discussed the characteristics of an effective regulator, highlighting necessary qualities such as independence, technical competency, accountability, predictability, consistency and transparency. Finally, the progress of the regulatory working groups and task groups was reviewed.

CSNI approves technical tasks in follow-up to Fukushima

During its 6-7 June meeting, the NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) approved five task proposals directly related to the lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. They concern human performance under extreme conditions; filtered containment venting; fast-running software tools to model fission product release; metallic components under high seismic loads; and natural external events. The Committee also approved an additional three new tasks of high safety importance and ten final reports from the committee’s working groups and joint international research projects. The meeting attracted 55 experts from 23 countries and representatives from international organisations.

Workshop on Fukushima Daiichi Accident Analysis

On 18-20 June, the NEA hosted a workshop in Paris, France, on Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident analysis, bringing together 30 experts from six countries including representatives of Japanese government and industry. Participants discussed and compared code modelling results of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant severe accident phenomena. The workshop enabled effective information exchange among participants and progress towards refinement and improvements in code modelling approaches. Participants agreed to pursue a code benchmarking exercise in the form of a joint international research project to commence in late 2012.  The multi-phase benchmark exercise will allow participants to further evaluate accident progression and to better estimate the current status inside the reactor pressure vessels and primary containment vessels of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant units, as well as to improve the methods and models of severe accident analysis codes. 

Competence, knowledge and experience in thermal-hydraulics

The NEA held the 3rd THICKET seminar on 25-29 June 2012. This seminar series, organised with the support of the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency, is dedicated to transferring competence, knowledge and experience gained through CSNI activities in the field of thermal-hydraulics over the past three decades. This seminar’s technical programme was built on experience gained from previous seminars in 2004 and 2008. This time, new topics such as best-estimate methods and uncertainty evaluation, computational fluid dynamics, safety margin assessment and application, and OECD project outcomes were added to the programme. The seminar included 33 presentations and was attended by 38 participants from 15 countries. The next THICKET seminar will be organised in three to four years and will include relevant feedback from NEA follow-up activities on the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

NEA participates in joint mission to Vietnam

On 26-27 June, the NEA participated in a joint mission with the IAEA and member countries of the Regulatory Co-operation Forum (RCF) to meet with government officials in Vietnam.  The mission was conducted at the request of the Vietnamese regulator (VARANS) in order to share international requirements, experiences and practices for regulatory bodies that Vietnam may want to consider as it moves forward with the planned nuclear power programme.  Meetings were held with the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam and senior government officials from the seven Ministries with regulatory responsibilities for nuclear power (the ministries of Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Natural Resources and the Environment, Construction, Public Security, National Defence and Health).  During these meetings the RCF, IAEA, and NEA participants shared their insights on how they address the issues of regulatory independence and technical and regulatory competencies within their own legislative and cultural frameworks.  The mission also included a seminar for other key decision-makers within each of the government ministries on the importance of a strong and robust regulatory framework to support nuclear power. A key message shared by the Deputy Prime Minister was Vietnam’s commitment to have a clearly defined and effectively independent regulatory framework in place before any operation of a nuclear power plant.


Nuclear law

INLE: Providing focused training in nuclear law

The second session of the International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE) course was held on 4-8 June 2012 in Paris, France, attracting participants from 13 countries for a week of lectures and discussions on nuclear law.  Experts addressed fundamental principles and current developments in areas such as radiological protection, regulatory effectiveness, liability and insurance, contracting, nuclear safety, nuclear security and safeguards. The INLE is intended to provide a concentrated training programme for busy professionals to enhance or refresh their understanding of legal issues in the nuclear energy field.  The course builds on the success of the International School of Nuclear Law, a programme now in its 12th year that is organised by the NEA in co-operation with the University of Montpellier 1. The third INLE session is tentatively being planned for the autumn of 2013.


Nuclear development

NEA at the Rio +20 UN summit on sustainable development

The Rio de Janeiro +20 UN summit on sustainable development was held on 11-25 June, 20 years after the iconic Earth Summit held in the same city. The meeting was the largest UN summit ever organised, with representatives from 196 countries attending. The NEA co-sponsored two events, both with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The first was hosted by the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Association and was attended by close to 100 participants. It addressed nuclear energy’s role in sustainable development. Without energy, it is clear that developing countries cannot reach desired levels of sustainability. The other event, an official United Nations side event which was supported by the Stockholm Institute of Technology and the Mexican Water Authority, considered nuclear energy’s contributions to sustainability in energy, agriculture, marine protection and atmospheric pollution monitoring as well as water conservation.


Nuclear science

Nuclear science annual review

The annual meeting of the Nuclear Science Committee was held on 13-15 June. Status reports on each of the five nuclear science working parties and one standing expert group were reviewed, covering activities in the areas of nuclear data evaluation, the fuel cycle, multi-scale modelling of materials, criticality safety, reactor systems and minor actinide management. The status of the proposal for the Thermodynamics of Advanced Fuels – International Database (TAF-ID) project was also reviewed. In-depth discussions on scientific research needs post-Fukushima were initiated with an overview of the accident and the current status of the recovery plans. This was followed by a presentation showing how comprehensive simulations are being developed to provide a very detailed understanding of how the reactor cores behaved and how these events led to significant releases of radiation. The discussions then focused on how the accident might impact NEA nuclear science activities.


Data Bank

JANIS books released

The latest versions of the JANIS software and database have been used to produce a compilation of cross-section curves and associated information for neutron-, photon- and light-charged-particle-induced reactions below 200 MeV. The JANIS books, based on this compilation, allow a global comparison of evaluated cross-sections with corresponding experimental data from the EXFOR database for a number of evaluated libraries, nuclear reactions and associated reaction products. In addition, tables of simple integral neutron cross-section data are provided for the main reaction channels, as well as tables of reaction Q values for residual production cross-sections. Find more information on the NEA website, or download the books at: www.oecd-nea.org/janis/book.

Computer program services

New computer programs available

04-JUL-12

NEA-1870

ZZ VITENDF70.BOLIB, ENDF/B-VII.0 Multi-Grp Coupled (199n +42gamma)X-Sec.Lib.in AMPX Fmt for Nuclear Fission Applications (Tested)

29-JUN-12

CCC-0785

SCALE 6.1, Modular system for criticality, shielding, source term, fuel depletion/decay, inventories, reactor physics (Arrived)

20-JUN-12

NEA-1864

GEF, Code for Simulation of Nuclear Fission Process (Arrived)

19-JUN-12

NEA-1564

EASY-2010, European Neutron Activation System (Tested)

19-JUN-12

PSR-0568

PICES, Probabilistic Investigation of Capacity and Energy Shortages (Arrived)

19-JUN-12

CCC-0729

SERA-1C1, Simulation environment for radiotherapy applications (Arrived)

19-JUN-12

USCD1237

DRAGON2PARTISN, Cross-Sections Data Generation for PARTISN4.0 (Tested)

08-JUN-12

NEA-1760

JANIS 3.4, a Java-based nuclear data display program (Tested)

04-JUN-12

NEA-1278

CALENDF-2010, Pointwise, Multigroup Neutron Cross-Sections and Probability Tables from ENDF/B Evaluations (Tested)


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