Russian Federation to join the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
On 23 May 2012, an official exchange of letters took place between OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Andrey Denisov and Deputy Director-General of Rosatom Nikolay Spasskiy in the presence of OECD/NEA Director-General Luis Echávarri, to formalise the accession of the Russian Federation to the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and its Data Bank effective as from 1st January 2013. Russia will then become the 31st member country of the NEA.
Thermodynamic Sorption Modelling in Support of Radioactive Waste Disposal Safety Cases
CSNI Technical Opinion Papers No. 14
International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments (DVD)
Nuclear safety and regulation
Top nuclear safety regulators enhance crisis communication following Fukushima
On 9-10 May, senior officials from nuclear regulatory organisations and key stakeholders (municipalities, media, associations and industry) from 28 countries and 7 international organisations met during a two-day International Workshop on Crisis Communication: Facing the Challenges to share best practices and to improve crisis communication. The workshop was organised by the NEA and hosted by the Consejo de Seguridad Nuclear (CSN) in Madrid, Spain. The proceedings are expected to be issued in autumn 2012.
Advancing fire safety research through international co-operation
The final seminar for the Fire Propagation in Elementary Multi-room Scenarios (PRISME) Project (from the French Propagation d'un incendie pour des scénarios multi-locaux élémentaires) was hosted by the French Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN) in Aix-en-Provence, France on 30 May. This joint international research project, which ran from 2006 to 2011, provided a forum for 12 countries to collaborate on fire safety studies directly related to heat and smoke propagation from the fire room to adjacent spaces, fires involving cables and electrical cabinets as well as other integrated experiments. The PRISME project also brought together experts who conducted benchmark studies of code modelling approaches to simulate fire experiments. During the final seminar, approximately 60 experts discussed the main objectives and outcomes of the PRISME project. Participants heard from both internal and external sources as to how PRISME research has advanced the understanding of fire safety research. Experts discussed a number of recommendations and technical work topics, including those addressed by the current PRISME-2 Project.
Increasing understanding of loss-of-coolant accidents
On 29-30 May, members of the NEA Halden Reactor Project (HRP) organised a workshop in Lyon, France on loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) experiments performed in the context of the HRP in Lyon, France. Hosted by Électricité de France (EDF), more than 80 participants from 13 HRP member countries discussed the results of nine LOCA tests using pre-irradiated segments from commercial nuclear power plants. Participants also compared results to those of other national and international programmes to improve the current state of understanding of key LOCA phenomena. These include high burn-up fuel fragmentation, relocation and fuel particle dispersal that were first observed in Halden tests. Outcomes of the discussions will be used to define the future direction of the HRP LOCA testing in order to close gaps in the current state of understanding of key LOCA phenomena.
Discussing international nuclear regulatory inspection practices
The 11th International Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Practices Workshop was held on 20-24 May in Baden, Switzerland. Organised by the NEA Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP), this workshop provided a forum for inspectors from around the world to exchange practices and insights on current issues. During the workshop, 45 participants from 18 countries discussed such topics as: licensees' ageing management programmes, including buried piping; operator competency, including training and qualification; and licensee oversight of contractors.
Round table on decarbonising electricity grids
On 16 May, as a complement to the 8th meeting of the Working Party on Nuclear Energy Economics, the NEA organised a round table on the grid integration of intermittent renewables and dispatchable energies, such as nuclear power, in decarbonising electricity systems. Speakers from the OECD Environment Directorate, the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the NEA shared their findings on new technical challenges arising with increased penetration of variable renewables and on market design and policies that could alleviate them. The NEA presented the major outcomes of the forthcoming study on the system effects of nuclear and renewables in low-carbon energy systems. All participants agreed that this first joint round table was a very helpful way to enhance co-ordination within the OECD on this important issue.
NEA at the World Nuclear University's School on Radiation Technologies
The NEA was invited to participate in the World Nuclear University's School on Radiation Technologies (WNURT) in Daejeon, South Korea on 13 May-1 June. This leadership development programme helps young professionals increase their understanding of radioisotopes and radiation technologies as well as their awareness of issues encountered by practitioners in the field. The NEA's Chad Westmacott was invited as a faculty member to discuss the economics of the molybdenum-99 supply chain and the work of the NEA High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR) in this area. The NEA's participation in the WNURT was an excellent opportunity to introduce participants to the major economic issues at hand and the importance of moving this commercial market to a sustainable basis.
Workshops on Reactor Transients and Uncertainty Analyses
Under the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS), a series of workshops on reactor transients and uncertainty analyses were held in Karlsruhe, Germany on 7-11 May. The workshops were hosted by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and attended by more than 80 experts. The series included the sixth workshop of the OECD/NEA Benchmark for Uncertainty Analysis in Best-Estimate Modelling for Design, Operation and Safety Analysis of LWRs (UAM-6), the fourth workshop of the OECD/NEA Benchmark for Kalinin-3 Coupled Code Calculations and Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (K3-4), and the first workshop of the OECD/NEA-NRC Oskarshamn-2 BWR Stability Benchmark for Coupled Code Calculations and Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (O2-1).
NEA hosts meeting on international nuclear data evaluation co-operation
The NEA hosted the annual meeting of the Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) on 21-25 May. Participants reviewed the status of major evaluated nuclear data libraries and associated nuclear data measurement programmes as well as the status of WPEC subgroups. Subgroup 31 on Meeting nuclear data needs for advanced reactor systems has completed its work and the final report is being prepared. Subgroup 33 on Methods and issues for the combined use of integral experiments and covariance data will complete its work by the end of the year. In addition to the long-term effort to maintain the High Priority Request List (HPRL) for nuclear data, three ongoing subgroups are addressing the following issues: Co-ordinated evaluation of Plutonium-239 in the resonance region (Subgroup 34), Scattering angular distribution in the fast energy range (Subgroup 35) and Reporting and usage of experimental data for evaluation in the resolved resonance region (Subgroup 36). The WPEC has launched two new subgroups to work on Improved fission product yield evaluation methodologies (Subgroup 37) and on A modern nuclear database structure beyond the ENDF format (Subgroup 38). More information is available on the NEA website.
JANIS 3.4 launched
The NEA has released a new version of the Java-based nuclear information software (JANIS). JANIS is a display program that facilitates access to bibliographical, experimental and evaluated nuclear data. It offers powerful capabilities to display, compare and compute various types of nuclear data (cross-sections, spectra, radioactive decay data and fission yields). JANIS 3.4 allows the user to access the most recent evaluated data libraries (including JEFF-3.1.2, ENDF/B-VII.1, IRDFF-1.0 and TENDL-2011). This version includes an extension of the ENDF format for energy release in fission and R-matrix resonance parameters, as well as a new decay paths viewer that provides a clearer display and more customisation options. The new version is available online and on DVD along with its main databases. Find out more about JANIS and how to obtain a copy on the NEA website.
Computer program services
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