NEA Monthly News Bulletin - June 2014

New at the NEA

New at the NEA feature - Strengthened co-operation between the NEA and the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China Strengthened co-operation between the NEA and the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China

A Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Regulation of Nuclear and Radiation Safety has been signed by the NEA and the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) of China, strengthening co-operation between both parties. One of the goals of the co-operation will be to share experience on the effective regulation and oversight of nuclear safety, as well as best practices in licensing and oversight of civil nuclear facilities. The MOU also foresees co-operation on nuclear safety research, the development of international legal frameworks and the performance of analyses which are essential for the safe and environmentally friendly use of nuclear energy. Read the press release.

New publications

Managing Environmental and Health Impacts of Uranium Mining
NEA No. 7062, 140 pages.

2013 NEA Annual Report 
NEA No. 7174, 60 pages.

OECD/NEA International Conference on Global Nuclear Safety Enhancement
Online proceedings now available: Tokyo conference | View more

Nuclear safety and regulation

MDEP conference on new reactor design activities

On 14-15 May 2014, the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) held a Conference on New Reactor Design Activities. The conference, which was held in Bethesda, Maryland (United States), brought together nearly 150 specialists, including representatives from national nuclear regulatory authorities, international organisations, the nuclear industry and licensees. The event provided a forum for MDEP stakeholders to share the results of their engagement with the programme and to deliver presentations on ongoing activities related to new reactor licensing. Participants also gave feedback on current MDEP activities and offered their views regarding the programme's future. The conference included sessions on: design-specific working groups, commissioning activities, vendor inspections, digital instrumentation and control (I&C), new reactor activities related to the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the harmonisation of codes and standards, and future MDEP activities. More information on the MDEP, for which the NEA acts as Technical Secretariat, can be found on the MDEP web page.

Nuclear development

The costs of decommissioning nuclear power plants

On 27-28 May 2014, participants in the NEA Ad Hoc Expert Group on Costs of Decommissioning, which aims to analyse methodologies for the estimation of costs and the funding mechanisms for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, presented case studies on decommissioning strategies, plans and experience from Finland, the Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom, as well as an in-depth review of the decommissioning financing system in Sweden. Participants agreed on the need for a detailed analysis of historical costs from the United States, and on the next steps required for assessing the range of cost estimates which had been provided through a questionnaire. The group’s report is due to be completed in the latter part of 2014.

Radiological protection

Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health agrees on new initiatives

On 21-23 May 2014, the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) met to discuss the Fukushima recovery and radiological protection science, as well as the committee’s recent achievements and plans for the future. These include the Fifth International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX-5), scheduled to be conducted from September 2015 to March 2016, a fourth Science and Values workshop, a seventh Asian Regional Conference on the Evolution of the System of Radiological Protection, and the organisation of a webinar on public dialogue and social media for radiological protection. The committee agreed to explore the possibility of a joint undertaking which would develop an approach to individualising radiation exposure risk as a function of body mass, age and gender. Participants also agreed that there should be an update of the criteria for the exclusion of nuclear installations undergoing decommissioning from the application of the Paris Convention on Nuclear Third Party Liability.

Nuclear science

Reactor transients and uncertainty analyses of light water reactors

On 12-16 May 2014, the NEA organised two workshops on reactor transients and uncertainty analyses of light water reactors (LWRs), hosted by the Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) in Garching, Germany. The two events were held under the auspices of the NEA Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS) and were the latest in a series of events organised by the WPRS Expert Group on Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (EGUAM). The first workshop, UAM-8, was the eighth in the series of the Benchmark for Uncertainty Analysis in Best-estimate Modelling for Design, Operation and Safety Analysis of LWRs. The second workshop, O2-3, was the third in the series of the NEA/NRC Oskarshamn-2 BWR Stability Benchmark for Coupled Code Calculations and Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling. More information on WPRS activities is available on the WPRS web page.

International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation: 25th Anniversary

On 12-16 May, the NEA organised the 25th anniversary meeting of the NEA Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) to review worldwide progress in nuclear data evaluation and measurement activities, the status of joint actions and future challenges. The WPEC was established in 1989 to promote the exchange of information on nuclear data evaluation and related topics, and to provide an international framework for co-operative activities among the major evaluation projects in Japan (JENDL), Russia (BROND), the United States (ENDF), other Data Bank member countries (JEFF) and China (CENDL) in close co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The working party assesses nuclear data improvement needs and addresses these needs by initiating joint evaluation or measurement efforts. During the last 25 years the WPEC has facilitated co-operation among scientists and guided progress towards improved nuclear data libraries for the simulation of nuclear energy applications. More information on WPEC activities and related documents is available on the WPEC web page.

Experimental criticality and reactor physics benchmarks

The International Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments (IRPhE) Project preserves nuclear reactor measurements which are compiled into experimental benchmarks relevant to the reactor physics community. The ninth edition of the IRPhE handbook was released in May 2014 and includes 133 benchmarks as well as the IRPhE Database and Analysis Tool (IDAT). Developed at the NEA, IDAT improves the accessibility of information and the identification of relevant experiments. The IRPhE Project is modelled on the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP), whose Technical Review Group met on 15-16 May. The purpose of the ICSBEP is to compile critical and subcritical experimental data into standardised benchmarks. This allows criticality safety analysts to validate calculation tools and cross-section libraries. The ICSBEP handbook serves as a reference for approximately 4 800 critical experiments performed worldwide.

Data Bank

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ROSA-2, Rig-of-safety Assessment Project

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