NEA Monthly News Bulletin - January 2016

New at the NEA

NEA Director-General delivers keynote at the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA)

On 8 December 2015, NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, delivered a keynote speech at the Ministerial‑Level Meeting of the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) in Tokyo, Japan. During his speech, Mr Magwood addressed the role of nuclear energy in combating climate change and envisaged possible co‑operation between the FNCA and the NEA. The FNCA member countries – Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam – adopted a joint communiqué that mentioned, among other projects, promoting co‑operation with international organisations such as the NEA.

NEA takes part in COP21NEA takes part in COP21

The NEA officially launched its new brochure on Nuclear Energy: Combating Climate Change at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In co‑operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the NEA also held two side-events on "Why the Climate Needs Nuclear Energy" on 10‑11 December 2015. The purpose of the events was to highlight the role of nuclear power in helping to achieve the agreed target of limiting the rise in global mean temperatures to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The side-events benefitted not only from good co-operation among the NEA, the OECD and the IAEA, but also from a lively exchange with an interested and receptive audience. NEA representatives were present throughout the Conference at the OECD pavilion and the exhibition booth.

Workshop on Regulatory Oversight of the Commissioning Phase for New ReactorsNuclear Energy: Combating Climate Change

The international response to global climate change is a key policy concern of the 21st century. Governments around the world have reached a general consensus on the need to achieve large cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades, to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to ensure the necessary financial and technical support for developing countries to take action. NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, and NEA experts explain the role of nuclear energy in combating climate change within the 2oC (the "2DS") scenario. Watch the video here:

International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE) 2015Applications open for International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE)

The five‑day International Nuclear Law Essentials course has been designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. This intensive course has been designed to accommodate the needs and interests of lawyers working in either the public or the private sectors but will also be of interest to scientists, engineers, policymakers, managers and other professionals working in the nuclear field. The next session of the INLE will take place on 15‑19 February 2016. For more information on the course and to apply, see

Workshop on Regulatory Oversight of the Commissioning Phase for New ReactorsWorld Nuclear University (WNU) Summer Institute

The NEA is one of the founding organisations and a co‑sponsor of the World Nuclear University (WNU) Summer Institute. The Summer Institute's 2016 session will take place between 28 June and 5 August 2016 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, Canada. The intensive six‑week programme will include lectures and tutorials and cover global environment and sustainable development, nuclear‑related technology innovation, nuclear diplomacy and nuclear operations. For more information and to apply, visit

Nuclear safety technology and regulation

Updates on defence-in-depth and the safety culture of the regulatory body

At its biannual meeting on 30 November‑1 December 2015, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) discussed and approved the release of the following three reports: Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident, the Safety Culture of an Effective Nuclear Regulatory Body and Implementation of Defence‑in‑Depth for Nuclear Power Plants following the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. The CNRA also approved the completion of the mandates of the Senior‑level Task Group (STG) on Defence‑in‑Depth (DiD) and the Senior‑level Task Group (STG) on Safety Culture of the Regulatory Body (SCRB). The CNRA endorsed the 13th International Workshop on Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Activities on experience from inspection activities during the transition from an operating reactor to a defueled status with a commitment to permanently cease power operations, on inspection of modifications and on the inspector's role in the enforcement process. The workshop will be hosted by the Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) and Bel V on 17‑21 April 2016 in Bruges, Belgium. In addition, the Committee members approved a one‑year extension of the current CNRA chair and bureau.

Joint NEA/IAEA Group on Uranium (UG)Consequences of reactivity-initiated accidents for PWR fuel

The NEA CABRI International Project (CIP) investigates the ability of irradiated fuels in pressurised water reactors (PWRs) to withstand sharp power transients leading to fast reactivity injection into the core, so‑called reactivity‑initiated accidents (RIAs) that can arise from, for example, control‑rod ejection. The CIP Steering Committee had a conducted tour of the CABRI facility on 1 December 2015. The CIP aims to extend the database for high burn-up fuel behaviour and, importantly, to perform the majority of tests in conditions representative of PWR RIAs. The experimental programme is being planned by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) at Cadarache, France, where the CABRI facility is located. The CIP began in March 2000 and two RIA tests using high burn‑up PWR fuel were performed in 2002 in an experimental loop filled, at that time, with liquid sodium. Since then the IRSN, in co‑operation with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), has been designing, building and installing a new water‑filled loop for accurate reproduction of PWR conditions for further RIA tests. An extensive general upgrade of the facility was also required. In October 2015 the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) issued its final authorisation for the reactor of the refurbished CABRI facility to restart and the first criticalities were produced by the CEA-IRSN team on 20 October 2015. The aim is to perform the first RIA test in the new water loop in spring 2017.

Joint NEA/IAEA Group on Uranium (UG)Safety of nuclear installations

The NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) held its biannual meeting on 2‑3 December 2015. The committee discussed and approved the release of the NEA report, Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident, which summarises the progress the NEA and its member countries have made in addressing the lessons learnt from the accident. Committee members also approved eight new tasks and 11 reports, included a benchmark on fast‑running tools for estimating fission product releases in a nuclear accident. This completed the last of eight priority activities undertaken by the CSNI following the accident at Fukushima. The committee members also approved the mandate for a new working group on safety of electrical systems, which will support member countries in ensuring nuclear plants have robust and reliable electrical systems.

Benchmark study of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident

Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident and in response to a request from Japan, the NEA established a joint project to improve the understanding and modelling of accident progression at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The project is now in its second phase and the most recent meeting was held on 7‑10 December 2015 with more than 40 representatives from 10 countries in attendance. Participants were given a summary of recent findings from on-site investigations at Fukushima, including remote observations inside the damaged reactors. They also discussed progress on modelling studies and information required for their simulations. In addition, a one‑day workshop on the state of knowledge of fission product behaviour was held so that international experts could provide background and advice in support of Japanese activities on the Fukushima site.

Radiological protection

Advancing nuclear emergency mattersAdvancing nuclear emergency matters

The 40th meeting of the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) was held on 8‑9 December 2015 with the participation of 39 representatives from 17 countries. This year exchanges mainly focused on the NEA International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX‑5) on notification, communication and interfaces related to catastrophic events involving radiation or radiological materials. A key message from the NEA was to encourage participating countries to play a regional exercise with neighbouring or non-neighbouring countries in order to investigate further how countries can improve these aspects should they ever be required again. The INEX‑5 exercise represents an opportunity for participating countries to test and demonstrate the value of relevant changes put in place nationally, regionally or internationally following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.

Stakeholder dialogue on radiological protection

Between September 2011 and August 2015, the International Commission on Radiological Protection organised a series of 12 stakeholder dialogue workshops with residents of Fukushima Prefecture. Discussions focused on recovery, addressing topics such as the protection of children, the management of contaminated food, monitoring and self-help measures. The NEA supported the dialogues and attended all 12 meetings to directly listen to the concerns of affected individuals and to draw lessons for the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH). To summarise the dialogue results, the ICRP organised, with the NEA and other organisations' support, a final meeting on 12‑13 December 2015 in Fukushima Prefecture, with high-level participation from the NEA, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA), the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan. The lessons from and utility of the dialogues were praised by the participants and sponsors, and the ICRP agreed that some form of dialogue would continue, although with ICRP participation and support rather than leadership. A report summarising the lessons learnt will be submitted to the CRPPH for approval in April 2016.

Nuclear law

Nuclear Law Bulletin No. 95Regulatory and institutional framework for nuclear activities

The NEA has updated, in co-ordination with the Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the OECD, the report on the Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities in Slovenia. These NEA country reports provide comprehensive information on the regulatory and institutional framework governing nuclear activities in OECD and NEA member countries. Each country profile provides a detailed review of a full range of nuclear law topics, including: mining regime; radioactive substances; nuclear installations; trade in nuclear materials and equipment; radiation protection; radioactive waste management; non-proliferation and physical protection; transport; and nuclear third party liability. The report on Slovenia is available for download at

Nuclear science

International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE) 2015International criticality safety benchmark evaluation

The 2015 edition of the International Handbook of Evaluated Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiments presents evaluated criticality safety benchmark data in nine volumes that span over 69 000 pages. The handbook contains 567 evaluations with benchmark specifications for 4 874 critical, near‑critical or subcritical configurations, 31 criticality alarm placement/shielding configurations with multiple dose points for each, and 207 configurations that have been categorised as fundamental physics measurements that are relevant to criticality safety applications. Requests to obtain the DVD or online access should be made by completing the online Handbook Request Form. The handbook also includes an updated version of the Database for the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (DICE).

Data Bank

NEA Nuclear Data Week

On 30 November‑3 December 2015, the NEA Data Bank hosted Nuclear Data Week to promote co‑operation among experimentalists, nuclear data evaluators and end‑users of nuclear data. Organised within the framework of the Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion File (JEFF) activity since 2010, NEA Nuclear Data Week aims at fostering ties among various nuclear data expert communities in order to address the needs and challenges of nuclear systems more effectively and with sufficient anticipation. The autumn 2015 edition of Nuclear Data Week was attended by over 80 experts from 17 countries and international organisations representing the JEFF participants and the Nuclear Systems and Scenarios Project of the French research framework NEEDS. A workshop on nuclear data measurements kicked off the events, followed by the inaugural meetings of the recently established JEFF working groups on "Experiments and Measurements", "JEFF Evaluations", "Fission Yield and Decay Data", "Covariances", "Thermal Scattering Data", "Fusion", "Processing and Verification" and "Benchmarking and Validation". During the week, additional meetings were held by the NEA Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) Subgroup 37 on "Improved fission product yield evaluation methodologies" and Subgroup 39 on "Methods and approaches to provide feedback from nuclear and covariance data adjustment for improvement of nuclear data files".

Computer program services

Training courses

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