Addressing challenges and opportunities regarding the financing of nuclear power plant projects
Over 150 leading stakeholders from more than 30 countries convened at the international conference on "Nuclear Energy's Role in the 21st Century: Addressing the Challenge of Financing" to discuss the primary challenges faced by the markets and to develop implementable approaches and solutions. The conference was held on 11‑12 May 2016 in Paris, France by the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), in co‑operation with the NEA, and is the latest IFNEC instalment of a multi‑year, stakeholder‑wide focus on the financial challenges faced by nuclear energy‑related projects. Read more.
NEA official visit to Russia
On 18 May 2016, the NEA visited ROSATOM Central Institute for Continuing Education and Training (CICE&T) to discuss ongoing and future co-operation under NEA auspices in the areas of nuclear skills capability building, knowledge transfer and technical innovation to support future generations of nuclear scientists and engineers for continued safe use of nuclear energy. ROSATOM-CICE&T has been co-operating with the NEA Data Bank since 2014, mainly on computer codes and training courses that support competence building for nuclear safety assessment. During the visit, NEA representatives were also introduced to the main lines of ongoing ROSATOM-CICE&T activities in the area of nuclear safety culture, which is among the Institute's highest priorities. The visit was very informative and constructive, and took place in a spirit of openness and mutual benefit from co-operation.
Nuclear safety research at the Halden reactor
On 9 May 2016, the NEA Halden Reactor Project, the Agency's longest‑running and largest joint project, convened the Enlarged Halden Programme Group (EHPG) meeting in Norway. The meeting brought together nearly 250 delegates from 22 countries and featured a keynote speech by the NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, entitled "Looking Forward: Nuclear Science Addressing the Challenges of the Future". The plenary session also addressed such other topics as innovation in the nuclear field, the progress of nuclear new build in Finland, and the challenges associated with nuclear R&D and its funding. The subsequent technical sessions on fuels and materials (F&M) and man‑technology‑organisation (MTO) covered all the main areas of the project, including reports on the joint and participant-sponsored programme results. The meeting also included system demonstration sessions showing applications of virtual reality.
Addressing uncertainties in cost estimations for decommissioning
On 18-20 May 2016, the NEA Decommissioning Cost Estimation Group (DCEG) held its annual meeting in Madrid, Spain. Discussions focused on the preliminary draft of a report addressing the uncertainties in cost estimations for the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, being jointly prepared by the NEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Based on the experiences of NEA member countries, the report describes how in-scope uncertainties (estimating uncertainties, contingencies) and out-of-scope uncertainties (risks) can be addressed in cost estimations for nuclear facilities. It also features two case studies illustrating specific issues relevant to the consideration and analysis of estimating uncertainties and risks in decommissioning cost estimation. The report is intended to provide guidance for producers of cost estimates as well as for decision makers, and is expected to be published in early 2017. Regarding the future activities of the group, the attending members decided to undertake the challenge of benchmarking decommissioning costs in order to enhance the understanding of and confidence in cost estimates. The meeting ended with a technical visit to the José Cabrera nuclear power plant decommissioning project.
NEA takes part in IRPA14
The NEA participated in the 14th Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 9-13 May 2016, giving nine oral presentations and presenting posters on the following topics: lessons from the Fukushima stakeholder dialogues, the NEA post‑accident food management framework, the Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE), the NEA stakeholder dialogue webinars, the state of the art in radiological protection science, the fifth NEA International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX-5), the importance of prevailing circumstances to the radiological protection system, the results of the fourth Science and Values Workshop, and plain‑language communication and informed decision making. The Agency was also represented in two panel discussions. The Congress provided a unique opportunity to hear the latest innovations in science, regulation and practice in radiological protection from leading world scientists and practitioners, and provided an excellent platform for discussion and dissemination of NEA activities.
International nuclear data evaluation co‑operation
The NEA Working Party on International Nuclear Data Evaluation Co-operation (WPEC) held its annual meeting on 9‑13 May 2016, bringing together over 80 experts from 15 countries and four international organisations. Participants discussed technical issues related to the evaluation methodologies of fission product yields, the definition of a modern database structure, methods and approaches to provide feedback from nuclear and covariance data adjustments, nuclear data evaluation of 241Am and 237Np capture cross‑sections, and neutron thermal scattering kernels. They also evaluated nuclear data advances in the CIELO (Collaborative International Evaluated Library Organisation) Pilot Project focusing on six important isotopes (1H, 16O, 56Fe, 235, 238U and 239Pu). Other highlights of the meeting included the proposals to launch two new sub‑groups, one to work on the code infrastructure to support a general nuclear database structure, and one to develop an international standard for a general nuclear database structure.
SCALE 6.2, A Comprehensive Modeling and Simulation Suite for Nuclear Safety Analysis and Design
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