NEA celebrates its 60-year anniversary
Nearly 200 senior leaders in the international nuclear sector from 31 countries came together in Paris on 19 April 2018 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NEA and to discuss the current state and future prospects for nuclear energy. To mark the occasion, the NEA organised a special high‑level session for senior leaders in the nuclear sector. "There have been many successes and accomplishments over the last 60 years. While we take this opportunity to recognise the tremendous contributions of the men and women who have served with the NEA over the decades, we are excited by the road before us, the challenges ahead and the as yet unknown priorities of tomorrow," said NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV during his opening remarks at the session. "The work of the NEA is always just beginning." Read more
New NEA committee to focus on decommissioning and legacy management
The NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy held its biannual meeting on 19‑20 April 2018. Among the decisions taken, the committee approved the establishment of the new NEA Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management, which will enable the NEA to assist its members in managing a broader range of decommissioning issues including the management of legacy sites and legacy waste. In forming the new committee, the NEA will convene a balanced composition of policy developers and experts representing regulatory bodies and implementers in order to facilitate comprehensive exchanges of experiences and best practices in the field of nuclear decommissioning and legacy management. Accordingly, the committee delegates will share their national expertise in decommissioning planning and strategies selection, as well as lessons learnt in managing decommissioning challenges. The new committee will co-ordinate closely with other NEA bodies, as well as with relevant activities in other multilateral institutions.
Japanese State Minister Tadahiko Ito visits the NEA to discuss further co‑operation
Mr Tadahiko Ito, State Minister of the Cabinet Office and of the Environment, Japan visited the NEA on 3 May 2018 to meet with NEA representatives including Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer Daniel Iracane, Deputy Director‑General for Management and Planning Masahiko Fujihara, and Deputy Head of the NEA Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety Ted Lazo. State Minister Ito thanked the NEA for its contributions to the recovery of Fukushima after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and discussed possible follow‑up to the 2016 NEA workshop on "Post‑accident Food Safety Science" held in Fukushima. In particular, the Minister expressed his thanks for the NEA's support for the Soma Agricultural High School students who took part in the workshop, and underlined the importance of taking care of the younger generation during the Fukushima prefecture recovery process. The State Minister also gave an update on the impressive progress with off‑site decontamination in the surrounding areas of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and a nuclear emergency response exercise to be held in Japan later this year. Dr Iracane outlined ongoing work towards developing an international instrument to formalise the framework for post‑accident food management and the second NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Decision Making to be held in 2019.
NEA participates in the JAIF annual conference
NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV visited Japan in April for a series of meetings with various ministries and institutions, including the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC). On 9 April, he delivered a special presentation during the opening session of the Japan Atomic Industry Forum (JAIF) annual conference. During his speech, Mr Magwood highlighted the need for nuclear innovation, as well as the long‑term role of nuclear energy within the context of global climate change. He also presented the NEA Nuclear Innovation 2050 (NI2050) initiative, which seeks to identify global priorities for future research and development, and to establish frameworks for innovation and accelerated implementation of new technologies.
First reactivity-initiated accident test completed successfully at the renovated CABRI facility
Within the framework of the NEA CABRI International Project (CIP) a first test simulating a reactivity initiated accident (RIA) in conditions reproducing those in a pressurised-water reactor (PWR) was successfully carried out on 16 April 2018. The test was performed at the Cabri facility in Cadarache, France by the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety - IRSN), with the support of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), in the new pressurised-water loop that was installed recently as part of a major renovation programme.
The NEA CIP Project investigates fuel and cladding behaviour in PWRs during RIAs that involve a sudden localised accidental increase of core power that would arise from, for example, control rod ejection. 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. "After ten years of major refurbishments, the Cabri reactor is now equipped with a new configuration that will enable the NEA CIP Project to study the safety behaviour of fuels in more fully representative PWR conditions," noted the NEA Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer Dr Daniel Iracane. "The successful completion of this test positions Cabri as a new major asset for the continuous enhancement of our knowledge base, and for the future of nuclear fuel safety worldwide."
More information on the NEA CIP project is available here.
Electricity provision touches upon every facet of life in OECD and non‑OECD countries alike, and choosing how this electricity is generated – whether from fossil fuels, nuclear energy or renewables – affects not only economic outcomes but individual and social well‑being in the broader sense. Research on the overall costs of electricity is an ongoing effort, as only certain costs of electricity provision are perceived directly by producers and consumers. Other costs, such as the health impacts of air pollution, damage from climate change or the effects on the electricity system of small‑scale variable production are not reflected in market prices and thus diminish well‑being in unaccounted for ways.
Accounting for these social costs in order to establish the full costs of electricity provision is difficult, yet such costs are too important to be disregarded in the context of the energy transitions currently under way in OECD countries. This report draws on evidence from a large number of studies concerning the social costs of electricity and identifies proven instruments for internalising them so as to improve overall welfare. The results outlined in the report should lead to new and more comprehensive research on the full costs of electricity, which in turn would allow policy makers and the public to make better informed decisions along the path towards fully sustainable electricity systems.
Download the report at oe.cd/nea-full-costs-2018
Nuclear regulatory inspection practices
The NEA Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP) held its 14th International Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Workshop on 9‑12 April 2018 in Heidelberg, Germany. The workshop was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and supported by the German Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) and the German Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg (UM BW). The workshop was attended by nearly 50 participants from 16 countries and provided a forum for inspectors from around the world to discuss inspection practices and to exchange insights on current issues. Participants discussed, in particular, three topics: (i) the inspector's role in the regulatory body's assessment of the licensee's human organisational aspects; (ii) how to inspect a licensee's corrective action programme; and (iii) the inspection of the safety systems, structures and component current design basis. The workshop proceedings will include commendable inspection practices identified during the discussion to help nuclear regulatory organisations improve their inspection programmes.
Digital instrumentation and control systems in nuclear power plants
The recently established NEA Working Group on Digital Instrumentation and Control (WGDIC) held its first meeting on 9‑12 April 2018, with experts from ten member countries and observers from the People's Republic of China, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The participants at this first meeting discussed the development of a common position on the "Qualification of I&C Platform" and an update of the previous common position on the "Treatment of Data Communication Independence". The work of the WGDIC had been previously conducted under the auspices of the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP). The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) decided to form the WGDIC in December 2017 to take over important, ongoing work in the area of digital instrumentation. The WGDIC serves as a forum to enable increased international co‑operation amongst regulators, to gain a better understanding of emerging digital instrumentation and control (I&C) issues, and to work towards the convergence of regulatory practices for operating and new reactor design reviews.
Convergence and reconciliation of codes and standards for nuclear power plant component design
The CNRA and the MDEP organised a workshop on 17 April 2018 on nuclear plant component design codes and standards activities. The workshop was attended by 30 participants from regulatory bodies, standards development organisations, and the nuclear industry. Its purpose was to obtain insights on the benefits of regulatory co‑operation under CNRA auspices in this area for new and existing nuclear power plants. Currently, codes and standards activities are being addressed by the participating regulators in MDEP. Participants agreed on the need for continued efforts to facilitate and to promote international co‑operation for the convergence and reconciliation of codes, standards and regulatory requirements for pressure‑boundary components in nuclear power plants.
Operating experience data for probabilistic safety assessment
The NEA Working Group on Risk Assessment (WGRISK) organised a workshop on "Operating Experience Data for Probabilistic Safety Assessment" to identify new data needs for probabilistic safety assessment and to facilitate an exchange of experiences in the use of NEA database projects: NEA International Common Cause Failure Data Exchange (ICDE), NEA Fire Incidents Record Exchange Project (FIRE) and NEA Component Operational Experience, Degradation and Ageing Programme (CODAP). Some 26 participants representing 20 organisations from 13 different countries discussed some common challenges, such as the completeness and reliability of the datasets and the consideration of confidentiality and access to data. They identified areas of improvement to ensure that end-users obtain improved access to more information and to broaden the availability of generic data without violating data confidentiality. It was concluded that the database projects are very useful, although there remains some challenges to be resolved. Discussions and conclusions will be summarised in the forthcoming workshop proceedings to be issued in late 2019.
Radiological protection and public health
The NEA Committee for Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) held its annual meeting on 10‑12 April 2018 to review its ongoing work and to discuss its future directions. Among the decisions taken, the committee approved five reports in the areas of food safety, the NEA International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX‑5), legacy management, and lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. It also agreed to create two new expert groups on recovery management and on the implementation the dose limits to the lens of the eye recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Participating members strongly supported an initiative to assess the need for, and to develop if appropriate, global co‑ordination of low‑dose radiation research. Another highlight of the meeting was the topical session on radiation risk communication, which prompted the committee to include this topic in its future programme of work. Accordingly, the committee agreed to lead the second NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Decision Making, which will be held in 2019 with a focus on risk communication. The committee also received an update regarding preparations for the Fifth NEA Workshop on Science and Values in Radiological Protection Decision Making, which will take place on 19-21 September 2018 in Milan, Italy, hosted by the University of Milan.
Managing and regulating radioactive waste and nuclear decommissioning
The NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) held its annual meeting on 25-26 April 2018. During this meeting, the committee discussed strategies and means to efficiently structure and organise its work in 2019 and beyond, particularly in response to the formation of the NEA Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management (CDLM). The NEA Regulators' Forum (RF) also met on 24 April 2018 to discuss its future role in the light of the creation of the CDLM. Participants evaluated paths forward to address the regulatory aspects of the back‑end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including decommissioning and legacy management. The NEA Expert Group on Legacy Management (EGLM), a special invitee to this discussion, provided valuable insights on the regulatory challenges in legacy management. A key highlight of the meeting was the topical session addressing the regulatory challenges in the management of radioactive waste that has no existing disposal routes. Common problems with such waste often include the degradation of waste packages during long‑term storage, loss of information on the waste leading to a "legacy situation", and loss of credibility in the nuclear industry and the regulator. In this regard, the RF will soon issue a research paper on the competency maintenance of nuclear waste regulators.
The NEA Regulators' Forum (RF) and the NEA Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD) will organise a joint workshop on the regulation of decommissioning on 20‑21 June 2018. The two‑day workshop will focus on the exchange and sharing of national experiences and challenges in the regulation of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. It aims to evaluate the heterogeneity of the regulatory challenges and to identify best practices in NEA member countries. To achieve these objectives, the workshop will examine a variety of challenges that arise throughout the entire decommissioning process, including the transition period from operation to decommissioning, ongoing decommissioning and the management of decommissioning waste. It will include two breakout sessions for small group discussion in order to better understand and explore the interests and needs of NEA member countries in the area of decommissioning regulations. For more information and to register, please see oe.cd/nea‑rf‑wpdd‑2018.
The NEA Regulators’ Forum (RF) and the NEA Working Party on Decommissioning and Dismantling (WPDD) will organise a joint workshop on the regulation of decommissioning on 20‑21 June 2018. The two‑day workshop will focus on the exchange and sharing of national experiences and challenges in the regulation of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. It aims to evaluate the heterogeneity of the regulatory challenges and to identify best practices in NEA member countries. To achieve these objectives, the workshop will examine a variety of challenges that arise throughout the entire decommissioning process, including the transition period from operation to decommissioning, ongoing decommissioning and the management of decommissioning waste. It will include two breakout sessions for small group discussion in order to better understand and explore the interests and needs of NEA member countries in the area of decommissioning regulations. For more information and to register, please see oe.cd/nea‑rf‑wpdd‑2018.
Since 2007, the NEA Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) has been organising a series of symposia on the development of a competent and robust safety case for deep geological disposal of radioactive waste. The 2018 IGSC Symposium on the "Current Understanding and Future Direction for the Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste" will take place on 10‑11 October in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, hosted by COVRA. The purpose of the event is to discuss and document the achievements made since the previous symposium in 2013, to share good practices and to consider future direction. The event, in co‑operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission (EC), also seeks to facilitate mutual learning through exchanges of perspectives on and experiences in safety case development of geological repositories. For more information and registration, visit oe.cd/IGSC-2018.
Nuclear data for fission and fusion applications
The Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) Nuclear Data Library Project held its biannual meetings from 16 to 20 April 2018 in Madrid, Spain, hosted by the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology - CIEMAT). Over 70 nuclear data experts representing the JEFF participants and the European Commission's CHANDA (Solving Challenges in Nuclear Data for the Safety of European Nuclear Facilities) project reviewed progress on the recent data evaluation work and discussed feedback from the JEFF library users. Participants also discussed the call by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme for nuclear data projects on improved nuclear data for energy and non‑energy modelling applications. The JEFF Project is a collaborative effort among the member countries of the NEA Data Bank. The JEFF Nuclear Data Library combines the efforts of its different working groups to produce a common set of evaluated nuclear data, mainly for fission and fusion applications. Its latest release JEFF‑3.3 can be found at oe.cd/nea-jeff-3-3.
|6-APR-18||NEA-1901||FINIX 0.17.12, thermal and mechanical behaviour of a nuclear fuel rod during steady-state and transient conditions
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