MDEP Annual Report [April 2015 – April 2016]

Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)

MDEP was established in 2006 as a multinational initiative to develop innovative approaches to leverage the resources and knowledge of the national regulatory authorities that are currently or will be tasked with the review of new nuclear power reactor designs. The nuclear regulatory authorities of 15 countries participate in MDEP, which includes 5 design-specific working groups and 3 issue-specific working groups. The Nuclear Energy Agency facilitates MDEP activities by providing technical secretariat services for the programme. The MDEP Policy Group (PG) and the Steering Technical Committee (STC) oversee the programme.

Steering Technical Committee
EPR Working Group AP1000 Working Group APR1400 Working Group
VVER Working Group ABWR Working Group Digital Instrumentation and Controls Working Group Mechanical Codes and Standards Working Group Vendor Inspection Co-operation Working Group

Further details about the organisational structure of MDEP can be found in the terms of reference

Members and participants

Current MDEP members include national regulators from:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also participates in key aspects of MDEP's activities. For more details, please refer to the terms of reference.

Goals and activities

MDEP's main objectives can be defined as follows:

To carry out the work, two main lines of activity have been implemented:

A key concept throughout the work of the MDEP is that national regulators retain sovereign authority for all licensing and regulatory decisions.

For more information on the MDEP's accomplishments to date and future work, please see this year's annual report: MDEP 2013-2014 Annual Report.


MDEP engages with key stakeholders involved in ensuring the safety of new reactor designs, manufacturing, construction and operation. At this time, these stakeholders include other national regulatory authorities and international organisations involved in ensuring nuclear safety including the IAEA, Western European Nuclear Regulators' Association (WENRA), NEA Committees on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), the various reactor vendors, nuclear component manufacturers, mechanical and electrical standards development organisations, reactor operators and licensees and key industry representatives such as World Nuclear Association (WNA).

To this end, the MDEP has organised 2 conferences (in 2009 and 2011) to communicate its work with various stakeholders. The MDEP also issues press releases that cover the programme's major events and milestones. However, individual regulators retain sole responsibility for communication on specific new reactor issues.

Press releases

New chairman takes over at the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)
The Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) has appointed Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as its new Chairman. Dr. Macfarlane replaces André-Claude Lacoste, former Chairman of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire, ASN). Read more...

UAE nuclear regulator joins the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)
On 24-26 September 2012, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in its first MDEP meeting as a new associate member, on the occasion of the MDEP Steering Technical Committee meeting which was held in Beijing, China. Read more...

Indian nuclear regulatory body (AERB) joins the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)
On 4 April 2012, India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) became the first new member in the MDEP since its inception in 2006. Read more...

Working groups

In accordance with the terms of reference, the MDEP carries out its work through design-specific and issue-specific working groups as follows:

  1. Design-specific activities (see Design-specific terms of reference)

    Working groups for each new reactor design will share information and co-operate on specific reactor design evaluations and construction. Participants in these working groups will include countries actively reviewing, preparing to review or constructing the specific reactor design. Design-specific working groups will be formed when three or more countries express an interest in working together.

    • EPR working group: established to conduct the activities previously carried out by the US, Finland and France to share information on the EPR safety review. Additional included members were the UK, India, Sweden and the People's Republic of China.
    • AP1000 working group: established to share information on the AP1000 safety review. Current members are the US, Canada, the UK and the People's Republic of China. Sweden joined the group in 2013.
    • APR1400 Working Group: established in May 2012 to focus on the safety review of the KHNP's APR1400 design. Its members include Finland, the Republic of Korea, the US and the UAE.
    • VVER Working Group: established to share information on the VVER safety review. Current members are the Russian Federation, India, Finland and Turkey.
    • ABWR Working Group: established in May 2012 to focus on the safety review of ABWR reactor design. Its members include Finland, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the US.
  2. Issue-specific activities (see Issue-specific terms of reference)

    Working groups have been established for selected technical and regulatory process areas within the MDEP's Programme of work. These currently include:

Last reviewed: 7 June 2016