Working Group on Fuel Cycle Safety (WGFCS)

    Introduction

    The Working Group on Fuel Cycle Safety brings together representatives of regulatory bodies, their technical support organisations and operators of nuclear fuel cycle facilities, which comprise a number of interrelated activities, including: uranium mining and milling; uranium refining and conversion to uranium hexafluoride; uranium enrichment; fuel fabrication and storage; spent fuel storage; spent fuel reprocessing; decommissioning of nuclear facilities; radioactive waste management and disposal options (including for spent fuel) and the research and demonstration facilities that support these activities.

    Reactor operation is conventionally not included in the so-called nuclear fuel cycle. Similarly, the long-term management of radioactive waste is a very broad field, widely covered in several other NEA committees and is therefore not addressed. However, the safety aspects associated with processing and storing waste in the short-term on the site of fuel cycle facilities are treated by the group.

    Objectives

    The objective of the Working Group on Fuel Cycle Safety (WGFCS) is to advance the understanding for both regulators and operators of relevant aspects of nuclear fuel cycle safety in member countries.

    In order to accomplish this objective the working group shall
    • Meet periodically to exchange information on relevant matters including licensing systems, safety philosophy and safety standards to improve mutual understanding, and to review the information from the Fuel Incident and Notification and Analyses System (FINAS) and other databases.
    • Indicate where further research is needed, review and prioritise safety issues, prepare state-of-the-art reports, hold workshops as appropriate and collaborate with other groups as necessary.
    • To achieve this mandate the FCS Working Group shall:
      1. Report to the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and assist that Committee with its work. The programme of work of WGFCS will be approved by CSNI.
      2. Constitute a forum for exchange of information and experience of activities related to nuclear fuel cycle safety in member countries. Accumulation of operational experience should be used to improve safety technology. Mutual understanding of licensing systems, safety philosophy and safety standards should be a common goal between members.
      3. Encourage and support WGFCS member countries to contribute frequently and regularly to FINAS by their reports.  In case of an event of common interest, to organise a specific forum to share lessons learnt and promote their implementation.
      4. Indicate where further research and analysis is needed and denote priority actions to be undertaken. It should prepare technical reviews of work in all phases of the nuclear fuel cycle where such reports are needed for further development. In doing so, care will be taken to avoid duplication of effort or scope with other CSNI working groups, or with other international bodies.
      5. With prior approval of CSNI, collaborate with or assist the other WGs, NEA committees or other international organisations.

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    Last modified: 11 July 2017