NEA News

NEA News in English Version francaise

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NEA News is the professional journal of the NEA. It features articles on the latest nuclear energy issues concerning the economic and technical aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear safety and regulation, radioactive waste management, radiation protection, nuclear science and nuclear legislation. Each issue provides facts and opinions on nuclear energy, an update of NEA activities, and a brief presentation of new NEA publications and other NEA news.

2009 Volume 27, No. 2


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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
The financing of nuclear power plants
Existing nuclear generating capacity plays an important role in providing secure, economic and low-carbon electricity supplies in many OECD countries. At the same time, there is increasing recognition that an expansion of nuclear power could play a valuable role in reducing future carbon dioxide emissions. However, in recent years only a handful of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) have been built in just a few OECD countries. An important reason for this is the challenges associated with financing the construction of new NPPs.
Work management to optimise occupational radiological protection
Occupational exposures at nuclear power plants worldwide have steadily decreased since the early 1990s. Regulatory pressures, technological advances, improved plant designs and operational procedures, “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) culture and information exchange have contributed to this downward trend. However, with the continued ageing and possible life extensions of nuclear power plants, ongoing economic pressures, regulatory, social and political evolutions, and the potential of new nuclear build, the task of ensuring that occupational exposures are kept as low as reasonably achievable continues to present challenges to radiological protection professionals.
NEA updates
Cost estimation for decommissioning: a review of current practice
Partnering with stakeholders in radioactive waste management
MDEP: consolidation and expansion
A legislative framework for the safety of nuclear installations in the European Union
News briefs
NEA activities on medical isotope supply issues
Nuclear power in NEA member countries
New publications
Catalogue of new NEA publications

2009 Volume 27


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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
Nuclear power and the public
Issues such as climate change, energy security and the longer-term availability of fossil fuels are causing many governments to reconsider their national energy policies. Promotion of renewable energy sources is often a first policy response but, increasingly, it is being recognised that renewable sources may only provide a partial solution, especially in countries where heavy industry or large cities make intense demands on electricity supply.
Science and values in radiological protection
The NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) has been investigating the involvement of stakeholders in decision-aiding and decision-making processes for over a decade. A key conclusion that has resulted from this work is that while the vast majority of radiological protection decisions are informed by science, most decisions concerning public health and safety, or environmental protection, are taken based on broader value-judgement grounds.
NEA updates
Applying decommissioning experience to the design and operation of new nuclear power plants
Ageing management
The Forum on Stakeholder Confidence
News briefs
The RWMC Regulators’ Forum
Calculating the cost of generating electricity: Which role for nuclear?
NEA joint projects
Obituaries: Mr. Howard K. Shapar, Dr. Kunihiko Uematsu
New publications
Catalogue of new NEA publications

2008 Volume 26


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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
Nuclear Energy Outlook 2008 - Executive summary
To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency launched its first Nuclear Energy Outlook (NEO). It responds to the changing dynamics and renewed interest in nuclear energy and arrives at a moment when energy security, climate change and the cost of energy have become priorities in both short-term and long-term energy policies.
Market competition in the nuclear industry
The nuclear industry provides a wide variety of specialised equipment and services to support the construction and operation of nuclear power plants (NPPs). This includes the supply of NPPs themselves, the range of materials and services required in the nuclear fuel cycle, and the services and equipment needed for maintenance and upgrading. The markets to provide these have changed substantially as they have evolved from the government-led early stages of the nuclear industry to predominantly competitive, commercial markets today.
Challenges in the field of materials science
The development of innovative thermonuclear fusion and nuclear fission reactors critically depends on the availability of not only nuclear fuels but also advanced structural and functional materials systems. These have to withstand extreme conditions: high temperatures, intense neutron irradiation, and strongly corrosive environments, in combination with complex loading states and cyclic loading histories. The challenges in the field of nuclear materials range from operation in critical conditions to compliance with the highest levels of safety and protection, while giving due regard to decommissioning, dismantling and waste processing issues.
NEA updates
Geological disposal of radioactive waste: records, markers and people
International operating experience
Nuclear regulatory communication with the public: 10 years of progress
News briefs
Legislative update: Turkey
Phase IV of the TDB project
Uranium: Resources, Production and Demand
New publications
Catalogue of new NEA publications

2007 Volume 25, No. 2

NEA News Vol 25 No 1
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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
Nuclear energy risks and benefits in perspective
Energy demand, rising prices, security of supply, climate change... these are major issues facing today’s energy policy makers. In response, the NEA has recently published a study on Risks and Benefits of Nuclear Energy in order to provide these policy makers with authoritative information in support of their decision making. The study has also provided much of the basis for this article.
Management of recyclable fissile and fertile materials
The possibility of recycling fuel is a very attractive – and nearly unique – feature of nuclear energy systems. The fissile and fertile materials contained in spent nuclear fuels and enrichment plant tails, for example, may be retrieved and re-used to provide additional energy. Doing so also reduces the amount and radiotoxicity of waste that will ultimately need to be sent to repositories.
NEA updates
Geological disposal: key observations and lessons learnt
The impact of financing schemes and income taxes on electricity generation costs
Radiological protection at the NEA: 50 years and thriving
The International School of Nuclear Law
International Standard Problem ISP-47 on Containment Thermal-hydraulics
News briefs
Progress in the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)
Update on the Generation IV International Forum
NEA joint projects
New publications
Catalogue of new NEA publications

2007 Volume 25, No. 1

NEA News Vol 25 No 1
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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
Innovation in nuclear technology
Innovation has been a driving force for the success of nuclear energy and remains essential for its future. For the continued safe and economically effective operation and maintenance of existing nuclear systems, and to meet the goals set out by projects aiming at designing and implementing advanced systems for the future, effi cient innovation systems are needed. Consequently, analysing innovation systems is essential to understand their characteristics and enhance their performance in the nuclear sector.
Radiological protection and the environment
The radiological protection world is roughly divided into two camps when it comes to the issue of environmental protection: those who believe that nothing more need be done in terms of radiological protection of the environment and those who do. Yet both camps can more or less agree that the environment is well-protected, so why all the debate?
NEA updates
Fostering a durable relationship between a waste management facility and its host community
Regional development and community support in radioactive waste management
SCAP: the NEA project on stress corrosion cracking and cable ageing
Safety cases for the deep disposal of radioactive waste: where do we stand?
Seismic probabilistic safety assessment (PSA): An update
News briefs
International Reactor Physics Experiment Evaluation (IRPhE) Project
Legislative update: United States
New publications
Catalogue of new NEA publications
Previous editions

2006 Volume 24, No. 2

NEA News Vol 22 No 1

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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
 

Advanced fuel cycles and radioactive waste management
In a new NEA publication, the effects of various advanced fuel cycles on the management of radioactive waste are assessed relative to current technologies and options, using tools such as repository performance analysis and cost studies. The results of the study show that advanced fuel cycles offer possibilities for various strategic choices regarding uranium resources and optimisation of waste repository sites and capacities, while keeping almost constant both the radiological impact of the repositories and the fi nancial impact of the complete fuel cycle.

  Impacts of nuclear power plant life management and long-term operation
Nuclear energy is an important component of electricity supply in many OECD countries and is increasingly gaining the attention of policy makers and the public in light of its real potential role in long-term energy strategies aiming at sustainability and minimising the risk of global climate change. For many operating nuclear power plants, it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of regulators that the plants can be operated safely and efficiently for a significantly longer period than was envisaged when they were designed, with lifetimes of 50  to 60 years being likely in many cases.
NEA updates
  International peer review of a nuclear regulatory self-assessment
  Releasing the sites of nuclear installations
  Very high fuel burn-ups in light water reactors
  Differences in regulatory criteria for the long-term safety of radioactive waste disposal
News briefs
  Legislative update: France
  Multinational Design Evaluation Programme(MDEP) Stage 2
  NEA joint projects
New publications
  Catalogue of new publications
 

2006 Volume 24, No. 1

NEA News Vol 22 No 1

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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
 

Forty years of uranium resources, production and demand in perspective
The NEA has been collecting and analysing data on uranium for forty years. The data and experience provide a number of answers to the questions being asked today, as many countries begin to look at nuclear energy with renewed interest. In terms of uranium resources, the lessons of the past give confi dence that uranium supply will remain adequate to meet demand.

  International peer reviews and radioactive waste management in France
The organisation of independent, international peer reviews of national studies and projects is an important NEA activity in the field of radioactive waste management. Several of these have been carried out over recent years, for example for the governments of Belgium, Switzerland and the United States. Member governments have found these reviews of significant value and are now asking for them to cover topics of a broader scope.
   
NEA updates
  Forum on Stakeholder Confidence: Spain
  OECD/NEA joint projects in the nuclear safety area
  The regulatory function in radioactive waste management
  Challenges and potential benefits of partitioning and transmutation (P&T)
  The Information System on Occupational Exposure (ISOE)
News briefs
  Shielding of accelerators, targets and irradiation facilities (SATIF)
   
New publications
  Catalogue of new NEA publications
 
 

2005 Volume 23, No. 2

NEA News Vol 22 No 1

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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
 

Nuclear energy and the security of supply
Security of energy supply was a major concern for OECD governments in the early 1970s. Since then, successive oil crises, volatility of hydrocarbon prices, as well as terrorist risks and natural disasters, have brought the issue back to the centre stage of policy agendas.

  Evolving roles and responsibilities in radiological protection
One of the only truly consistent things in life is the knowledge that things will continue to change. In the area of radiological protection, change is not always fast, and it is not always deep, but it has clearly been present over the past 10 to 20 years. These changes will all have more or less profound effects on the roles and responsibilities of the radiological protection profession. This article presents an initial analysis of these changes, with a view to helping those concerned be better prepared to meet the challenges that may arise.
  The NEA and the IAEA: partnering for progress
We are often asked, "What is the difference between the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?" Or, to put it bluntly, why are two international intergovernmental agencies needed in the nuclear field?
NEA updates
  Funding the decommissioning of nuclear power plants
  Lessons from 40 years of nuclear safety and regulation
  Over a decade of nuclear emergency management at the NEA
  Focus on safety: the FIRE Project
News briefs
  NEA joint projects
  Legislative updates
New publications
  Catalogue of new NEA publications

2005 Volume 23, No. 1

NEA News Vol 22 No 1

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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General
Facts and opinions
 

Nuclear regulatory decision making
Nuclear safety regulators are continuously faced with making a wide variety of decisions. Some of these may be made on the regulator’s own initiative, for example a regulation on new reporting requirements, but the large majority of decisions are made in response to stimuli from outside the organisation. A new CNRA report has found that in all decision-making scenarios, whether difficult or straightforward, the nuclear regulator will benefit from a structured decision-making framework.

  An analysis of uranium exploration and price
The primary production of uranium has been less than reactor requirements since the mid-1980s and secondary sources have had to make up the difference. By 2002, world uranium production provided only about 54% of world reactor requirements. This dependence on secondary supplies is projected to continue into the near future. Over the longer term, however, primary production will need to expand.
NEA updates
  Lessons drawn from recent NPP operating experience
  Management of uncertainty in safety cases and the role of risk
  Safety of the nuclear fuel cycle
News briefs
  The Generation IV International Forum enters a new phase
  Conference report: Nuclear power for the 21st century
  Projected costs of generating electricity
  Third phase of the TDB Project
New publications
  Catalogue of new NEA publications

2004 Volume 22, No. 2

NEA News Vol 22 No 1

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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General

Facts and opinions

Knowledge management and the elephant
Dose constraints: What are they now?

NEA updates

Nuclear energy in the hydrogen economy
Shifting paradigms in managing radioactive waste
Safe nuclear power plants: technical support services and contractors
Safe, efficient and cost-effective decommissioning

News briefs

NEA joint projects

New publications

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 

2004 Volume 22, No. 1

NEA News Vol 22 No 1

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Editorial - Luis E. Echávarri, NEA Director-General

Facts and opinions

Trends in waste arising from nuclear power plants
The evolving role of governments in the nuclear energy field
Managing and regulating organisational change in nuclear installations

NEA updates

Uranium production and demand: timely mining decisions will be needed
Direct indicators for nuclear regulatory efficiency and effectiveness
Geological repositories: political and technical progress
The regulatory application of authorisation in radiological protection

News briefs

Legislative update: Switzerland

New publications

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 

Autumn 2003, Volume 21, No. 2

NEA News Vol 21 No 2

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Facts and opinions

Decommissioning policies, strategies and costs: an international overview
The economics of nuclear energy

NEA updates

Improving the interface between nuclear regulators and operators
A new profile for regulators in radioactive waste management
Stepwise decision making for the long-term management of radioactive waste
Nuclear emergency management: what’s new?
Recurring events: a nuclear safety concern

News briefs

Computer-based control systems important to safety (COMPSIS)
New publications

 

Spring 2003, Volume 21, No. 1

NEA News Vol 21 No 1

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A global approach to risk management: lessons from the nuclear industry
The handling of timescales in assessing post-closure safety of deep geological repositories

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 

 

Fall 2002, Volume 20, No. 2

NEA News Vol 20 No 1

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Understanding society and nuclear energy

Radiological protection of the environment

Nuclear fuel resources: Enough to last?

Decommissioning and dismantling nuclear facilities in NEA countries

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 

Spring 2002, Volume 20, No. 1

NEA News Vol 20 No 1

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Energy policy and externalities

Generation IV and the NEA

Opportunities for international co-operation in the development of innovative reactors

News brief: International peer review of a radioactive waste
repository

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 

Fall 2001, Volume 19, No. 2

NEA News Vol 18 No 2

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Trends in the nuclear fuel cycle: Economic, environmental and social aspects

Radiological risks from a social perspective

JANIS: new software for nuclear data services

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 

 

Spring 2001, Volume 19, No. 1

NEA News Vol 18 No 2

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Sustainable energy for future generations

Energy and sustainable development: issues and options

Nuclear energy economics in a sustainable development perspective

Radioactive waste management and sustainable development

Measuring the sustainability of energy systems

Sustainable development and nuclear liability

Catalogue of new NEA publications

 
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. Last updated: 21 November 2007