The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is a specialised agency within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organisation of industrialised countries, based in Paris, France. More...
China signs extension of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Framework Agreement
On 23 June 2016, the People's Republic of China signed the ten-year extension of the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. A signing ceremony was held at the OECD in the presence of His Excellency ZHAI Jun, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to France, and Mr William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is a co-operative international endeavour which was set up in 2005 to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation of nuclear energy systems. For more information on GIF, see www.gen-4.org.
Safety of nuclear installations
The NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) held its biannual meeting on 8‑9 June 2016. As part of its normal programme of work, the Committee approved 13 new tasks and 10 reports, including the final report of the NEA Senior Expert Group on Safety Research Opportunities Post‑Fukushima (SAREF), which was established to identify research activities that would address safety research knowledge gaps and support safe and timely decommissioning in Japan. In its report, the group recommends activities that can take advantage of the information and insight gained from the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant both in the near term and the long term. Among the two near-term activities suggested by SAREF are a preparatory study for actual fuel debris analysis and a project to collect and analyse information from the reactor buildings and containment vessels of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Participating members agreed that these two near-term activities should be further developed into proposals for joint projects to be considered by the Committee at its next meeting in December 2016.
Nuclear regulatory activities
The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) held its biannual meeting on 6‑7 June 2016. Among the decisions taken, it approved the release of the Report of the Survey on the Design Review of New Reactor Applications: Volume 4 – RCS and Associated Systems. It agreed to proceed with next steps for formulating a mandate with priorities and milestones for an ad hoc group on safety culture. It also agreed to hold a topical discussion on the impact of the economic situation on relations between licensees and regulatory bodies at the next CNRA meeting in December 2016. Additionally, participation was encouraged in the forthcoming NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Decision Making to be held on 17‑19 January 2017 in Paris, France. During the meeting, the Committee recognised the valuable contributions of its outgoing chair, Dr Jean Christophe Niel of the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), and elected its new Chair, Mr Victor McCree of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Continued engagement and safe implementation of geological repositories
The fifth International Conference on Geological Repositories (ICGR) will take place on 6‑9 December 2016 in Paris, France. The conference, on "Continued Engagement and Safe Implementation of Geological Repositories", aims to take stock of progress made since 2012 in developing and implementing geological repositories for long-lived radioactive waste, and to facilitate mutual learning through exchanges of international perspectives and experiences. It will convene senior-level decision-makers from countries with active programmes for deep geological repositories and provide a forum to explore how the various actors manage the implementation of repository programmes in their countries. For more information and to register, visit www.icgr2016.org.
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.
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