NEA Monthly News Bulletin - October 2011

New at the NEA

Top nuclear regulators meet to discuss safety of new reactors

Over 120 nuclear regulatory and industry experts met in Paris on 15-16 September to discuss the accomplishments of the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) and the future of global nuclear safety during the Second MDEP Conference on New Reactor Design Activities. Topics included progress made by design- and issue-specific working groups, Fukushima-related issues, and industry initiatives on new reactors. Common positions have been produced on digital instrumentation and control safety systems as well as on certain aspects of AREVA's EPR and Westinghouse's AP1000 designs. The programme has issued a vendor inspection protocol for vendors subject to such inspections, and a review of The Structure and Application of High-level Safety Goals. More information on the MDEP and the conference may be found on the NEA website.
Press release

New publications

Nuclear Energy Data 2011
ISBN: 978-92-64-12187-4, 140 pages.

Potential Benefits and Impacts of Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles with Actinide Partitioning and Transmutation
ISBN: 978-92-64-99165-1, 76 pages.

CSNI Technical Opinion Papers – No. 13
LOCA Criteria Basis and Test Methodology
ISBN: 978-92-64-99154-5, 44 pages.

Disponible également en français :
Avis techniques du CSIN – no. 13
Méthodologies d'essai et bases de calcul des critères APRP
ISBN: 978-92-64-99161-3, 48 pages.

Nuclear development

New expert group on uranium mining

On 7-9 September, the NEA hosted the first meeting of the Ad hoc Expert Group on Managing Environmental and Health Impacts of Uranium Mining. This group consists of nine members from government, industry and international organisations, including representatives from Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Kazakhstan and the United States. Its goal is to document the ways in which modern uranium mining has evolved to manage environmental and health risks more effectively compared to the outdated mining practices that created legacy issues in the last century. A final report documenting current mining practices that successfully reduce these risks will be produced by the end of 2012.

Carbon pricing and the competitiveness of nuclear energy

On 14 September, Dr. Ron Cameron, Head of the NEA Nuclear Development Division, and Prof. Jan Horst Keppler, NEA Principal Economist, presented the outcomes from the recent NEA study on Carbon Pricing, Power Markets and the Competitiveness of Nuclear Energy to journalists and representatives of UK government and industry in London. The study assesses the competitiveness of nuclear power against coal- and gas-fired power generation in liberalised electricity markets with either CO2 trading or carbon taxes. It uses daily price data for electricity, gas, coal and carbon from 2005 to 2010, which encompasses the first years of the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the world's foremost carbon trading framework. The study shows that even with modest carbon pricing, competition for new investment in electricity markets will take place between nuclear energy and gas-fired power generation, with coal-fired power struggling to be profitable. Find out more about the study on the NEA website.

Radiological protection

International Symposium on Decontamination to be held in Fukushima, Japan

On 16 October 2011, the Government of Japan, in co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organisation (JNES), will hold an International Symposium on Decontamination – Towards the Recovery of the Environment, in Fukushima, Japan. This symposium is open to the public and has a capacity of 200 attendees. Please visit the NEA website for registration information.

Nuclear safety and regulation

SETH-2: Improving modelling of post-accident containment thermal-hydraulic conditions

The concluding seminar of the second SESAR Thermal-hydraulics (SETH-2) project held on 12-13 September attracted 35 participants and 15 observers from 16 countries. This project involved a series of experiments conducted from 2007-2010 at the Swiss Passive decay heat removal and depressurisation (PANDA) test facility and the French Mitigation and stratification (MISTRA) facility with the aim of resolving key computational issues for the simulation of thermal-hydraulic conditions in water reactor containments. The data are used to improve modelling and validation of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and lumped parameter (LP) computer codes designed to predict post-accident containment thermal-hydraulic conditions. New analyses were presented and key simulation challenges were identified during the seminar. Analyses of common tests in the two facilities were discussed in detail, and progress regarding distribution of light gas in the containment and its effective mixing by means of different safety features was highlighted. The applications of the results and their significance for containment analyses were also addressed. Simulations reveal the need for additional investigations in different configurations such as the use of measured velocity fields in tests for CFD code validation and the combination of influences of different engineered safety features in a non-homogeneous atmosphere. Learn more about the SETH-2 project.

Workshop on nuclear safety leadership and management

On 26-28 September, the NEA Working Group on Human and Organisational Factors (WGHOF) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held a workshop on Oversight and Influencing of Leadership and Management for Safety, including Safety Culture. Hosted by the United Kingdom Office for Nuclear Regulation in Chester, UK, the workshop brought together 50 experts representing 16 countries and international organisations.  Participants included international risk and safety management experts as well nuclear safety culture and inspection specialists from the NEA Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP). Building on the success of the previous workshop held in 2007, participants discussed the key issues concerning the regulation of safety culture. Ongoing work on nuclear safety by the IAEA and other international organisations was also discussed. The proceedings of this workshop will positively influence the future direction of the regulation of nuclear safety leadership and management, including safety culture, in NEA and associated countries.

Fuel cycle facilities safety assessment discussed at NEA workshop in Canada

On 27-29 September, the NEA organised a workshop on the Safety Assessment of Fuel Cycle Facilities – Regulatory Approaches and Industry Perspectives in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the objective of this workshop was to review various approaches of national regulators and their technical support organisations in the safety assessment of fuel cycle facilities (FCFs). More than 60 participants from international agencies, 9 NEA member countries and Brazil discussed general approaches to safety assessment, including human aspects, in use by different regulatory authorities. Participants also discussed how these regulations have been applied, and under what circumstances deterministic and probabilistic methods have been used in front-end and back-end fuel cycle facilities.

Nuclear science

ICNC-2011 attracts over 250 delegates

The 9th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC-2011) was held on 19-22 September in Edinburgh, UK at Heriot-Watt University. Organised with the support of the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety (WPNCS), ICNC-2011attracted 268 delegates from 21 countries, representing 100 organisations. Delegates attended and discussed over 180 technical presentations covering issues related to criticality safety such as: operational practise, development of standards and assessment methodology; criticality codes and criticality experiments; uncertainty analysis; analysis of criticality accidents and incidents; burn-up credit and waste management; and professional development issues. Participants also had the opportunity to join technical tours of fuel fabrication and reprocessing facilities at the UK's Springfields and Sellafield sites. The next conference in the 30-year ICNC series is scheduled for 2015 and will be organised by the United States in close co-operation with the NEA.

Data Bank

NEA Data Bank newsletter

Computer program services

New computer programs available



FLUKA2011.2, Monte Carlo general purpose tool for calculations of particle transport and interactions with matter (Arrived)



SAPHIRE 7.27, Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-On Integrated Reliability Evaluations (Arrived)



ZZ POINT2011, linearly interpolable ENDF/B-VII.1 Beta2 cross section library for 13 temperatures (Arrived)



ENTREE 1.4.0, BWR Core Simulation System for Space and Time Dependent Coupled Phenomena (Tested)



RELABEL2010, Labels FORTRAN Statements in ENDF Format Processing Programs (Tested)



RECENT2010, Reconstruction of Cross Sections Data from Resonance Parameters (Tested)



SPECTRA2010, Convert model and general tabulation to linearized spectra (MF=5) (Tested)



SIXPAK2010, ENDF Format Double Differential Cross Section Converter to Single Differential Format (Tested)

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