Stakeholder support and involvement essential to future of nuclear energy decision making
On 17-19 January 2017, over 130 experts from 26 countries came together to discuss international best practices and concluded that stakeholder support and involvement are essential to achieving accepted and sustainable decisions for nearly all aspects of nuclear energy. The experts convened in Paris at the NEA Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Nuclear Decision Making to compare their vast array of experiences and to identify approaches that help contribute, or not, to stakeholder confidence; to discuss the laws, policies and programmes underway in different countries; and to develop a collective wisdom from which all may learn and benefit. In addition to sharing experiences and best practices, during the workshop participants debated such questions as who among the members of the public and other stakeholders should be informed and how science should be used to address their concerns regarding the choices to be made; in what ways can the full array of viewpoints be put into a balanced perspective; and what roles can and should social media play in engaging with stakeholders. Read more
Post-Fukushima safety research contributing to decommissioning strategy planning
On 9-11 January 2017, the Senior Expert Group on Safety Research Opportunities Post-Fukushima (SAREF) held the Preparatory Technical Meeting for SAREF Near-term Projects. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the international joint research projects proposed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), reflecting the recommendations made by the senior expert group last year. Participating members shared updates and information on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. They discussed the draft programmes for the proposed research projects focusing on fuel debris characterisation, as well as on a collective analysis of data and information gathered via sampling efforts on-site. Based on the suggestions and comments made at the meeting, the project proposals will be reviewed and prepared for the next steps. Mechanisms for co‑ordinating with other post-Fukushima activities will also be explored. In conjunction with this meeting, the NEA Benchmark Study of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (BSAF) held its workshop on molten core‑concrete interaction (MCCI), as well as its Programme Review Group and Management Board meetings on 10‑13 January 2017. Currently in its second phase, the project is aimed at improving severe accident codes, analysing the accident progression and the current status of units 1 and 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and providing useful information for the decommissioning of these units.
MDEP prepares for its Fourth Conference on New Reactor Design Activities
On 23-25 January 2017, the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) Steering Technical Committee (STC) held a meeting during which each MDEP working group and relevant stakeholders presented updates on their programme of work and ongoing activities. Among the decisions taken, the STC approved the design-specific common position on the VVER design, completing the set of common positions issued on the safety conclusions for each new reactor design and how they could be enhanced to address Fukushima Daiichi-related issues. A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to the preparations for the Fourth MDEP Conference on New Reactor Design Activities, which will be held on 12‑13 September 2017 in London, United Kingdom. The event will allow the MDEP to gather feedback on its current activities and to discuss its future. It will also provide a forum for MDEP stakeholders, including national regulatory authorities, international organisations, standard development organisations and industry representatives, to share the results of their engagement with the programme and to deliver presentations on ongoing activities related to new reactor licensing.
Nuclear Innovation 2050 (NI2050) – A roadmap to a sustainable energy future
The Nuclear Innovation 2050 (NI2050) Advisory Panel chairs met on 17 January 2017 to discuss the initiative's expected practical outcomes for 2017. Participants confirmed the vision of the NI2050 as an incubator for the selection and development of large-scale programmes of actions, including R&D and market uptake projects and infrastructures, in order to accelerate the readiness of innovative technologies and help them reach competitive deployment in time to contribute to the sustainability of nuclear energy in the short/medium to long term. Such programmes of actions, once developed at the proper level of maturity, will then be proposed to NEA stakeholders, including member countries, R&D organisations, industry representatives, TSOs and regulators, and possibly financing institutions, for them to discuss ways and means of practical, legal and financial implementation. Shorter-term perspectives will primarily focus on the testing, validation, qualification and licensing of existing innovative technologies for faster and efficient market deployment. For the longer term, actions will focus on the acceleration of research and development programmes, while integrating the already existing attributes of industrial deployment. Read more about the NI2050 at oe.cd/1Mf.
Nuclear Energy Data 2016
Nuclear Energy Data is the NEA's annual compilation of statistics and country reports documenting nuclear power status in NEA member countries and in the OECD area. Information provided by governments includes statistics on installed generating capacity, total electricity produced by all sources and by nuclear power, nuclear energy policies and fuel cycle developments, as well as projections of nuclear generating capacity and electricity production to 2035, where available. Total electricity generation at nuclear power plants and the share of electricity production from nuclear power plants increased slightly in 2015, by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. Two new units were connected to the grid in 2015, in Russia and Korea; two reactors returned to operation in Japan under the new regulatory regime; and seven reactors were officially shut down – five in Japan, one in Germany and one in the United Kingdom. Governments committed to having nuclear power in the energy mix advanced plans for developing or increasing nuclear generating capacity, with the preparation of new build projects progressing in Finland, Hungary, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Further details on these and other developments are provided in the publication’s numerous tables, graphs and country reports. Download the report at oe.cd/1M4.
Nuclear emergency policy, planning, preparedness and management
On 23-26 January 2017, at the meeting of the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) 45 delegates from 20 countries interacted with other relevant OECD bodies and international organisations, including the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to discuss a unique expert report on lessons learnt from non-nuclear accidents. The report provides a comparison between nuclear power plant emergency preparedness and response (EPR) and the emergency management of situations caused by natural and technological disasters. While revealing that there are no gaps in nuclear power plant emergency management, the report aims to enable planners to review the lessons learnt from non‑nuclear accidents and to enhance their own programmes as necessary. The contributions to this report reinforce the value of an "all hazards" approach to emergency management. The meeting also featured presentations on the key results of the NEA's fifth International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX-5), allowing participants to identify areas which would benefit from further discussion during the forthcoming INEX-5 international workshop, scheduled to take place in October 2017.
Latest updates regarding the Paris Convention
On 3 November 2016, the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy adopted the following decisions regarding the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy: the Decision and Recommendation Concerning the Application of the Paris Convention to Nuclear Installations for the Disposal of Certain Types of Low-level Radioactive Waste; and the Decision on the Exclusion of Small Quantities of Nuclear Substances outside a Nuclear Installation from the Application of the Paris Convention. The purpose of the latter decision was to update the technical criteria of an already existing decision (the 2007 Decision on the Exclusion of Small Quantities of Nuclear Substances from the Application of the Paris Convention), which has now been abrogated. It should be noted that the exclusions provided in both decisions are subject to technical and regulatory exclusion criteria, and excluded installations remain subject to national regulatory control and ordinary tort law. The technical approach and exclusion criteria were developed by the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) to ensure the protection of people, goods and the environment. Both decisions are available online at oe.cd/1M9
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