The monthly news bulletin of the NEA
NEA Monthly News Bulletin
September 2020
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While the NEA staff have been teleworking since March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, video conference technologies have helped the Agency in carrying out its mandate to assist the membership with their needs in the application and exploration of nuclear science and technology. One way the NEA continues to interact with its member countries and partners is via virtual missions.

NEA virtual mission to the Russian Federation, August 2020
Virtual mission to the Russian Federation
NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV and senior staff undertook a virtual mission to the Russian Federation on 19-20 August 2020 for meetings with various authorities, including Rosatom Global, Rostechnadzor and Rosenergoatom, as well as academic institutions such as the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" and the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute). Discussions with Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev and staff were focused on Russian participation in NEA activities in nuclear safety, nuclear science, nuclear data, radiological protection, radioactive waste management and decommissioning. The dialogues also covered Rosatom's approach to human resource development and Rosatom initiatives for improving gender balance in the nuclear sector. Mr Magwood and Mr Likhachev agreed on the importance of nuclear skills and capacity development and look forward to strengthening the ongoing co-operation on NEA initiatives such as the Nuclear Education, Skills & Technology (NEST) Framework and International Mentoring Workshops in Science and Engineering.

NEA virtual mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), August 2020
Virtual mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The NEA delegation visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 17-18 August 2020 for a series of meetings with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Khalifa University. Discussions with the Emirati authorities covered a wide range of issues, including the current status of the Barakah nuclear power plant, nuclear skills & capacity building, the decarbonisation of electricity systems and updates on the UAE regulatory framework. The discussions also touched on the role of nuclear energy during COVID-19 and beyond, as well as the impact of the pandemic on regulatory decisions and practices. Director-General Magwood also participated in a virtual youth session with young nuclear professionals in the UAE to share his insights on nuclear energy and experience in the sector. The NEA wishes to thank the UAE authorities for hosting the virtual mission, which enabled detailed exchanges of information and ideas on nuclear energy issues, education and research.

NEA virtual mission to Canada, August 2020
Virtual mission to Canada
During the last week of August, the NEA delegation undertook a five-day virtual mission to Canada to meet with various institutions in the government, private sector and academia, including Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE). Canada has a full-spectrum industry and nuclear energy is an important component of the country's electricity supply. In 2018, NRCan initiated a stakeholder-driven process to develop a Canadian roadmap for the potential development and deployment of SMRs in Canada, bringing together provincial and territorial governments, utilities, industry and other interested stakeholders. As such, meetings with the Canadian authorities highlighted SMR technologies. Discussions also covered nuclear safety, education and engagement with Indigenous communities. The virtual visit to Canada provided an excellent opportunity to exchange views on nuclear power, as well as on how to continue strengthening the NEA's engagement with Canadian entities.

A global nuclear science and engineering commencement, August 2020
A global nuclear science and engineering commencement
The graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 are experiencing a unique time in history. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many students may not be receiving traditional ceremonies and festivities, and are transitioning or attempting to transition to professional careers at a time of great uncertainty and economic upheaval.

In this context and with the support of the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN), the NEA held an online commencement ceremony on 27 August 2020 to celebrate and recognise the accomplishments of the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021, especially those within the nuclear science and technology fields.

Watch the full video recording of the ceremony here to hear remarks from:
  • William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General
  • Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, United States Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Anne White, Professor and Head of Nuclear Science and Engineering, SoE Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Agneta Rising, World Nuclear Association (WNA) Director General and World Nuclear University President
  • Christopher Levesque, TerraPower President and Chief Executive Officer (who also read a special message to the graduates from TerraPower Chairman Bill Gates [see below])
  • Joerg Starflinger, ENEN President and Executive Director of the University of Stuttgart Institute of Nuclear Technology and Energy System (IKE)
  • Katie Mummah, MSc Class of 2020 and PhD student in Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics at University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Haruka Okazaki, undergraduate nuclear engineering student, University of Fukui Graduate School of Engineering
  • Aditi Verma, Junior Consultant, NEA
Graduates and students are invited to fill out an online survey here: The purpose of this survey is to create a list of students from the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021, spotlight their achievements and signal their presence on the job market to potential employers around the world. The list, once compiled, will be shared on the ENEN+ platform.

Message from Bill Gates to the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021, especially those within the nuclear science and technology fields:
Radiological protection
CRPPH survey 2020
CRPPH survey to update the committee's strategic direction and identify work priorities
A survey was implemented earlier in 2020 to collect views from the NEA Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) members on the evolution of the Committee's strategic direction. This survey suggested activities that could be developed during the periods 2021‑2022 and 2023‑2028 in order to achieve the Committee’s four strategic objectives: i) to modernise radiological protection policy; ii) to advance preparedness for nuclear emergencies and develop post-emergency recovery plans; iii) improve management of occupational exposure for nuclear facility workers; and iv) develop knowledge management to ensure continuity over multiple generations of experts. With input from 17 CRPPH member countries, the survey results demonstrated interest in all areas of radiological protection (as displayed in the figure on the right) and underlined the importance of priority setting. A semi-quantitative analysis was performed via a multi‑criteria prioritisation method to rank the preferences expressed by member countries for future CRPPH activities. The survey results will be discussed during the virtual CRPPH annual meeting next week in support of a new strategic direction document for the Committee.
Radioactive waste management and decommissioning
Preservation of radioactive waste records, knowledge and memory across generations
Geological repositories for the final disposal of radioactive waste are currently being developed in many countries. These repositories are designed to be inherently safe over the periods of time that are necessary to protect humankind and the environment against the effects of ionising radiation. The issue of maintaining some information and a degree of awareness of the facilities in the future is a challenge that has been much discussed over the past 50 years. Against the background of ever increasing demands by waste management organisations and other stakeholders for international reflection and progress towards viable and shared strategies in this field, the NEA launched an initiative on the "Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory (RK&M) Across Generations” – the so-called “RK&M initiative", which ran from March 2011 to April 2018. The initiative aimed at gaining a theoretically founded, broadly based understanding of the issue, leading to the development of a "toolbox" of methods that will eventually be combined into a strategic action plan for RK&M preservation across generations.
Nuclear development
The role of nuclear energy during COVID-19 and beyond
The role of nuclear energy
during COVID‑19 and beyond

The Coronavirus (COVID‑19) pandemic has had significant impacts on the global economy and energy sector. It has also underlined the importance of electricity reliability and resilience during major disruptions. With governments considering a broad range of options for economic recovery and job creation, it is becoming increasingly clear that stimulus packages have the opportunity to support energy systems that both fulfil these criteria while meeting long‑term environmental goals and energy security.

The NEA is examining the regulatory and operational impacts of the crisis, and working closely with its members to enable exchanges of policy approaches and best practices around the world. As part of these efforts, the Agency issued four policy briefs and hosted a series of discussions around these policy briefs to explore the role that nuclear energy can play in the post‑COVID‑19 recovery, whilst also supporting the path towards a truly sustainable and environmentally responsible energy future. If you missed these live discussions, video recordings are available on the NEA's YouTube channel. For more information and to read the NEA's policy recommendations, please visit

Nuclear law
NEA Nuclear Law Bulletin
NEA Nuclear Law Bulletin is accepting submissions
The NEA Nuclear Law Bulletin welcomes submissions of articles and studies from professionals and academics. Topics generally fall into the following categories: radiation protection and nuclear safety, nuclear installations, radioactive materials, radioactive waste management, environmental protection, non‑proliferation, nuclear third party liability, and nuclear trade. This list is non‑exhaustive and articles have been published outside of these areas, but still related to nuclear law. For an article to be considered in the next edition, final submissions must be received by 1 September 2020. More information on the publication process, time frames, language and house style is available at
Nuclear science and data
The Generalised Nuclear Database Structure (GNDS)
The Generalised Nuclear Database Structure (GNDS)
Nuclear data are produced by dozens of organisations around the world and shared internationally for the safe operation of nuclear power reactors, waste and reprocessing facilities, and nuclear medicine applications. The NEA launched a new international nuclear data standard, the Generalised Nuclear Data Structure (GNDS 1.9), that embraces modern computer programming paradigms and can address more sophisticated user requirements.
NEA course on Thermodynamic Data Collection and Assessment
NEA (TDB) Project course: Thermodynamic data collection and assessment

The 4th edition of the annual NEA Thermochemical Database (TDB) Project course on thermodynamic data collection and assessment will be held as a free-of-charge webinar on 12 November 2020. This course is designed to familiarise scientists with current NEA TDB activities and standards, provide an overview of data collection and analysis techniques, and work through some real system examples to demonstrate the critical evaluation and data assessment process. Find out more and apply at

Follow the NEA on social media
The NEA: Advanced thinking on nuclear energy

NEA membership consists of 33 countries representing 80% of the world's installed nuclear electricity generating capacity. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low-carbon economies. The information, data and analyses it provides draw on one of the best international networks of technical experts.
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