Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle (NDC)
Ongoing
Ongoing Meeting. Photo: NEA.

Overview

The Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle, known as the Nuclear Development Committee (NDC), was established in 1977, initially with the aim of analysing the resources that would be needed for future exploitation of nuclear energy. The NDC mandate is consistent with the NEA objectives in the nuclear development area and is adopted on a five-year basis. The Committee meets roughly every eight months to review activities being carried out by the expert groups and to adopt its programme of work.

Participation in the NDC is restricted to NEA members. In recent years, however, the ad hoc expert groups that undertake most of the programme of work have included experts from non-member economies of Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The goal of the Nuclear Development Committee is to provide authoritative, reliable information on nuclear technologies, economics, strategies and resources to governments for use in policy analyses and decision-making, as well as on the future role of nuclear energy in a sustainable development perspective and within the broad context of national and international energy policies.

The programme of work of the NEA in this field is aimed at providing member governments with consensus expert views that help them in formulation and presentation of their policies. At their request a wide range of studies on the economics and technology of nuclear power is carried out and seminars are organised for the exchange and consolidation of information. All aspects of the costs of nuclear energy are reviewed regularly, as are the wider economic context of nuclear energy and its resource base, government policies that affect the nuclear industry, the outlook for nuclear energy, and the needs for supporting infrastructure. Close collaboration is maintained with the International Energy Agency (IEA), other parts of the OECD, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and with relevant sections of the European Commission. The Nuclear Development Committee (NDC) is the permanent body that provides guidance on this work, ensuring that it reflects the priorities of Member countries. It has one permanent sub-group, the Joint NEA/IAEA Uranium Group .

The NEA's programme on economic and technical studies seeks to anticipate the issues that will be of concern to member governments. With the collaboration of the IEA and the IAEA, and within the wider framework of OECD policy and economic analysis, it offers an efficient means to address a wide-ranging set of issues, and to assist in the understanding of the potential contribution that nuclear energy can make to the energy policy goals of its members.

Objectives

  • analyse the economics of nuclear power across the full nuclear fuel cycle in the context of changes in electricity markets, social acceptance and technological advances, and to assist member countries in evaluating the role of nuclear energy in their energy policies;
  • promote international co-operation on the development of innovative nuclear energy systems;
  • review the role of nuclear power in the broader perspective of climate change and sustainable development;
  • assess the availability of nuclear fuel and infrastructure required for the deployment of existing and future nuclear power and to identify the eventual gaps;
  • assist member countries, upon request, in addressing emerging concerns related to nuclear technology and radioactive materials, including medical radioisotopes, within the constraints of financial limitations and as augmented by voluntary contributions;
  • establish a communication network within and outside the OECD framework aiming to provide factual information on nuclear issues;
  • review the role of research and development in new nuclear technologies and their impact on energy generation and non-power applications.

Working Methods

The members of NDC and the Uranium Group are nominated by NEA member governments. They consist of a mixture of government and government agency officials, together with representatives from national nuclear research institutes and from industry. These committees meet once or twice each year to review progress with regard to the programme of work and developments in member countries and relevant international organisations, and to prepare future activities.

The bulk of the work is carried out by a number of ad hoc expert groups, each convened to perform a specific task. These studies are aimed at the publication of consensus reports based on the experts' personal experience in regard to the issues in question. The studies frequently establish a framework that is used widely by governments, NGOs and research organizations and that provide a basic corps of economic or technical data. Other topics are the subject of international workshops or seminars organised by the Secretariat. These meetings may lead to the publication of proceedings or to the commissioning of further analyses by expert groups.

The Secretariat also carries out analytical work directly for the NDC and ensures that the results of all the work are fed into activities of other parts of the NEA and the OECD, and international bodies such as the International panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Much of the work sponsored by the NDC is presented at international conferences, either by the Secretariat or by members of the expert groups.

Experts and participants in workshops and seminars are nominated by member governments. Experts from the IAEA, the IEA and the European Commission also participate. When there is mutual benefit, experts from non-members of the OECD participate in support of the IAEA representation.

Bureau Members

Finland: Mr Jorma Aurela
France: Mr Patrick Ledermann (Chair)
Japan: Mr Yu Nagai
Poland: Mr Zbigniew Kubacki
United States: Mr William (Bill) McCaughey

NDC Committee Members  (password protected)

Contact

NTE-Web@oecd-nea.org