Working Group on Electrical Power Systems (WGELEC)

The main mission of the Working Group on the Safety of Electrical Systems (WGELEC) is to advance the current understanding and address safety issues related to electrical systems of nuclear installations. The activity of the Working Group aims at enhancing the safety performance of nuclear installations and improving the effectiveness of regulatory practices in NEA member countries.

The Working Group reports to the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and assist that Committee with its work. The Working Group also collaborates with, and respond to requests from, the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and other working groups of the CSNI. 

The WGELEC meets on an annual basis to review progress of its programme of work and identify activities that should be added to the programme of work, subject to CSNI approval.  The Working Group is led by a chair, supported by a bureau of up to four of the leading members of the Working Group. Specifically, the WGELEC:

  1. Constitutes a forum for exchange of information and experience on the safety of electrical systems in member countries, thereby promoting co-operation and maintaining an effective and efficient network of experts.
  2. Identifies and prioritises issues related to the safety of electrical systems, which highlight a gap in international knowledge requiring research.
  3. Identifies those issues that appear most suitable to be addressed by the WGELEC in a co-ordinated way across the international community.
  4. Facilitates international convergence on safety issues related to the safety of electrical systems and, where practicable, seeks to develop a shared understanding and recommended solutions on important issues.
  5. Compares and, where possible, benchmarks practices and methodologies currently applied by CSNI member countries in the safety assessment of electrical systems.
  6. Allows prompt attention to evolving electrical plant events in order to share the lessons as they are learnt.
  7. Collaborates with and support cross-cutting initiatives proposed by other NEA bodies. Ensures that the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and other NEA bodies, international organisations and stakeholders are consulted as appropriate when potential cross-cutting work on the safety of electrical systems is proposed by the WGELEC.
  8. Facilitates specialist meetings, workshops and other means of fostering international collaboration with nuclear and other industries, where appropriate, to further its objectives.

The scope of the Working Group is all equipment located within a nuclear installation and provided for the purpose of generating, transmitting and distributing the electricity necessary for the achievement of safety functions (i.e. the plant power system). This scope includes batteries, emergency power systems, generators, cables, switchboards, transformers, breakers, protective relaying, etc. It also encompasses Instrumentation and Control (I&C) equipment specifically needed to manage this electricity supply function. Additionally, the loads supplied (motors, drives, sensors, relays, computers, etc.) are also within the scope of the Working Group but only regarding their electrical characteristics.

The WGELEC considers safety aspects ranging from issues specific to a given type of equipment up to considerations regarding the overall behaviour of a nuclear installation’s electrical power system.

The WGELEC activities mainly focus on issues affecting existing reactors and fuel cycle installations, but also consider their applicability for new installations, in particular advanced reactor designs.

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