NEA Monthly News Bulletin – December 2019

The bulletin provides monthly updates on important NEA activities and newly released reports. Subscription requests can be made by visiting

New at the NEA

NEA participates in the 6th International Symposium on Safety Improvement & Stakeholder Confidence in Radioactive Waste Management

NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, and senior staff visited Korea in November for a series of speaking engagements and meetings with various institutions, including the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), the Korea Institute of Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control (KINAC) and the Korea Radioactive Waste Agency (KORAD). On 25 November, Mr Magwood delivered a keynote speech and chaired a panel discussion on public acceptance at KORAD's 6th International Symposium on Safety Improvement & Stakeholder Confidence in Radioactive Waste Management. The NEA was also represented at the symposium by Ms Yeonhee Hah, Head of the NEA Division of Radiological Protection and Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety, and Ms Rebecca Tadesse, Head of the NEA Division of Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning, who participated in sessions on decommissioning and high‑level waste management. While in Korea, the NEA delegation visited the KAERI facilities and made progress on preparations for the joint NEA/KAERI workshop on disruptive technology to be held in May 2020.

Did you miss the NEA webinar on the supply of medical radioisotopes?

The NEA hosted a webinar on 18 November to launch and discuss the findings from its new report The Supply of Medical Radioisotopes: An Economic Diagnosis and Possible Solutions. William D. Magwood, IV, Director‑General of the NEA, Mark Pearson, Deputy Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD, Jan Horst Keppler, Senior Economist at the NEA, and Martin Wenzl, Health Policy Analyst at the OECD, provided a briefing on the key findings of the report. They discussed the use and substitutability of Tc‑99m in health care, the main economic reasons behind the current supply difficulties, and possible policy options to help address the supply issue. If you missed the live webcast, the video recording is available at‑med‑rad‑webinar‑2019 .

Spaces available in the upcoming PENELOPE workshop, 3‑7 February 2020 – Registration by 13 December

The PENELOPE course is a great opportunity for researchers to deepen their knowledge in radiation physics and its applications, with a special emphasis on electron and photon transport modelling. The course will consist of theoretical lectures and hands‑on sessions using the graphical‑user interface PenGUIn. Basic aspects of Monte Carlo sampling methods and scoring, physical interaction models, and transport schemes for charged particles will be introduced in the theoretical lectures, accompanied by hands‑on sessions. Benchmark comparisons with experiments will also be presented to illustrate the capabilities and reliability of the code. For further information and to register, see‑db‑courses.

New publications

Nuclear safety technology and regulation

Safety of nuclear installations

The NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI)  held its biannual meeting on 4‑5 December 2019. The committee approved a number of reports, including the update of a report reviewing key research facilities required to support the safety of nuclear installations. The participants noted that the previous report had been successful in ensuring the continued operation of key facilities. As such, the updated report includes new recommendations to support the facilities at risk of closure and to ensure that important experimental datasets are preserved. Another key highlight of the meeting was the completion of a report summarising the findings of the NEA Benchmark Study of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (BSAF) Project . Initiated in 2012 to improve the understanding and modelling of accident progression at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the BSAF project not only helped to improve severe accident models, but also supported a number of safety improvements and advances in regulatory practices.

Nuclear regulatory activities

At its biannual meeting on 2‑3 December 2019, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA)  held a strategic discussion on the committee's priorities, challenges and governance. The meeting provided a great chance to obtain inputs from all stakeholders involved with the committee and gave members the opportunity to actively exchange opinions. A follow up to this discussion will be undertaken by the CNRA bureau with the objective to have a final proposal of priorities and committee structure by June 2020. The meeting also included a special topical discussion on the preparation of regulatory bodies for the permanent shutdown of nuclear power plants. The session featured very informative presentations from Japan, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States, as well as a presentation from Ontario Power Generations representing the industry point of view.


International co-operation in decommissioning

The NEA Co-operative Programme for the Exchange of Scientific and Technical Information Concerning Nuclear Installation Decommissioning Projects (CPD)  held its management board meeting on 13‑14 November 2019. At this meeting, the board unanimously accepted two new projects in the programme, bringing the total number of reactor and fuel facility projects participating in the programme up to 73:  Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant in Switzerland and State Enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania. Following this decision, the CPD membership now includes 15 NEA member countries, two non‑NEA members, and the European Commission (EC). It was also decided that the CPD will develop a 10‑year anniversary report to provide a global overview of the development of the decommissioning industry, the history of the CPD, and the knowledge and insights gained through the programme in the past decade.

Radiological protection

Advancing nuclear emergency matters

The NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM)  held its annual meeting on 6‑7 November with 21 delegates representing 12 countries and the World Health Organization (WHO). The participants reviewed the activities carried out by the NEA Expert Group on Non‑radiological Public Health Aspects of Radiation Emergency Planning and Response (EGNR) and WPNEM interactions with the NEA Expert Group on Recovery Management (EGRM). Regarding near‑term priority areas of work, the WPNEM agreed that in 2020 its recently-established expert groups on i) Comparison and Understanding of Dose Prognosis (EGDP), and ii) Non‑radiological Public Health Aspects of Radiation Emergency Planning and Response (EGNR) would commence their work. The working party also agreed to update the member country protective measures handbooks.

Addressing non-radiological public health issues during radiation emergencies

Health issues due to a major nuclear accident always includes impairments attributable to both ionising radiation and non-radiological effects. As seen from the Chernobyl and Fukushima experiences, the latter had a significant socio‑economic impact on the affected communities. The recently‑established NEA Expert Group on Non‑radiological Public Health Aspects of Radiation Emergency Planning and Response (EGNR) aims to address these psycho‑socio and societal impacts, develop approaches for their mitigation, and deliver guidance to assist emergency‑management decision makers for their implementation. The group, which held its kick‑off meeting on 5 November 2019, will provide input to the development of a policy framework that adopts existing WHO guidelines on mental health and psychological support in emergencies to nuclear and radiological emergencies. It will also propose practical solutions/tools for support of the decision making process while planning for and responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies.

Nuclear law

Applications now open for the International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE)

The five‑day NEA International Nuclear Law Essentials (INLE) course aims to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy. This intensive course has been designed to accommodate the needs and interests of lawyers working in either the public or the private sectors but will also be of interest to scientists, engineers, policymakers, managers and other professionals working in the nuclear field. The next session of the INLE will take place on 17‑21 February 2020. For more information on the course and to apply, see

Nuclear science and data

Nuclear data for fission and fusion applications

The Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion (JEFF) Nuclear Data Library Project  held its biannual meetings with 50 experts from participating institutions during the NEA Nuclear Data Week from 25 to 29 November. The meetings included a special plenary session on the production of reliable nuclear data evaluations based on microscopic modelling of nuclear reactions. The JEFF Co-ordination Group also met to discuss the roadmap currently under preparation for delivering the next series of JEFF library releases, JEFF‑4, foreseen by 2024. The next JEFF meetings are scheduled to take place in April 2020.

Training courses on state-of-the-art computer codes

The NEA Data Bank organised two training sessions in November. The first session was dedicated to the Monte Carlo N Particle Transport Code (MCNP®), widely used for radiation protection and shielding, fission and fusion reactor design, detector design and analysis, and medical physics. The training was organised in Bariloche, Argentina, with the support of the Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA). The second training session focused on the FLUKA code. Jointly developed by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), FLUKA is a fully integrated particle physics Monte‑Carlo simulation package. It has many applications in high-energy experimental physics and engineering, shielding, detector and telescope design, cosmic ray studies, dosimetry, medical physics and radio‑biology. Participants in both sessions benefited first‑hand from the knowledge and dedication of the code developers and had the opportunity to present their work performed with the codes.

Upcoming workshops on computer programs: the 2020 programme is now available

The NEA Data Bank Computer Program Services organises several training sessions every year, contributing to the dissemination of state of the art codes and engaging the nuclear community. These courses provide a unique opportunity to bring together code users from around the globe and facilitate exchanges on the use of computer codes. The full programme of NEA Data Bank training courses in 2020 courses is now available at

See also