NEA Nuclear Safety Research Joint Projects Week: A Success Story and Opportunities for Future Developments

The NEA Nuclear Safety Research Joint Projects Week will host high-level panels and a series of technical sessions to review the main benefits from the last four decades of NEA safety research joint projects and discuss how the established framework, research platforms and networks could support future developments in the nuclear energy sector, facilitating innovation.

This workshop will bring together stakeholders from the nuclear energy sector, including regulators, representatives from technical support, research and international organisations, as well as industry representatives to share views on research frameworks, platforms and competences needed in order to maintain or develop future collective nuclear safety research in the nuclear energy sector. Based on the experience gained through NEA safety research joint projects, workshop participants will also share recommendations for the development of future joint international research ventures at the NEA to support innovations.

Workshop objectives

The objective of this workshop is to review the experience gained in the last 40 years of NEA nuclear safety research joint projects. Event participants will discuss the benefits of development of technical bases for the demonstration of safety and reflect on how safety research joint projects contribute to shaping the collective intelligence that connects the industry, regulators and research organisations on key safety aspects. Participants will also exchange on how to preserve key research facilities and key competences at risk that contribute to education of young researchers, as well as the production of high quality data sets for safety codes development and validation; with most of them available to NEA member countries through the NEA Data Bank.

The event will also provide a forum to discuss maintenance and evolution of the established frameworks, research platforms and networks to open opportunities for supporting the continued safe operation of nuclear power plants and to ease the licensing process of new reactor designs and systems, including small modular reactors (SMRs) and innovative safety systems. In particular, different technology developers, technical and scientific support organisations (TSOs) and experimental researchers operating research facilities will be able to discuss areas for co-operation and resource sharing for experiments, code validation activities and related competences.

Structure

The workshop will be organised in three main streams:

  • During the first day participants will take stock of the existing overall experience and discuss main benefits from NEA joint projects, as well as opportunities for evolution of the joint projects framework and infrastructures.
  • The following three days will be devoted to reviewing concrete examples of joint projects in each nuclear safety technical area (i.e. safety in design, in operation, and in accidents areas addressing technical fields such as accident analysis and management, fuel safety, safety of systems, structures and components including reliability of innovative design safety solutions, etc.) highlighting successful aspects, lessons learnt, as well as current and future challenges.
  • The last day will focus on summarising the discussions from the first four days and providing recommendations for future research initiatives.
Challenges addressed

The workshop will address the following challenges:

  • Challenge 1 – How safety research joint projects should ensure safety research is performed in an efficient and effective manner for the benefit of all stakeholders of the nuclear energy sector, given their future expectations for both conventional and a variety of innovative technologies?
  • Challenge 2 – How safety research joint projects could better serve development and maintenance of key competences and research infrastructures, including education of new talents for the future of the nuclear energy sector?
  • Challenge 3 – What could be the new approaches and arguments for facilitating decisions from public and private stakeholders of the nuclear energy sector to fund the future safety research joint projects for the benefit of nuclear innovation and safety in general?
  • Challenge 4 – What mechanisms could be set to establish future priorities for international co-operation in nuclear safety research?
Related NEA publications
2021 NEA Annual Report For more information about the NEA Nuclear Safety Research Joint Projects, read the 2021 NEA Annual Report