NEA nuclear safety committees make progress on best practices in the safety assessment and regulation of nuclear facilities

CSNI Dec 2023

The NEA Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) held their second meetings of 2023 in Paris on 4-8 December, to discuss current activities and best practices in the safety assessment and regulation of nuclear facilities. 

During the meetings, the CSNI participants reviewed and approved three major reports. The first was on activities related to the recently performed NEA international benchmarking exercise on the simulation of nuclear power plants’ electrical power systems. The second outlined the outcomes of the Symposium on Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Reactors of Singular Designs organised by the NEA and International Atomic Energy Agency. The third report was about a workshop on experimental validation of the application of computational fluid dynamics codes to resolve nuclear reactor safety issues.

The CSNI participants also discussed plans to develop guidance on the safe management of ageing and aged fuel cycle facilities as well as the upcoming “NEA High Level Nuclear Safety Research Roadmap", a document that will guide research on safety needed for the long-term operation of existing nuclear power plants and the safety demonstration of upcoming small modular reactors. The Roadmap is to be discussed with the NEA Steering Committee in 2024.

The participants of the CNRA, meanwhile, reviewed and approved two major reports, one on the mutual impact of regulators and regulated organisations, the other on leadership. They also approved new work on six topics:

- the development of a tool kit to support the application of the so-called “Green Booklet”, a report on "The Characteristics of a Trusted Regulator”;

- regulatory practices to ensure appropriate qualification and through-life performance of materials in advanced reactors;

- gathering information on pre-engagement activities with potential applicants for new, advanced, small and modular reactors

- updates to the common position related to witnessed, joint and multinational vendor inspection protocol;

- updates to the common position related to the mitigation of the risks of counterfeit, fraudulent and suspect items; and

- updates to the “Green Booklet” related to the nuclear regulators’ role in assessing licensee oversight of vendor and other contracted services. 

The conclusion of this meeting saw the rotation of the Chairmanship for the CNRA, with the new Chair, Tomoya Ichimura from Japan, replacing Petteri Tiippana from Finland. Mr Tiippana was thanked by the members for his commitment and leadership in the CNRA over the previous five years.

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