MDEP was established in 2006 as a multinational initiative to develop innovative approaches to leverage the resources and knowledge of the national regulatory authorities that are currently or will be tasked with the review of new nuclear power reactor designs. The nuclear regulatory authorities of 15 countries participate in MDEP, which includes 6 design-specific working groups and 2 issue-specific working groups. The Nuclear Energy Agency facilitates MDEP activities by providing technical secretariat services for the programme. The MDEP Policy Group (PG) and the Steering Technical Committee (STC) oversee the programme.
Further details about the organisational structure of MDEP can be found in the terms of reference
Current MDEP members include national regulators from:
MDEP's main objectives can be defined as follows:
To carry out the work, two main lines of activity have been implemented:
A key concept throughout the work of the MDEP is that national regulators retain sovereign authority for all licensing and regulatory decisions.
For more information on the MDEP's accomplishments to date and future work, please see this year's annual report.
MDEP engages with key stakeholders involved in ensuring the safety of new reactor designs, manufacturing, construction and operation. At this time, these stakeholders include other national regulatory authorities and international organisations involved in ensuring nuclear safety including the IAEA, Western European Nuclear Regulators' Association (WENRA), NEA Committees on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI), the various reactor vendors, nuclear component manufacturers, mechanical and electrical standards development organisations, reactor operators and licensees and key industry representatives such as World Nuclear Association (WNA).
To this end, the MDEP has organised four conferences (in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2017, to communicate its work with various stakeholders. The MDEP also issues press releases that cover the programme's major events and milestones. However, individual regulators retain sole responsibility for communication on specific new reactor issues.
As of 22 May 2018, Mr Mark Foy, Chief Nuclear Inspector of the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), succeeded Mr Petteri Tiippana, Director-General of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) as chair of the MDEP Policy Group.
In accordance with the terms of reference, the MDEP carries out its work through design-specific and issue-specific working groups as follows:
Working groups for each new reactor design will share information and co-operate on specific reactor design evaluations, construction, commissioning, and early phase operation. Participants in these working groups should be MDEP member regulatory authorities (or their technical support organisations) who are interested in a specific reactor design and are willing and capable of contributing positively to the group's activities. Design-specific working groups will be formed when three or more countries express an interest in working together.
Working groups have been established for selected technical and regulatory process areas within the MDEP's Programme of work. These currently include
Last reviewed: 02 July 2020