Nuclear safety research at the Halden reactor
On 9 May 2016, the NEA Halden Reactor Project, the Agency's longest-running and largest joint project, convened the Enlarged Halden Programme Group (EHPG) meeting in Norway. The meeting gathered nearly 250 delegates from 22 countries and featured a keynote speech by the NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, entitled "Looking Forward: Nuclear Science Addressing the Challenges of the Future." The plenary session also addressed such other topics as innovation in the nuclear field, the progress of nuclear new build in Finland, and the challenges associated with nuclear R&D and its funding. The subsequent technical sessions on fuels and materials (F&M) and man-technology-organisation (MTO) covered all the main areas of the project, including reports on the joint and participant-sponsored programme results. The meeting also included system demonstration sessions showing applications of virtual reality.
Addressing challenges and opportunities regarding the financing of nuclear power plant projects
Over 150 leading stakeholders from more than 30 countries convened at the international conference on "Nuclear energy's role in the 21st century: addressing the challenge of financing" to discuss the primary challenges faced by the markets and to develop implementable approaches and solutions. The conference was held on 11‑12 May 2016 in Paris, France by the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), in co‑operation with the NEA, and is the latest IFNEC installment of a multi‑year, stakeholder‑wide focus on the financial challenges faced by nuclear energy‑related projects. Read more
Spotlight on the financing of decommissioning
On 22 April 2016, the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy held a policy debate on the financing of decommissioning, an increasingly important issue in NEA member countries as commercial nuclear power continues into its sixth decade and a growing number of nuclear reactors are at or reaching the decommissioning phase. Speakers included Mr Simon Carroll of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), Mr Raymond Cron of the Swiss Administrative Commission of the Decommissioning Fund and the Disposal Fund for Nuclear Installations, Mr Louis du Pasquier of the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea, Mr John Mauti of Ontario Power Generation, and Mr Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear (a US-based interest group). Participants in the debate recognised that there are differences in decommissioning funding and benchmarking processes across countries, and that there is no single best system that optimally fits all national contexts and legal frameworks. They reaffirmed the validity of the "polluter pays" principle to cover anticipated and unanticipated costs of the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in order to avoid placing burdens on future generations. The need to expand and improve cost benchmarking data was also highlighted.
International nuclear regulatory inspection practices
On 17-21 April 2016, the NEA Working Group on Inspection Practices (WGIP) held the 13th International Nuclear Regulatory Inspection Activities Workshop. Hosted by the Belgian nuclear regulatory body Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) and Bel V in Bruges, Belgium, the workshop was attended by 58 participants from 18 countries. It provided a forum for inspectors from around the world to discuss inspection practices and to exchange insights on current issues. Topics addressed included experience from inspection activities during the transition from an operating reactor to a defueled status with a commitment to permanently cease power operations, the inspection of modifications and the inspector’s role in the enforcement process. The workshop proceedings will include commendable inspection practices to help nuclear regulatory organisations improve their inspection programmes.
New senior appointment: Daniel Iracane, New NEA Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Daniel Iracane as the new Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer of the NEA.
Dr Iracane will support the NEA Director‑General to further enhance the technical excellence of the Agency's work and strive for greater horizontal collaboration both within the NEA and with relevant elements of the OECD. He will represent the NEA and its work in international fora to ensure close co-operation with member countries and act in the Director General’s stead as needed. Read more
Public communications of nuclear regulatory organisations: Asian perspective
On 5 April 2016, the NEA Working Group on Public Communication of Nuclear Regulatory Organisations (WGPC) held its third international workshop in Tokyo, Japan, in collaboration with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan, the Korean Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC), the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) and the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Participants included a wide range of stakeholders, including the media, communication experts, government officials and NGOs from Asian countries, notably China, India, Japan and Korea. Opening remarks were delivered by the NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, and Commissioner Nobuhiko Ban of the NRA. The main objective of the workshop was to stimulate co-operation and to improve communication of nuclear regulatory organisations by better understanding stakeholders' perceptions, needs and expectations in the Asian region. The two previous workshops were held in France in 2014 with European stakeholders and in the United States in 2015 with North American stakeholders. Important findings from this workshop include the need for nuclear regulatory organisations to organise periodic and regular exchanges with the media and stakeholders not only during times of emergency, but also during routine periods in order to build strong relationships between the two parties. The group plans to issue a comprehensive report compiling the results from the three workshops.
Regulatory oversight of the commissioning of new reactors
On 14-15 March 2016, the NEA Working Group on the Regulation of New Reactors (WGRNR) and the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP), in collaboration with the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), held their first joint workshop. During the two day-workshop, in Gyeongju, Korea, 68 regulators and experts from 15 countries tackled 11 major issues which were identified as being challenging or safety-significant during the commissioning phase for new reactors. After a thorough review of the commissioning activities of the MDEP design-specific working groups, the participants discussed lessons learnt, commendable practices and open challenges concerning the commissioning of new nuclear power plants. They also agreed on messages to be conveyed to industry stakeholders. A report will be prepared based on the workshop discussions and will propose commendable practices to help nuclear regulatory organisations develop their commissioning oversight programme as well as plan and perform their commissioning oversight activities.
Nuclear multi-physics computation
On 2-3 March 2016, the NEA Expert Group on Multi-Physics Experimental Data, Benchmarks and Validation (EGMPEBV) held its fourth meeting. Participants reviewed the progress of the group's two task forces and finalised a report on the "Definition and Scope of Multi-Physics Applications". There was also a report from a sub-group of experimenters who had collaborated on a review of the "State-of-the-art and Novel Experimental Techniques Applied to the Pellet-Clad Interaction (PCI) in Reactivity Insertion Accidents (RIA) Challenge", which was initially based on the capabilities available at the CABRI reactor facility at CEA Cadarache. Discussions were also held on the formation of the group's third task force, whose objective is to propose and execute experiment-based benchmarks for realistic configurations, where multi-physics phenomena can be observed and measured. Its initial focus will be on VVER‑type reactor plant start-up measurements, data from which is now being synthesised into benchmark format by Russian participants.
Nuclear Safety Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has just published a new report entitled Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Nuclear Safety Improvements and Lessons Learnt.
The report focuses on the actions undertaken by the NEA and its member countries at the national and international levels to improve nuclear safety and to implement the lessons learnt from the March 2011 accident. It also offers a series of conclusions and identifies some of the challenges that remain. Press release | 日本語
New NEA report on Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident
On 29 February 2016, the NEA held a live webcast and press conference for its latest report on Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Nuclear Safety Improvements and Lessons Learnt. Opening remarks were delivered by his Excellency Ambassador Kazuo Kodama, Permanent Representative of the Delegation of Japan to the OECD, and Mr William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director‑General. A detailed presentation was then given on the report's main findings and key messages, followed by a question and answer session.
Mr Javier Reig, former Head of the NEA Division of Nuclear Safety Technology and Regulation, was awarded with the Alexandrov medal at a ceremony hosted by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in France on 11 February 2016. The medal was presented by Dr Alexey Ferapontov, Deputy Chairman of Rostechnadzor, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Alexander Orlov. The honour was awarded in recognition of the significant contributions Mr Reig has made through his work at the NEA to the establishment and development of dynamic relations between the Russian Federation and the NEA.
Nuclear energy's role in the 21st century: addressing the challenge of financing
The International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) and the NEA will organise a conference on the financing of nuclear power plant projects on 11‑12 May 2016 in Paris, France. Investment in clean energies, including nuclear power, creates opportunities to reduce fossil fuel dependence, promote energy security and foster innovation. However, new nuclear build projects face a number of barriers, including high upfront costs, high perceived risk and long investment timelines. The situation is exacerbated by weak carbon pricing, lack of predictable and stable policy and regulatory environment, electricity market deficiencies and high financing costs. The conference, by invitation only, will convene leading stakeholders from energy planning authorities, regulators and export credit agencies, as well as vendors, utilities, bankers, rating agencies and insurers, to identify key barriers and develop implementable approaches to address the financing of nuclear projects. For additional information or to request an invitation, please see the IFNEC website.
International launch of Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident
On 29 February 2016, the NEA held a live webcast and press conference to launch and disseminate the findings from its latest report on Five Years after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident: Nuclear Safety Improvements and Lessons Learnt. Read more
Nuclear Innovation 2050 (NI2050) –
A roadmap to a carbonfree energy future
The NEA Nuclear Innovation 2050 (NI2050) initiative aims at i) mapping the ongoing nuclear fission R&D programmes and infrastructures, ii) defining R&D priorities to foster innovation and to enhance the long‑term contribution of nuclear fission in a low‑carbon future and iii) evaluating potential opportunities for co‑operation to implement some of these priorities. On 14‑15 January 2016, the NI2050 Advisory Panel Group met to discuss the objective, scope, methodology and process of the NI2050 roadmapping, and to finalise its Terms of Reference. The scope of the NI2050 roadmapping, displayed on the left, will be reflected in the organisation of the forthcoming expert meetings. The Terms of Reference were also endorsed by the NEA Nuclear Development Committee (NDC) during its meeting on 27‑28 January 2016.
Stakeholder Dialogue Webinar: Experience and Lessons for Young and Old Experts and Researchers
The NEA, with the support of the International Radiological Protection Association (IRPA), is hosting a series of webinars in February-March 2016 on stakeholder involvement and the use of social networks in developing interactions with stakeholders. The objective of this webinar series is to bring together young and experienced professionals in radiological protection to exchange information on addressing stakeholder concerns. Find out more about the webinar at oe.cd/1fK.
Fukushima waste management and decommissioning R&D
On 20-22 January 2016, the NEA Expert Group on Fukushima Waste Management and Decommissioning R&D (EGFWMD) held its final meeting with experts from Japan and five other countries with experience in waste management following an accident or contamination situation, including in decommissioning nuclear facilities and related remedial actions. The expert group has been working on a technical advisory report comparing the situation in Fukushima with accidents from the past, such as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and contamination situations as in Sellafield. The report is also to include recommendations on how to better prepare for contamination situations. The main goal of the January meeting was to discuss and finalise this report, which is planned to be issued in 2016.
Nuclear Energy: Combating Climate Change
The international response to global climate change is a key policy concern of the 21st century. Governments around the world have reached a general consensus on the need to achieve large cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades, to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to ensure the necessary financial and technical support for developing countries to take action. NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, and NEA experts explain the role of nuclear energy in combatting climate change within the 2°C (the "2DS") scenario. Watch the video here: youtu.be/weuSNBeZ3pY.
NEA takes part in COP21
The NEA officially launched its new brochure on Nuclear Energy: Combating Climate Change at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In co‑operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the NEA also held two side-events on "Why the Climate Needs Nuclear Energy" on 10‑11 December 2015. The purpose of the events was to highlight the role of nuclear power in helping to achieve the agreed target of limiting the rise in global mean temperatures to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The side-events benefitted not only from good co-operation among the NEA, the OECD and the IAEA, but also from a lively exchange with an interested and receptive audience. NEA representatives were present throughout the Conference at the OECD pavilion and the exhibition booth.
Advancing nuclear emergency matters
The 40th meeting of the NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) was held on 8‑9 December 2015 with the participation of 39 representatives from 17 countries. This year exchanges mainly focused on the NEA International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX‑5) on notification, communication and interfaces related to catastrophic events involving radiation or radiological materials. A key message from the NEA was to encourage participating countries to play a regional exercise with neighbouring or non-neighbouring countries in order to investigate further how countries can improve these aspects should they ever be required again. The INEX‑5 exercise represents an opportunity for participating countries to test and demonstrate the value of relevant changes put in place nationally, regionally or internationally following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.
The NEA at COP21: "Why the Climate Needs Nuclear Energy"
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) look forward to welcoming you at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during which they will be organising two side-events on "Why the Climate Needs Nuclear Energy". Visit the OECD Workspace in Blue Zone (Hall 3, Plot 7) on Thursday, 10 December, 13:15-14:45 and Friday, 11 December 2015, 11:15-12:45 to learn more about the contribution of nuclear energy to emissions abatement and sustainable development, and to pose your questions to the experts present. Find out more about the event.
2015 NEA Regulators' Forum (RWMC/RF) workshop
On 8 and 9 September 2015, the NEA Regulators' Forum (RWMC/RF) conducted an international workshop on Challenges to the Regulators in Siting and Licensing the Construction and Operation of Radioactive Waste Repositories. The workshop was hosted by the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy (MEE) and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) in Helsinki, Finland. It aimed to provide a forum to discuss and to exchange experience and approaches in preparing for license application reviews. Read more about the NEA Regulators' Forum (RWMC/RF).
New senior appointments
Mr Masahiko Fujihara has been appointed NEA Deputy Director‑General for Legal Affairs and Strategic Resources. He will work with the NEA Director‑General, overseeing the NEA Office of Legal Counsel and the Office of Administration in order to ensure the efficient implementation of the NEA's programme of work in the field of nuclear law and the sound management of NEA resources. Read more
Mr Ho Nieh has been appointed NEA Head of the Division of Nuclear Safety Regulation and Technology. He took up his duties on 31 August 2015. In line with the strategic orientations of the Secretary‑General in the area of nuclear energy, Mr Nieh will support the NEA Director‑General and principal official regarding activities associated with broad areas of nuclear safety regulatory policy, research and international co-operation. Mr Nieh will develop new approaches to enhanced horizontal co-operation within the NEA and with external bodies in order to promote effective nuclear safety around the world. Read more
Ms Yeonhee Hah has been appointed NEA Head of the Division of Human Aspects of Nuclear Safety (HANS). She took up her duties on 7 September 2015. In line with the strategic orientations of the Secretary-General in the area of nuclear energy, Ms Hah will support the NEA Director‑General and the senior official in charge of Agency work in areas associated with improving nuclear safety cultures in the context of national cultures; enhancing stakeholder and public engagement in nuclear regulatory, safety and nuclear waste contexts; and ensuring appropriate levels of training to ensure high levels of nuclear safety in NEA member countries. Read more
China's National Nuclear Emergency Response Technical Assistance Center visits the NEA to discuss nuclear emergency management
On 1 September 2015, Mr Hu Jinwu, Director of the National Nuclear Emergency Response Technical Assistance Center of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), and 17 CAEA and other Chinese experts met with Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, and senior staff to discuss international nuclear emergency management. Mr Magwood presented the Agency as well as its activities in follow-up to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The meeting also provided information on the NEA International Nuclear Emergency Exercise INEX‑5, which has been designed to test national and regional emergency management aspects of notification, communications and interfaces between and among countries and international organisations during the intermediate phase of an accident involving a radiological release from a nuclear power plant deteriorated by a natural disaster. China has been invited to participate. Presentations were also given on other activities involving the NEA and China.
Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes
Belgium has recently adhered to the Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes, bringing the number of adhering countries to 14. The Joint Declaration, which seeks to ensure the security of supply of the most widely used medical radioisotope, molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), remains open to adhesion by any country that wishes to do so. Read the declaration and see the list of adhering countries: oe.cd/RW
Just Published: Projected Costs of Generating Electricity – 2015 Edition
This joint report by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) is the eighth in a series of studies on electricity generating costs. The analysis of more than 180 plants, based on data from 22 countries, reveals several key trends, pointing, for example, to a significant decline in recent years in the cost of renewable generation. Find out more and download the executive summary.
Save the date – The international launch of Projected Costs of Generating Electricity – 2015 Edition – 31 August 2015
The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) are hosting a free webinar on 31 August 2015 at 3:00 pm (CET) to disseminate the findings from the latest edition of the Projected Costs of Generating Electricity. Read more
NEA expert receives the "Landauer Memorial Lectureship" of the U.S. Health Physics Society
Dr Edward (Ted) Lazo, NEA's Senior Radiological Protection Scientist and Deputy Head of the Division of Radiological Protection and Radioactive Waste Management, and Scientific Secretary of the Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), has been honoured with the "Landauer Memorial Lectureship" of the U.S. Health Physics Society (HPS). The honour was awarded in recognition of Dr Lazo's distinguished contribution to the field of radiation health physics. The NEA congratulates Dr Lazo, who has been with the NEA for over twenty years, for this remarkable recognition of his past and ongoing excellent scientific work with and for the NEA committees.
NEA Workshop on Challenges and Enhancements to Safety Culture of the Regulatory Body – 3 June 2015
On Wednesday, 3 June 2015 at 9:00 am (CET), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) hosted a workshop to discuss safety culture priorities, principles and implementation challenges for nuclear regulatory bodies, with the aim of helping to enhance their safety culture. The workshop featured opening remarks by NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV. The opening session provided an overview of the current status of safety culture, together with presentations and discussions on priorities and challenges. The main session then focused on principles and implementation of safety culture, as well as associated challenges and the enhancements being considered. Read more.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister Mr Mamoru Fukuyama visits the NEA to discuss nuclear safety issues arising from the Fukushima Daiichi experience
On 5 May 2015, Mr Mamoru Fukuyama, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office and of the Environment, Japan, and representatives from Japan's Cabinet Office met with Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, and staff to discuss nuclear safety issues. Mr Magwood presented the Agency's activities in follow-up to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. NEA Acting Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer, Mr Kazuo Shimomura, provided further details on NEA activities in the emergency and recovery management areas, as well as on lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, before participants exchanged views on international efforts to strengthen nuclear regulation, safety, research and radiological protection in the post-Fukushima context. In this respect, Mr Fukuyama announced that Japan will participate in the NEA's forthcoming International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX-5), which the NEA welcomed. Mr Magwood further noted that the international nuclear community had a responsibility to the people of Fukushima to learn from the events of 11 March 2011 and to support Japan's efforts to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi site.
Steering Committee Policy Debate: Health Effects of Low-dose Radiation
Health effects of low-dose radiation was the topic of the policy debate on 24 April 2015 at the 130th session of the NEA Steering Committee. Particularly since the Fukushima accident, there has been significant public and government interest concerning the radiological risks of low-dose radiation. To address this, the NEA invited some of the world’s top experts to the Steering Committee meeting to present the state of the art in radiological epidemiology studies (statistical studies of exposed and non-exposed groups to compare health statuses, e.g. the number of cancer cases, and thus to gauge risk), and radiation biology studies (studies of cellular, tissue and organism effects of exposure to ionizing radiation). In addition, a presentation on the international framework for radiological protection, as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, described the framework in the context of its practical application. Finally, an industry representative provided an overview of the operational view of radiological protection issues. Discussions indicated that, while scientific uncertainty remains, there are small but statistically significant and biologically visible risks at doses of 50 to 100 mSv. The safety of workers and the public remains the first priority of industry and regulators, recognising that public concerns drive protection to be rather conservative in nature. Research continues in many venues to attempt to refine our understanding of the effect of low doses of ionizing radiation.
Stakeholder involvement in public communication by nuclear regulatory organisations
On 1 April 2015, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA), in collaboration with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), held a second workshop on public communication by nuclear regulatory organisations (NROs). Some 45 participants from 11 countries attended the workshop in Rockville, Maryland (USA), which was held under the auspices of the NEA Working Group on Public Communication of Nuclear Regulatory Organisations (WGPC). Participants included a wide range of North American stakeholders, including the media, communication experts, government officials, NGOs and industry representatives. Opening remarks were provided by the NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, and Stephen G. Burns, Chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
GIF Framework Agreement extended for ten years
On 26 February 2015, the Framework Agreement for International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems was extended for ten years, paving the way for continued collaboration among participating countries in this important area of Gen IV R&D. A signing ceremony was held at the OECD in the presence of Mr Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General and Depositary of the Framework Agreement, and Mr William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is a co-operative international endeavour which was set up in 2005 to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation of nuclear energy systems. For more information, see www.gen‑4.org.
Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes
France has just adhered to the Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes, bringing the number of adhering countries to 13. The Joint Declaration, which seeks to ensure the security of supply of the most widely used medical radioisotope, molybdenum‑99 (Mo‑99), remains open to adhesion by any country that wishes to do so. Read the declaration: oe.cd/RW
Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes
South Africa has formally adhered to the Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes, bringing the number of adhering countries to 12. The Joint Declaration, which seeks to ensure the security of supply of the most widely used medical radioisotope, molybdenum‑99 (Mo‑99), remains open to adhesion by any country that wishes to do so. Read the declaration: oe.cd/RW
Just published – 2015 Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy
Prepared jointly by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), this Roadmap outlines the current status of nuclear technology development and the need for additional R&D to address increased safety requirements and improved economics. Read more
Save the date – Release of the IEA/NEA Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy – 29 January 2015
The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) are hosting a free webinar on 29 January 2015 at 3:00 pm (CET) to disseminate the findings from the latest edition of the IEA/NEA Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy. Read more
Last reviewed: 5 January 2016