Working Party on Scientific Issues of the Fuel Cycle (WPFC)


    16th meeting of the WPFC: 7 February 2018


    Workshop and Meetings:

    • 15IEMPT, 30 Sept. -3 Oct. 2018, Manchester, UK

    Mandate: WPFC mandate

    Working area (password protected | reminder)

    Background and objectives

    Under the guidance of the Nuclear Science Committee, the Working Party will deal with scientific issues in various existing and advanced nuclear fuel cycles, including fuel cycle scenarios, physics, separation chemistry and flowsheets, waste forms, fuels and materials, and coolants.


    To provide member countries with up-to-date information on and develop consensus regarding:

    • Fuel cycle scenarios:
      • Assessment of advanced fuel cycles scenarios, including resource utilisation, waste management and transition phases.
      • Fuel cycle tools and databases and evaluation of associated uncertainties.
    • Recycling technologies:
      • Keep updated information on separation technologies, including advanced aqueous and pyrochemical processing issues for different fuel cycle scenarios.
      • Evaluation of advanced processing concepts, including design bases for future reprocessing plants, and review of current robotics used for spent fuel reprocessing.
      • Improvement of waste management in advanced fuel cycles: reduction, recycle and reuse.
    • Fuels:
      • Keep updated information on fuels development for implementing in advanced systems and associated fuel cycles.
      • Evaluation of innovative fuels, including fabrication processes, characterisation, behaviour, property measurement, performance and qualification.
    • Materials:
      • Identification of advanced materials to meet systems requirements for advanced systems.
      • Assess current status and future needs for qualification of reference structural materials.
      • Identification and elaboration of areas where experimental protocols and standards are needed.
      • Identify existing databases.
    • Liquid metal and coolant technologies:
      • Assessment of the environmental effects relevant for construction standards based on a fundamental understanding of materials behaviour
      • Answer key technical issues to address radiological impact, operation, handling, maintenance and inspection as relevant for licensing.
    • Technology and components of accelerator-driven systems (workshop):
      • Accelerator and neutron source.
      • Subcritical system design and relationship to nuclear fuel cycles.


    Liaise closely with other relevant NSC working parties and NEA standing technical committees, especially the Nuclear Development Committee (NDC) and the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC), to ensure the respective work programmes are complementary and to provide advice and support where required, undertaking joint work where appropriate. Particularly close working relationships will be maintained with the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS) and the Working Party on Multi-scale Modelling of Fuels and Structural Materials for Nuclear Systems (WPMM), as well as with the Generation IV International Forum (GIF).The Working Party will also work in co-operation with other international organisations (EU, IAEA)

    To provide advice to the nuclear community on the developments needed to meet the requirements for implementing advanced long-term sustainable nuclear fuel cycles, including partitioning and transmutation.


    • Task Force on Comparative Study on Homogeneous vs. Heterogeneous Recycle of TRU in Fast Reactors (closed in 2011)
    • Task Force on Potential Benefits and Impacts of Advanced Fuel Cycles with Partitioning and Transmutation (closed in 2011)


    Working Party meetings

    • 16th meeting (7 February 2018, NEA HQ, Boulogne Billancourt, France)
    • 15th meeting (8 February 2017, NEA HQ, Boulogne Billancourt, France)
    • 14th meeting (3 February 2016, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 13th meeting (18 February 2015, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 12th meeting (19 February 2014, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 11th meeting (20 February 2013, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 10th meeting (15 February 2012, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 9th meeting (23 February 2011, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 8th meeting (24 February 2010, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 7th meeting (25 February 2009, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 6th meeting (30 April 2008, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 5th meeting (14 September 2007, Boise, USA)
    • 4th meeting (29 January 2007, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 3rd meeting (23 January 2006, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 2nd meeting (22 June 2005, NEA offices, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France)
    • 1st meeting (12 November 2004, Las Vegas, USA)

    Meeting documents are in the working area (password protected | reminder).


    NEA Information Exchange Meetings on Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation (IEM P&T) (in co-operation with the Nuclear Development Committee)

    International Workshop on Technology and Components of the Accelerator-driven Systems (TCADS)

    International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems (SMINS)

    Increased Accident Tolerance of Fuels for LWRs (supported by the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations, CSNI)

    International Workshop on Utilisation and Reliability of High Power Proton Accelerators (HPPA) (completed)



    • 2011

    Additional information

    Members' working area (password protected | reminder)

    For more information on this working party, please contact  (Tel.: +33 1 45 24 10 82)

    Last reviewed: 5 October 2017