atw - April 2015

Workforce Demand from Energy Scenarios
Developing Human Resource Management Practices in the Nuclear Power Industry
Decommissioning: Legal Aspects of a Trust
Environmental Effects in Fatigue Usage Calculation
Progress at Finland’s Hanhikivi

Political and Public Support Brings Progress at Finland’s Hanhikivi

NucNet

Finland utility Fennovoima’s Hanhikivi is building the Hanhikivi-1 nuclear plant, which will be based on Russia’s AES-2006 Generation III+ pressurised water reactor design. The company’s chief executive, Toni Hemminki, spoke to NucNet about progress, public support and the importance of Russian knowhow.

Top Down Workforce Demand from Energy Scenarios: Influence of Long Term Operation

Ferry Roelofs and Ulrik von Estorff

EHRO-N or the European Human Resource Observatory for the Nuclear Energy Sector is the initiative of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF), with the task to build a system for monitoring the supply of and demand for experts needed for the nuclear energy sector in the 28 European member states (EU-28) and the enlargement and integration countries for the years to come until 2020. EHRO-N provides the European Commission (EC) with essential data related to supply and demand for nuclear experts in the EU-28 and the enlargement and integration countries based on bottom-up information from the nuclear industry. The objective is to assess how the supply of experts for the nuclear industry in the EU-28 and the enlargement and integration countries responds to the needs for the same experts for the present and future nuclear projects in the region.

The objective of the current analysis is to extend the previous study with an extrapolation of the workforce in the case that most European reactors will extend their lifetime. It was concluded from the previous study that the two energy demand scenarios which were considered did not reveal significantly different results. Therefore, the current analysis only takes into account the ’20 % nuclear electricity’ (officially called ‘Delayed CCS’) scenario from the EC Energy Roadmap 2050.

Assessment Method for Analyzing and Developing Human Resource Management Practices in the Nuclear Power Industry

Eerikki Mäki, Krista Pahkin, S. Lindström and Anna-Leena Kurki

Implementation of HRM practices is often devolved from the HRM unit to front line managers and supervisors. However, the implementation of these practices by line managers and supervisors may vary significantly. They may, for example, be unaware of how to implement HRM practices or sceptical towards the effectiveness of the intended practices. Based on the literature, interviews and workshops in the nuclear power industry, a self-assessment method of HRM practices for intra-organizational use was developed. The assessment method was piloted in four nuclear power organizations. The assessment method seems to be a good tool for generating fruitful discussion on HRM practices, finding areas of HRM practices that need to be developed, and triggering peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and learning on HRM practices.

The ECVET Toolkit Customization for the Nuclear Energy Sector

Mihail Ceclan, César Chenel Ramos and Ulrik von Estorff

As part of its support to the introduction of ECVET in the nuclear energy sector, the Institute for Energy and Transport (IET) of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission (EC), through the ECVET Team of the European Human Resources Observatory for the Nuclear energy sector (EHRO-N), developed in the last six years (2009-2014) a sectorial approach and a road map for ECVET implementation in the nuclear energy sector.

In order to observe the road map for the ECVET implementation, the toolkit customization for nuclear energy sector is required. This article describes the outcomes of the toolkit customization, based on ECVET approach, for nuclear qualifications design.

The process of the toolkit customization took into account the fact that nuclear qualifications are mostly of higher levels (five and above) of the European Qualifications Framework.

International Negotiations with Iran: A last Interim Report?

Odette Jankowitsch-Prevor

The precisely formulated “Joint Plan of Action” elaborated in Geneva on 24th November 2013 adopted by E3+3 and Iran on 12th January 2014, and to be executed from 20th January 2015 on with a temporary restriction can be understood from present point of view as beginning of a systematic reconditioning of open questions on the Iranian atomic program with the target to achieve a comprehensive agreement. 

Ten years after the first IAEO report on the possible dimension of undeclared nuclear activities Iran commits itself to carry out voluntarily specific measures to not develop further its atomic programs, to stop partial operation and to permit IAEO inspections in a larger dimension on an unprecedented scale.

After a successful execution of all regulated measures without any exceptions stated in the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) the Iranian nuclear program would be equated with the programs of all non-nuclear weapon countries within the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). Only an overall comprehensive and exclusive solution counted: “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

Markus Schewe and Stefan Wiesendahl

The nuclear power plant operators have to bear the costs associated with the closure and the decommissioning of the German nuclear power plants as well as the costs for the disposal of nuclear waste. For that purpose, the operators have to build up sufficient reserves for the decommissioning phase. These reserves at the end of 2013 amounted to approximately 36 billion Euro.

Changing this system is discussed every so often. Last in May 2014, a public debate started dealing with the so called trust model (“Stiftungsmodell”). The press published deliberations of several operators to transfer their entire nuclear business to the Federal Republic of Germany. Under this deliberation the current nuclear power plant operations, as well as closure obligations would be contributed to trust. Further, also the reserves should be “transferred” to the trust. RAG-Foundation (RAG-Stiftung) – which will assume the financial obligations in connection with Germany's closure of underground coal mining activities – sometimes is cited as a role model.

The article covers elements of German trust law and atomic energy law regarding such deliberations. In trust law e.g. it can be debated whether the trust should be established under public or – as in the case of RAG-Foundation – under private law. In this context we will set out the major differences between those two options. In the public law part we will notably address issues arising from individual licensing requirements for nuclear power plants and focus on questions concerning reliability, requisite qualification and organizational structures.

Fatigue Approach for Addressing Environmental Effects in Fatigue Usage Calculation

Paul Wilhelm, Paul Steinmann und Jürgen Rudolph

Laboratory tests consider simple trapezoidal, triangle, and sinusoidal signals. However, actual plant components are characterized by complex loading patterns and periods of holds. Fatigue tests in water environment show, that the damage from a realistic strain variation or the presence of hold-times within cyclic loading results in an environmental reduction factor (Fen) only half that of a simple waveform.

This study proposes a new fatigue approach for addressing environmental effects in fatigue usage calculation for class 1 boiler and pressure vessel reactor components. The currently accepted method of fatigue assessment has been used as a base model and all cycles, which have been comparable with realistic fatigue tests, have been excluded from the code-based fatigue calculation and evaluated directly with the test data. The results presented show that the engineering approach can successfully be integrated in the code-based fatigue assessment. The cumulative usage factor can be reduced considerably.

60th year atw: The IAEA Prepares for its Control Tasks

Hans-Hilger Haunschild

As expected, the 15th general conference of the IAEA in Vienna focused on safety control. They were handled objectively and without any polemic and will be the main tasks of the IAEA in the future. In addition technical support will be the second main task. The Federal Republic of Germany, which is currently already part of the countries with the highest contribution, is ready for greater involvement.

The treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) came into force with the ratification of 40 countries on 5. March 1970 and has been signed in the meantime by 98 states of which 66 already ratified it. Due to the deadlines laid down by the treaty around 50 countries need to conclude agreements on safety controls as provided in the treaty until the end of February 1972. Thus it was to be expected, that the XV General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA Vienna, 21. to 27. September 1971) will reflect on supervision measures according to the NPT-treaty

Germany Steps up Pressure on Fessenheim, but is the ‘Energiewende’ All-Knowing?

John Shepherd

Politics of course has more than its fair share of those who know everything and do their best not to let get the facts get in the way where inconvenient truths risk destroying their “Besserwisser” illusions. An example of this is a letter from Germany’s federal environment minister Barbara Hendricks to her French counterpart Ségolène Royal. The subject of the letter was the closure of France’s Fessenheim nuclear power plant.

The content of the letter appears to show that, not content with stamping out the use of nuclear energy in Germany and all the knowledge and industrial expertise that goes with it, Germany seems intent on imposing its point of view onto its neighbour. Hendricks acknowledges that any decisions relating to Fessenheim are for France alone as a sovereign nation. But, if that is the case, why bother to write the letter in the first place?

In reply Royal, a prominent French Socialist, stresses French president François Hollande’s desire to close Fessenheim before his term of office draws to a close. Royal also noted that it is up to France’s nuclear operator, EDF, to “define which reactors are removed from the grid”.

It is also amusing to read Royal’s comment that the fact Fessenheim can be closed at all is largely due to the construction of replacement nuclear capacity at Flamanville, in northern France. Surely that irony could not have been lost on Germany’s environment ministry.

 

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