atw - June 2015

Creating Symbiosis in Research and Education
Education EURATOM FP7 GENTLE Project
Environmental Monitoring
Accurate Core Integrity Evaluation
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC)

Japan’s Long Road Back to a Nuclear Future

NucNet

Nuclear can still have a key role to play in Japan’s energy policy, but the restart process for offline reactors is strict and time-consuming. Japan Atomic Industrial Forum’s president Takuya Hattori spoke to NucNet about the current developments related to the restart of nuclear power plants and further developments in this field in Japan.

Takuya Hattori is president of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) and president of the Jaif International Cooperation Centre.

Creating Symbiosis in Research and Education: Preserve Nuclear Competencies for Germany and Provide Highest Safety Standards to International Markets

Stefan Nießen

AREVA participates actively in networks of industry and science via university cooperation and gives new ideas born from practical experience for the academic training of future nuclear engineers. Thus, the company ensures both the availability of new talents for its export strategy and relevant expertise for nuclear safety in Germany. 

When it comes to education and science after the German nuclear phase-out decision, the efforts must focus on internationalization. Greater integration in international networks can contribute to keeping the nuclear know-how in Germany alive. This concerns both industry and science. By having foreign experts use German training facilities, participate in research projects and gather professional practice, they contribute to the safe operation here and experience first-hand our safety culture grown over decades. In this context, AREVA outlines its university cooperation in Germany and abroad

Professional Education in the Framework of the EURATOM FP7 GENTLE Project

Jan Leen Kloosterman, Rudy J.M. Konings, Dario Manara, Victor Hugo Sanchez, Marco Ricotti, Alan H. Tkaczyk and Rene Tamboer

The pan-European GENTLE project is initiated by leading institutions in the field of nuclear engineering and education to create a sustainable life-long learning programme in nuclear fission technology. Directly targeting the needs of industry, research, regulatory and TSO organizations, three different learning programmes have been developed:

  1. support for student research experiences,
  2. inter-semester courses for undergraduate and graduate students on topics outside regular curricula, and
  3. a professional education programme targeting at professionals with 5 years of working experience outside the nuclear industry.

More information can be found at www.gentleproject.eu.

Utilization of a University Reactor for Public Acceptance

Myung Hyun Kim

AGN-201K is a university reactor in Kyung Hee University (KHU) mainly used for student education as training short course as well as academic course for senior-level. After the Fukushima accident, public concern on radiation hazard has been increased beyond rational level at a neighboring country. It was found that AGN-201K be the perfect tool for interaction with general public. It is very safe to operate with general participants because it is adapted to the very low power. However, radiation level is reasonably high to detect and shield for practice. KHU has a Regional Radiation Monitoring Post where environmental radiation level at Suwon city is continuously measured. In this facility, radiation level at soil, rain, and local agricultural products were measured and reported to the national monitoring headquarter. 

A new mission of reactor research and education center of KHU has been tried from last summer. Facilities were opened for high school students and teachers for their science camps during summer & winter. A special public acceptance program named as experience camp for understanding the nuclear power and radiation was held 6 times for the last one-year period. Even though number of attendee was limited and small, feedback from participants was hot and positive enough to make professors be ready to sacrifice their personal time.

Full Spectrum Analysis in Environmental Monitoring

Sascha Reinhardt, Sören Hartmann and Richard Pimpl

In the environmental monitoring spectroscopic gamma detectors are frequently used. The motivation to use spectroscopic gamma detectors is the higher sensitivity and specific spectral information. For the analysis often the photo peaks of the gamma spectrum are used to identify the nuclide. These methods are very reliable, robust and well developed but using only the photo peak means also to use only a fraction of the available information. Doing a full spectrum analysis based on principle components obtained from NASVD for description of the radiation background and adjustment calculations are a possible analysis method which may provide advantages compared to a peak based analysis when used for a continuous environmental monitoring. An analysis example is shown and discussed with a measured time series of gamma spectra obtained from a spectroscopic gamma detector SARA IGS710 with a NaI(Tl) scintillator as it is used in the environmental monitoring.

Effective Use of Pre-Job Briefing as Tool for the Prevention of Human Error

Ansgar Schlump

There is a fundamental demand to minimise the risks for workers and facilities while executing maintenance work. To ensure that facilities are secure and reliable, any deviation from normal operation behaviour has to be avoided.

Accurate planning is the basis for minimising mistakes and making work more secure. All workers involved should understand how the work should be done and what is expected to avoid human errors. Especially in nuclear power plants, the human performance tools (HPT) have proved to be an effective instrument to minimise human errors. These human performance tools consist of numerous different tools that complement each other (e.g. pre-job briefing). The safety culture of the plants is also characterised by these tools.

The choice of using the right HP-Tool is often a difficult task for the work planer. On the one hand, he wants to avoid mistakes during the execution of work but on the other hand he does not want to irritate the workers with unnecessary requirements. 

The proposed concept uses a simple risk analysis to take into account the complexity of the task, the experience of the past and the consequences of failure in to account. One main result of this risk analysis is a recommendation of the detailing of the pre-job briefing, to reduce the risks for the involved staff to a minimum.

A Proposal for More Accurate Core Integrity Evaluation

Soon-Kyoo Han and Hyun-Woo Lee

In general, the periodic core surveillance is performed by using movable in-core detectors, which measure neutron fluxes of fuel assemblies to evaluate primary variables of core integrity by a core analysis code. In the calculation, the measured raw neutron fluxes should be reconstructed since the code has a limitation that only the fixed number of data from measured one can be used. Therefore, validation of reconstruction method is needed to be examined in order to perform more accurate core surveillance and ensure core integrity because some amount of deviation from the raw data are inevitable. In this study, we compared axial power distribution shape and RMS errors between the conventional method and newly proposed method. As a result, comparisons and RMS deviation analyses revealed that the proposed method is more suitable for reconstructing power distribution from the raw data.

Engineering Possibilities Versus Practical Implementation: Nuclear

Editor

Europe’s energy transition has placed the nuclear sector at a crossroads, and members of POWER-GEN Europe’s Advisory Board have considered the role of nuclear in Europe’s drive towards energy decarbonisation, ahead of the conference. Simon Hobday, Jacob Klimstra, David Porter and Ulla Pettersson talked about the role of nuclear in Europe’s energy decarbonisation, nations in Europe where new nuclear generation appears likely, and the future role of the European Commission.

The Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) – A Cornerstone of a Global Nuclear Liability Regime?

Norbert Pelzer

International discussions on compensation of nuclear damage seem to be governed by the magic word “global nuclear liability regime”. It is said that only such regime promises to guarantee full and timely compensation at conditions acceptable and favourable for both the victims and the operator liable and at the same time promotes nuclear industry. Surely, nuclear incidents may have worldwide implications, and a globally unified legal framework appears to be desirable or is even necessitated. But until today we have not yet achieved a global regime. There are international nuclear liability conventions some of which may be qualified to form such regime. But which of them is best qualified and which one could be accepted by all States? Mainly the USA opt for, and strongly support, the 1997 “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” (CSC) to be the only international instrument which is apt to form a global regime. This paper will deal with the question whether this assertion is convincing. It will also be asked whether we need a global regime.

CANDU Heat Sinks Improvements as a Follow up to Fukushima Daiichi Accident “The Regulator Perspective”

Noreddine Mesmous and Chris Harwood

The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) recommendations related to improving the heat sink strategy as a follow up to the Fukushima Daiichi Accident (FDA). As a follow up to FDA, CNSC staff tasked the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) licensees to review the lessons learned from the FDA and re-examine the NPP safety cases. The reviews have examined the CANDU defence-in-depth strategy and considered events more severe than those that have historically been regarded as credible, and evaluated their impact on the NPPs safety. Availability of emergency equipment was shown to be crucial during the FDA and its availability could have arrested the accident progression early enough to minimize any radioactive release to the environment. As a result, licensees presented appropriate evaluations of the means to provide coolant make-up to the primary Heat Transport System (HTS), boilers, moderator, calandria vault, and irradiated fuel pools.

60th year atw: Probability and Consequences of Severe Reactor Accidents

Norman Carl Rasmussen

The study carried out on behalf of former USAEC (United States Atomic Energy Commission) led by Prof. Rasmussen and published in reworked form as WASH 1400 by the USNRC (United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission) in 1975, assessed in 3,300 pages the risks that can be deducted from severe accidents in nuclear power plants. The results, often quoted and criticised, were so far the most conclusive statements to this question.

In his lecture at the reactor meeting in 1976, Prof. Rasmussen tried to trace back the conclusion of the results to the question: Is the use of larger nuclear power plants, in accordance to experiences and calculations so far, acceptable? His risk assessment, related to American power plants and cites, on behalf of the BMI is currently evaluated by the IRS together with the LRA on specific occurrences within the Federal Republic of Germany.

Nuclear Industry Powering up to Tackle Potential Threats from Cyberspace

John Shepherd

In June 2015, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with international agencies including the crime- fighting organisation Interpol, will host a major conference on the protection of computer systems and networks that support operations at the world’s nuclear facilities. According to the IAEA, the use of computers and other digital electronic equipment in physical protection systems at nuclear facilities, as well as in facility safety systems, instrumentation, information processing and communication, “continues to grow and presents an ever more likely target for cyber-attack”. The international nuclear industry is right to take heed of ever-evolving security threats, deal with them accordingly, and be as open and transparent as security allows about what is being done, which will reassure the general public. However, the potential menace of cyberspace should not be allowed to become such a distraction that it gives those who are ideologically opposed to nuclear another stick with which to beat the industry.

 

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