atw - December 2016

Nuclear Power: Key Contributor to a Decarbonised EU
The German Energiewende and the Paris-Agreement
The Latest results from Source Term Search
The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy (II)
Approval Measurement for Waste

Q&A: Why the EC’s PINC Has Failed Europe’s Nuclear Industry


The European Economic and Social Committee (­EESC) has called for a more comprehensive strategy to be incorporated in a revised version of the European Commission’s (EC) Illustrative Programme for Nuclear Energy (PINC). EESC member Brian Curtis tells NucNet why the PINC has failed to address key issues for nuclear and why he believes the EC has become side-tracked by renewables. The EESC is a consultative body which represents the interests of civil society organisations and stakeholders at the EU. Its opinions are forwarded to the EC, the European Council, and the European Parliament and are considered in the EU’s decision-making process. Brian Curtis was rapporteur on the committee’s opinion paper.

Nuclear Power: A Key Contributor to a Decarbonised European Union


The European energy sector is currently facing a new set of challenges in the light of the COP21 Paris agreement, the Energy Union initiative and new market design projections. Nuclear energy sector understands the post COP21 constellation as a unique opportunity for all low carbon technologies which will be basic for transition towards COP21 commitments. A new policy outlook for Europe is needed in order to provide low carbon capacity, lead to the modernisation of technical processes and contribute to the prosperity of Europeans. The benefits of nuclear are highlighted for a low carbon future and for the security of supply and recommend actions for supporting new investments.

The German Energiewende Evaluation after the Paris-Agreement

Eike Roth

The World-Climate-Summit 2016 in Paris agreed to exacerbated goals for climate protection. This paper will scrutinize whether Germany can comply with its Paris-obligations by continuing the ongoing German “Energiewende”. The result is clear-cut: The German “Energiewende” is inadequate. Due to the cap-and-trade system of the EU the “Energiewende” can in no way contribute to climate protection.

The Draft on the Act in the Reorganisation of Responsibility in Nuclear Waste Management

Christian Raetzke

The German Federal Cabinet passed the draft “Act for the Reorganisation of Responsibility in Nuclear Waste Management”. The individual elements of the act shape an overall concept. The public sector, also assumes the interim storage of the waste inaddition to the previous responsibility for finaldisposal of radioactive waste. Both tasks will befinanced by a new public fund into which the operators pay their provisions. By paying anadditional risk premium the operators can also exclude future margin requirements. This new concept is to be welcomed because it would lead to a structurally viable and sustainable solution for the final disposal of nuclear wastes, not withstanding many difficulties and partly uncertainties in detail.

The Latest Results from Source Term Research: Overview and Outlook

Luis E. Herranz, Tim Haste and Teemu Kärkelä

Source term research has continued internationally for more than 30 years, increasing confidence incalculations of the potential radioactive release to the environment after a severe reactor accident. Important experimental data have been obtained, mainly under international frameworks such as OECD/NEA and EURATOM. Specifically, Phébus FP provides major insights into fission product release and transport. Results are included in severe accident analysis codes. Data from international projects are being interpreted with a view to further improvements in these codes. This paper synthesizes the recent main outcomes from source term research on these topics, and on source term mitigation. It highlights knowledge gaps remaining and discusses ways to proceed. Aside from this further knowledge-driven research, there is consensus on the need to assess the source term predictive ability of current system codes, taking account of scale-up from experiment to reactor conditions.

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’ – The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Western European Nation States and the United States of America – Part II of III

Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

The management of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and nuclear wastes demands a strategy to provide for the safe, secure, and permanent disposal of radio­active material from power generation, defense uses, and other activities. Nation states have taken different paths to nuclear waste management and are at various stages of the development of a nuclear waste management strategy. A strategy may include developing a geological repository, nuclear fuel reprocessing, interim storage, as well as discussions of the creation of a multinational storage facility. The paper provides an overview of the strategy used (or being developed) and its place within the legal framework. The paper concludes that though each nation state must look outward to its shared international obligations, there must also be an inward reflection of a nation state to its own traditions, customs, and legal/law making regimes.

Clearance Measurement for Waste Concerning Contained Radioactivity

Marina Sokcic-Kostic and Roland Schultheis

Clearance measurements are always a compromise between requirements of the measurement tech­nology and economic boundary conditions.Depending on the quantity and the type of waste, different solutions are obtained. For large volumes of more or less homogeneous waste, the conveyor belt method is the biggest favorite, which has already proved its suitability in practice. This is important, because numerous nuclear power stations are being decommissioned in Germany in the coming years and large quantities of waste will be arising. For some applications, e.g. Tritium or C-14, satisfying solutions either do not exist or are currently in the development stages. There is still great potential for the development of clearance methods.

Diaphragm Metering Pumps for Cooling Silicon Sensors at the CERN Research Center

Marc Geiselhart

With approximately 9,600 magnets and a circumference of 26.659 km, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest and most sophisticated accelerator operated by the CERN research institute. The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment, the A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (­ATLAS) experiment, and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment are three of the four experiments currently installed at LHC. In order to achieve precise measurements, silicon detectors are built in close vicinity to the interaction point of all experiments. Carbon dioxide cooling plants cool the innermost layers of the silicon detectors down to temperatures as low as -40 °C. Two diaphragm metering pumps have been used for the LHCb experiment since 2007. Two similar systems operated in redundancy guarantee from the beginning of 2015 the thermal management of the IBL sub-detector of the TALS experiment.

AMNT 2016 Key Topic: Enhanced Safety & Operation Excellence

Angelika Bohnstedt and Erik Baumann

Summary report on the Key Topic “Enhanced Safety & Operation Excellence” Focus Session “Radiation Protection” of the 47th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2016) held in Hamburg, 10 to 12 May 2016. Other Sessions of AMNT 2016 have been and will be covered in further issues of atw.

Frédéric Joliot/Otto Hahn Summer School 2016 on Nuclear Reactors: Tomorrow’s Liquid Metal Fast Reactors – Towards Improved Safety and Performance

Victor H. Sánchez-Espinoza

This year’s Frédéric Joliot/Otto Hahn (FJOH) Summer School was organized by the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (CEA) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Aix-En Provence, France. The school’s topic in this year was Tomorrow’s Liquid Metal Fast Reactors – Towards Improved Safety and Performance. Recognized experts from Europe, America, and Asia presented the latest developments, current status, and trends on related fields.

Will Trump Harness the Power of the US Presidency to Re-energise Nuclear?

John Shepherd

Four days after the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, before the world knew the enormity of what had happened, a US property tycoon said in an interview on national television: “I am strongly in favour of nuclear energy.” In the aftermath of that catastrophe, as nuclear experts, regulators and governments were rushing to understand what had happened, the businessman did not waiver in his opinion. His words did not grab international headlines in the dark days after Fukushima. However, as of 8 ­November 2016, the world is now compelled to hang on the tycoon’s every word – because he is now the US president-elect, Donald Trump.


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