atw - January 2018

_ETSON Strategic Orientations on Research Activities
_Eurosafe 2017
_Integrated Approach for Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards
_Clearance of Surface-contaminated Objects
_“Newcomer Nuclear Nation Leads Way

UK Is Leading the Way With Clear Strategy for Nuclear


The UK is Europe’s most prominent leader in nuclear development because of the government’s clear strategy of supporting nuclear energy as part of its future energy mix, a senior official from US-based nuclear equipment manufacturer Westinghouse Electric Company said. Mr Kirst told that the UK government’s decision to support the financing of new energy projects, including nuclear, by way of a contract for difference scheme was a breakthrough. Additionally potential for nuclear development in other EU member states is possible in Poland and the Czech Republic where also new nuclear capacities are possible. Potential exists also in non-EU countries like Turkey and the Ukraine.

ETSON Strategic Orientations on Research Activities. ETSON Research Group Activity

J.P. Van Dorsselaere, M. Barrachin, D. Millington, M. Adorni, M. Hrehor, F. Mascari, A. Schaffrath, I. Tiselj, E. Uspuras, Y. Yamamoto, D. Gumenyuk, N. Fedotova, O. Cronvall and P. Liska

In 2011, ETSON published the “Position Paper of the Technical Safety Organizations: Research Needs in Nuclear Safety for Gen 2 and Gen 3 NPPs”. This paper, published only a few months after the Fukushima-Daiichi severe accidents, presented the priorities for R&D on the main pending safety issues. It was produced by the ETSON Research Group (ERG) that has the mandate of identifying and prioritizing safety research needs, sharing information on research projects in which ETSON members are involved, defining and launching new research projects and disseminating knowledge among ETSON members. Six years after this publication, many R&D international projects finished in diverse frames, and other ones have started. In particular a lot of work was done (and is going on…) on the analysis of the Fukushima-Daiichi severe accidents. Meanwhile a roadmap on research on Gen. 2 and 3 nuclear power plants (NPP), including safety aspects, was produced by the NUGENIA association, followed by a more detailed document as “NUGENIA global vision”. It was also demonstrated that the ETSON R&D priorities were consistent with the implementation of the 2014 Euratom Directive on safety of nuclear installations.

Council Regulation of the European Dual Use Regulation – A Never Ending Story?

Ulrike Feldmann

For the first time, the EC Council Regulation of 19 December 1994 established a Community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items. In 2000, the first major revision of the dual-use regime came into force, subjecting not only sensitive material, i. e. plutonium and highly enriched uranium, but also the entire category 0 (nuclear material, installations, equipment) to a licensing requirement for intra-Community shipments. This revision was revised a few months later due to inappropriate content by removing a small proportion of nuclear goods. A further comprehensive new revision was published in 2009. However, the EU Commission’s current proposal to revise Annex IV of the regulation does not do justice to the objective of free trade of goods and the maintenance of the competitiveness of European industry from the point of view of the European nuclear industry, as well as from the point of view of the non-nuclear industry in the EU.

Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards: An Application of an Integrated Approach

Howard Chapman, Jeremy Edwards, Joshua Fitzpatrick, Colette Grundy, Robert Rodger and Jonathan Scott

National Nuclear Laboratory has recently produced a paper regarding the integrated approach of nuclear safety, security and safeguards. The paper considered the international acknowledgement of the inter-relationships and potential benefits to be gained through improved integration of the nuclear ‘3S’; Safety, Security and Safeguards. It considered that combining capabilities into one synergistic team can provide improved performance and value. This approach to integration has been adopted, and benefits realised by the National Nuclear Laboratory through creation of a Safety, Security and Safeguards team. In some instances the interface is clear and established, as is the case between safety and security in the areas of Vital Area Identification. In others the interface is developing such as the utilisation of safeguards related techniques such as nuclear material accountancy and control to enhance the security of materials. This paper looks at a practical example of the progress to date in implementing Triple S by a duty holder.

Clearance of Surface-contaminated Objects from the Controlled Area of a Nuclear Facility: Application of the SUDOQU Methodology

F. Russo, C. Mommaert and T. van Dillen

The lack of clearly defined surface-clearance levels in the Belgian regulation led Bel V to start a collaboration with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to evaluate the applicability of the SUDOQU methodology for the derivation of nuclide-specific surface-clearance criteria for objects released from nuclear facilities. SUDOQU is a methodology for the dose assessment of exposure to a surface-contaminated object, with the innovative assumption of a time-dependent surface activity whose evolution is influenced by removal and deposition mechanisms. In this work, calculations were performed to evaluate the annual effective dose resulting from the use of a typical office item, e.g. a bookcase. Preliminary results allow understanding the interdependencies between the model’s underlying mechanisms, and show a strong sensitivity to the main input parameters. The results were benchmarked against those from a model described in Radiation Protection 101, to investigate the impact of the model’s main assumptions. Results of the two models were in good agreement. 

The SUDOQU methodology appears to be a flexible and powerful tool, suitable for the proposed application. Therefore, the project will be extended to more generic study cases, to eventually develop surface-clearance levels applicable to objects leaving nuclear facilities.

Carbon-14 Speciation During Anoxic Corrosion of Activated Steel in a Repository Environment

E. Wieland, B.Z. Cvetkovic, D. Kunz, G. Salazar and S. Szidat

Radioactive waste contains significant amounts of 14C which has been identified a key radionuclide in safety assessments. In Switzerland, the 14C inventory of a cement-based repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste (L/ILW) is mainly associated with activated steel (~85 %). 14C is produced by 14N activation in steel parts exposed to thermal neutron flux in light water reactors. Release of 14C occurs in the near field of a deep geological repository due to anoxic corrosion of activated steel. Although the 14C inventory of the L/ILW repository and the sources of 14C are well known, the formation of 14C species during steel corrosion is only poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to identify and quantify the 14C-bearing carbon species formed during the anoxic corrosion of iron and steel and further to determine the 14C speciation in a corrosion experiment with activated steel. All experiments were conducted in conditions similar to those anticipated in the near field of a cement-based repository.

Review of Fuel Safety Criteria in France

Sandrine Boutin, Stephanie Graff, Aude Foucher-Taisne and Olivier Dubois

Fuel safety criteria for the first barrier, based on state-of-the-art at the time, were first defined in the 1970s and came from the United States, when the French nuclear program was initiated. Since then, there has been continuous progress in knowledge and in collecting experimental results thanks to the experiments carried out by utilities and research institutes, to the operating experience, as well as to the generic R&D programs, which aim notably at improving computation methodologies, especially in Reactivity-Initiated accident and Loss-of-Coolant Accident conditions. In this context, the French utility EDF proposed new fuel safety criteria, or reviewed and completed existing safety demonstration covering the normal operating, incidental and accidental conditions of Pressurised Water Reactors. IRSN assessed EDF’s proposals and presented its conclusions to the Advisory Committee for Reactors Safety of the Nuclear Safety Authority in June 2017. This review focused on the relevance of historical limit values or parameters of fuel safety criteria and their adequacy with the state-of-the-art concerning fuel physical phenomena (e.g. Pellet-Cladding Mechanical Interaction in incidental conditions, clad embrittlement due to high temperature oxidation in accidental conditions, clad ballooning and burst during boiling crisis and fuel melting).

AMNT 2017: Outstanding Know-How & Sustainable Innovations – Technical Session: Reactor Physics, Thermo and Fluid DynamicsEnhanced Safety & Operation Excellence – Focus Session: Radiation Protection

Joachim Herb, Erik Baumann and Angelika Bohnstedt

Summary report on the Key Topics “Outstanding Know-How & Sustainable Innovations – Technical Session: Reactor Physics, Thermo and Fluid Dynamics” and “Enhanced Safety & Operation Excellence – Focus Session: Radiation Protection” of the 48th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2017) held in Berlin, 16 to 17 May 2017.

‘Newcomer’ Nuclear Nation Leads Way Into New Nuclear Year

John Shepherd

At the start of a new year, it is appropriate that a ‘newcomer’ nuclear nation has launched work on building its first nuclear power plant. First nuclear safety-related concrete has been poured for the plant at Rooppur in Bangladesh – making the South Asia nation the first in 30 years to start building its first commercial reactor unit following the United Arab Emirates in 2012 and Belarus in 2013.

Despite setbacks that nuclear has endured in recent years, there are nearly 60 reactors under construction around the world, mostly in Asia.


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