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 Working Groups

 

Fuel Cycle Plenary  | CORDEL  | Market Report  | Radiological Protection  | Law | Capacity Optimization  | Economics  | Security of the International Fuel Cycle  |  Supply Chain  | Transport  | Waste Management & Decommissioning  | Sustainable Used Fuel Management

 

The Working Groups are forums through which the enterprises of the global nuclear industry share best practice, conduct analysis, and develop consolidated positions on economic, safety and environmental issues. Several Groups act as the interface for industry at international policy-making organisations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the OECD.

Each Group is chaired by an expert from WNA membership, and has a mentor assigned to it from the WNA Board. Administrative and technical support is provided by the WNA Secretariat.

Working Groups typically gather three times a year with meetings taking place in January in London, in the spring around the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference or at another location, and in September around the WNA Symposium in London. Working Groups draw on 500 participants.

In January 2015, to coincide with the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Chinese nuclear industry, WNA will team up with the Chinese Nuclear Society to hold Working Groups in Beijing.

WNA member representatives can view all Working Group reports, documents, presentations and contact lists on the members website.


Fuel Cycle Plenary
Chair: Emmanuelle Verger (EDF)
Staff Director: Serge Gorlin 

The Plenary is WNA's largest members forum and focuses on developments in nuclear fuel and trade. Sessions consist of formal presentations and panel discussions, as well as reports from interest groups in the areas of primary uranium supply, conversion,
enrichment, fuel fabrication, secondary supply and demand. To serve as a practical means for keeping members informed about all WNA activities in the fuel cycle area, the Plenary receives periodic reports from relevant Working Groups.


Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (CORDEL)
Chair: Gerry Head (GE-Hitachi)
Deputy Chairmen: Hae Ryong Hwang (KEPCO E&C) and Xavier Pouget-Abadie (EDF)
Staff Directors: Barry Kaufer and Andrew Wasylyk 

CORDEL's mission is to promote the standardisation of nuclear reactor designs. This can be achieved only by the development of a worldwide nuclear regulatory environment where internationally accepted standardised reactor designs, certified and approved by a recognised competent authority in the country of origin, can be widely deployed without major design changes at the national level. In practice, this would mean that generic design certification and safety evaluations approved by a recognised competent authority in the country of origin would be acceptable in other countries without the need to duplicate or repeat the entire design certification process.

In 2013, CORDEL issued its Strategic Plan, which outlines the general directions and activities CORDEL plans to undertake during the next five-year period. Alongside general strategy, the report includes CORDEL activities, priorities and interactions with customers in order to meet its objectives.

The key tasks in 2014, to be undertaken by the various CORDEL Task Forces and sub-groups, will be as follows:

• The Codes and Standards Task Force will issue reports on the requirements for non-destructive evaluation (NDE) personnel qualification and on mechanical design stress analysis including elastic stress analysis rules, stress limits and non-linear analysis methodologies.

• The Design Change Management Task Force will update and reissue its report on design change management. New reports on design authority and owners groups will be developed.

• The Licensing and Permitting Task Force is planning an international workshop with the Nuclear Law and Contracting Working Group in which both industry and government/regulators can further explore areas of harmonisation.

• The IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards and Probabilistic Safety Goals Task Force will maintain oversight on the work being performed by the IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards Committee (NUSSC) to ensure that proper input related to industry concerns is provided. It will also focus on the development of an integrated safety goal concept, which is an essential element of integrated risk-informed decision making (IRIDM).

• The Digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C) Task Force, created in 2013, is developing a report on safety classification. Throughout 2014, it aims to establish an expanded membership within CORDEL and with codes and standards organisations in order to meet its strategic commitments.

• The Small Modular Reactors Ad-hoc Group is helping to establish a path towards harmonised and regulated SMR deployment globally. Initial efforts have been focused on developing a clear recognised definition for SMR and an interactive roadmap for SMRs.


Fuel Market Report
Co-Chairs: Hendrik de Baenst (Synatom); Pierre Durante (AREVA)
Staff Director: Ian Emsley 

Published since the 1970s, the biennial Global Nuclear Fuel Market report compiles data from WNA member companies, national sources and international agencies to produce an authoritative projection of global supply and demand. The Group is broken down into sub-groups, which focus on different areas of the fuel cycle. The participation of experts from all areas of WNA membership (buyers, producers, consultants) in its compilation gives the report its unique authority.


Radiological Protection
Chair: Willie Harris (Exelon)
Deputy Chairman: Marcel Lips (Kernkraftwerk Goesgen-Daeniken AG)
Staff Director: Binika Shah

This Group aims to promote improvements in the international system of radiological protection by developing and advocating scientifically sound positions of policy and practice. The Group has Special Liaison Organisation status with the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and has observer status on the Radiation Safety Standards Committee (RASSC) of the IAEA.

2013 highlights include:

• Establishing a project to review the available scientific evidence surrounding the contribution of radiation to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, as well as to lens of the eye effects. The debate on this topic has the potential to lead to significant changes to the international system of protection with new dose limits already being incorporated into the IAEA Basic Safety Standards. The project, running over two years, should equip the nuclear industry with an informed and credible voice over how to incorporate such effects into the international system of protection.

• The Group supported the first ever address by a WNA Director General to the ICRP Main Commission in Abu Dhabi. It also fielded an expert speaker in the non-cancer effects technical session at the accompanying ICRP Symposium.

• Members of the Group participated in an IAEA Technical Meeting on Protection of the Environment where they advocated a simple, scientifically sound and coherent system which is in proportion to the risks involved.

As well as publishing a report on its non-cancer effects research, the Group in 2014 plans to:

• Gather industry views on the ICRP Task Group 84 report Initial Lessons Learned from the Nuclear Power Plant Accident in Japan vis-à-vis the ICRP System of Radiological Protection.

• Continue to monitor and coordinate industry participation in the work of international organisations on radiological protection of the environment such as IAEA, ICRP and OSPAR.

• Continue the work started by the Uranium Mining Standardisation Working Group's Radon Task Group to monitor scientific and policy developments arising from the ICRP on protection against radon exposure.

Law
Chair: Christian Lawerentz (NUKEM)
Vice Chair: Helen Cook (Shearman and Sterling)
Staff Director: Virginie Ryan-Taix

This Group was established with a mandate to raise awareness among WNA membership on the legal issues facing the nuclear industry. It also liaises with other WNA Working Groups to assist when necessary on ways to respond to specific legal challenges. 


The Group also focuses on increasing interaction between other WNA Working Groups with common work areas or objectives, such as CORDEL and Supply Chain.

In 2014, the Group plans to:

• Participate in the organisation of a follow-up workshop on licensing and permitting.

• Provide assistance to the CORDEL SMR Task Force on legal issues surrounding the development of small modular reactors.

• Provide support to the Supply Chain Working Group initiative(s) on export control regimes.

• Start developing a library of nuclear-related cases accessible to WNA members.


Capacity Optimization
Chair: Mike Baron (Global Nuclear Associates)
Staff Director: David Hess 

This Group identifies means by which nuclear power plant operators worldwide can improve the performance of their plants. The Group focuses on areas relevant to plant economics such as availability, reliability, flexibility and capacity.


Highlights for 2014 include:

• Publication of the third edition of the Group's Optimized Capacity report.

• Group members will participate in an IAEA Task Force contributing to IAEA TecDoc 1383, Guidance for Optimizing Nuclear Power Plant Maintenance Programmes, due for publication in December 2014.

• The Group will host an IAEA technical meeting, Maintenance Optimization to Improve Nuclear Power Plant Performance, around the WNA Symposium in September.


Economics
Chair: Milton Caplan (MZ Consulting)
Staff Director:Greg Kaser and Ian Emsley 

This Group's primary focus is on developing a better understanding of the capital costs of new nuclear plants and comparing projections showing the potential role of nuclear power in the 21st century.


In 2014, the Group will focus on:


• Collecting and discussing new data demonstrating the strong economics of existing nuclear power plants and the arguments for continuing to operate them.

• Contributing to the debate on state aid and nuclear power, in particular to submitting comments to the EU investigation into UK government support for Hinkley Point C.

• Monitoring localisation activities and documenting the relationship between localisation and nuclear overnight costs.

• Contributing to surveys of nuclear costs, in particular the forthcoming IEA/NEA publications: Technology Roadmap - Nuclear Energy to 2050, World Energy Outlook 2014 special chapter on nuclear, and Projected Costs of Generating Electricity 2014.

• Examining heavily renewables-dependent energy strategies to highlight their fundamental economic weaknesses and adverse effects on nuclear.


Security of the International Fuel Cycle
Chair: Pat Upson (Consultant)
Staff Director:Isis Leslie
The original mission of this Group, set up in 2005, was to produce a report on the evolving policy debate surrounding sensitive fuel cycle technologies, with particular reference to the IAEA initiative on Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The report was revised in 2011. The Group's mission was extended in 2013 to include security in the wider sense.

As of 2013, the Group has represented WNA on the IAEA's Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC) as an observer. NSGC's role is to review and approve draft IAEA guidelines relating to security.

In 2014, the Group will conduct a survey throughout the WNA membership on security policy and governance. This will give a baseline for analysis of the current status of security in the industry. The Group will also be formulating industry approved messages for the WNA Chairman to communicate at the Nuclear Industry Summit taking place in March in the Netherlands alongside the government-level
Nuclear Security Summit. The Group will continue to promote the industry views on the importance of a robust fuel supply market as a contributor to non-proliferation.

 

Supply Chain
Chair: Juan Molina (Westinghouse)
Staff Director: Greg Kaser 

As nuclear power spreads around the world, economic factors and initiatives for localising production are driving the internationalisation of the supply chain. The industry faces common challenges in understanding and meeting national technical regulations, in achieving vendor and product qualification and quality assurance certification, in monitoring and identifying market trends, and in communicating with stakeholders on industrial developments. The role of the Group is to support WNA members in these tasks with a view to ensuring timely and efficient construction.

The remit of the Group encompasses the sharing of general information and best practice and addressing the common issues in the manufacture of components and systems and associated services to facilitate safe, timely and cost-efficient construction and refurbishment of nuclear power plants.

In 2013, the Group established a Task Force on Vendor Oversight and Control of Suppliers (VOCS) to develop a concept for an industry-wide approach to strengthening capability along the supply chain that enhances safety and offers a common approach to quality control. It also undertook a survey of WNA member organisations experienced in complying with export controls.

In September 2014 the Group will publish its biennial Market Report consolidating key data and information on the nuclear supply chain.

Transport
Chair: Francisco Tarin (ENUSA)
Staff Director: Serge Gorlin 

This Group acts as a forum for communicating industry developments and best practice, as well as for identifying and resolving issues relating to the shipment of radioactive materials. The Group's main focus is commercial issues affecting the transport of front-end nuclear materials.

The Group is represented on the IAEA's Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC) and works closely with relevant organisations working in the transport domain, such as the World Nuclear Transport Institute.

In 2013, this Group's Staff Director, Serge Gorlin, chaired the eighth and final meeting of the International Steering Committee on Denials of Shipment (ISC-DOS), hosted by the IAEA. In its report, the ISC-DOS recommended maintaining a streamlined set of activities to combat denials. The report has since been accepted by the IAEA Director General's office, demonstrating an ongoing commitment by the IAEA to resolving this issue.


The Group organised a one-and-a-half-day Class 7 transport workshop in Singapore around the WNFC conference in 2013. The workshop was attended by the Singaporean competent authority as well as port authorities, shipping companies and other regulators in the region. The workshop included a visit to Singapore port, an essential hub for the transit of fuel cycle material - notably that destined for China or India.


In 2014, the Group will conduct a survey of the WNA membership to help identify major issues in the global shipment of radioactive material. The results of the survey will be used to help target training activities, notably that led by the IAEA.


Waste Management and Decommissioning
Chair: Mike Pieraccini (EdF)
Staff Director:Binika Shah

This Group monitors developments and shapes industry positions with a view to improving the system of waste management and decommissioning. It promotes the appropriate re-use and recycling of material - and safe disposal of wastes - from nuclear sites. It also represents industry interests on the IAEA Waste Safety Standards Committee (WASSC).

The Group has produced two WNA Position Statements: Safe Management of Nuclear Waste and Used Nuclear Fuel and Safe Decommissioning of Nuclear Industry Sites. More recently, it has produced the WNA Statement Towards Greater Efficiency in the Management of Low-Level Radioactive Material that Concurrently Supports Reuse, Recycling and Disposal.

At its meetings in 2014, the Group will continue to facilitate exchange between those companies with experience of decommissioning and those new to the field or planning for the future. It will further share practical lessons learned on the optimal radiological protection of workers during nuclear power station decommissioning, and during the transition period following cessation of generation. In April the Group will make a presentation on behalf of WNA at the Recycling of Metals Arising from Operation and Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities conference hosted by Studsvik.


Sustainable Used Fuel Management Group
Chair: Henri Zaccai, AREVA
Staff Director: Isis Leslie

This new Group aims to gather the views of the nuclear industry and stakeholders on current and best practice in sustainable used fuel management, and to produce guidelines for the industry to use in communication.

In 2013, the Group established three task forces: to assess the different options for sustainable used fuel management (on the basis of a survey); to establish an effective and mutually beneficial relationship with the IAEA; and to look into methods and options for
fulfilling the Group's role in communications with different stakeholders.