atw - July 2016

AMNT 2016: Speech by the Czech Ambassador
Nuclear Reactor Construction and Polish Regulations
Decision Trees for SAMS
The Mont Terri Underground Laboratory
Accident Tolerant Fuel Program

How WANO is Tackling the Realities of a New Nuclear Era


Rapid new build initiatives and post-Fukushima safety concerns mean the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) is dealing with the prospect of a considerable increase in the demand for its services. Chief executive officer Peter Prozesky spoke to NucNet about the critical work the organisation is facing. Ten of the 12 projects established by WANO following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident have already progressed to the point where WANO was comfortable with closing them down. Two projects concerning design safety fundamentals and emergency support to remain open. WANO is an independent nuclear oversight organisation and has no remit to promote nuclear power.

47th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2016): About Cores, Coal and Cash Speech by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic

S. E. Tomáš Jan Podivínský

Rationality and – especially with regard to reducing emissions – technological neutrality are two commitments for nuclear fission. The Czech Republic, where conditions are not suitable for economical large-scale operation of facilities based on renewables, there is no alternative in environmental or business policy to the reasonable use of nuclear energy. The aim of the updated Czech energy strategy is to increase the proportion of nuclear energy from 35 % to approx. 50 % of power generation and to cover the rest – together with ultra-high efficiency coal fired power plants – with energy from renewable sources and gas fired power plants.

The European Nuclear Energy Tribunal

Ulrike Feldmann

The European Nuclear Energy Tribunal (ENET)) already exists since 1 January 1960 under the auspices of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The European Nuclear Energy Court was established with the Protocol of Security Control in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 20 December 1957. Also the Nuclear Energy Agency (Nuclear Energy Agency NEA) within the OECD was established with this protocol. The seat of the court is at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Jan Szczurek, Łukasz Koszuk, Małgorzata Klisi´nska and Krzysztof Andrzejewski

High temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTR) can produce high temperature process heat. This extends their potential range of application. In recent decades, the practice of licensing reactors of HTR technology, caused by the need of streamlining of this process, has placed the main emphasis on the adaptation of existing regulations by formulating appropriate guidelines. Currently, in-depth analyses of usefulness and shortcomings of the existing regulations are required. The article analyzes the possibility of licensing of high-temperature reactors with cogeneration based on the Polish Atomic Law and the three resolutions of the Council of Ministers.

Commission to Review the Financing for the Phase-out of Nuclear Energy – Results, Evaluation, Implementation

Lothar Brandmair

The German Commission to Review the Financing for the Phase-out of Nuclear Energy (Kommission zur Überprüfung der Finanzierung des Kernenergieausstiegs, KFK) has unanimously adopted its report on 27 April 2016. Now the Federal Government is working on the implementation of the recommendations, which are directed to profound changes in the present system of financing and action responsibilities of government and operators. The proposals by KFK on their meaning and scope are described and analyzed. An overview of the tasks to implement the recommendations at the legislative and contractual level is given. The work of KFK is also classified in its social context and assessed as a viable compromise.

Use of Decision Trees for Evaluating Severe Accident Management Strategies in Nuclear Power Plants

Moosung Jae, Yongjin Lee and Dong Wook Jerng

Accident management strategies are defined to innovative actions taken by plant operators to prevent core damage or to maintain the sound containment integrity. Such actions minimize the chance of offsite radioactive substance leaks that lead to and intensify core damage under power plant accident conditions. Accident management extends the concept of Defense in Depth against core meltdown accidents. In pressurized water reactor s, emergency operating procedures are performed to extend the core cooling time. The effectiveness of Severe Accident Management Guidance (SAMG) became an important issue. Severe accident management strategies are evaluated with a methodology utilizing the decision tree technique.

Have the Consequences of Reactor Accidents for the Population been Well Assessed?Six Questions to the Experts in the Field

Peter Pohl

Six questions to the experts in the field are posed: (1) Why is the assessment of accident consequences not separated in long-term and peak exposure? (2) Why is the exposure due to I-131 seen critical mainly in regard to the thyroid? (3) Do you have any reliable relations of health risk versus peak exposure? (4) Why do you not abolish the LNT assumption and replace it with a threshold model? (5) Why do you include indirect, psycho-somatic effects in assessing the consequences of reactor accidents when this is not customary with accidents with often more casualties? (6) How can the number of Chernobyl-assigned thyroid cancers have risen from some 600 about to some 4,000 today, when the latency period is in the range of 4 to 5 years?

GRS‘ Research on Clay Rock in the Mont Terri Underground Laboratory

Klaus Wieczorek and Oliver Czaikowski

For constructing a nuclear waste repository and for ensuring the safety requirements are met over very long time periods, thorough knowledge about the safety-relevant processes occurring in the coupled system of waste containers, engineered barriers, and the host rock is indispensable. For respectively targeted research work, the Mont Terri rock laboratory is a unique facility where repository research is performed in a clay rock environment. It is run by 16 international partners, and a great variety of questions are investigated. Some of the work which GRS as one of the Mont Terri partners is involved in is presented in this article. The focus is on thermal, hydraulic and mechanical behaviour of host rock and/or engineered barriers.

Westinghouse Accident Tolerant Fuel Program – Current Results & Future Plans

Sumit Ray, Peng Xu, Edward Lahoda, Lars Hallstadius and Frank Boylan

This paper will discuss the current status, results from initial tests, as well as the future direction of the Westinghouse’s Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) program. The current preliminary testing is addressed that is being performed on these samples at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) test reactor, initial results from these tests, as well as the technical learning from these test results. In the Westinghouse ATF approach, higher density pellets play a significant role in the development of an integrated fuel system.

AMNT 2016 Key Topic: Outstanding Know-how & Sustainable InnovationsEnhanced Safety & Operation Excellence

Andreas Schaffrath

Summary report on the Technical Session:
“Reactor Physisc, Thermo- and Fluid-Dynamics”
of the 47th Annual Conference on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2016) held in Hamburg, 10 to 12 May 2016. Other Sessions of AMNT 2016 will be covered in further issues of atw.

The Role of Nuclear Technology Beyond Power Generation Deserves Wider Recognition

John Shepherd

Building new nuclear power plants, extending the lifetimes of existing reactors or decommissioning plants are regular topics of debate surrounding the civil nuclear industry. Then there are the challenges faced in many countries that still await political leadership on solutions for the future safe long-term management of waste for the future. However, one aspect of the industry that impacts the everyday lives of the general public is often overlooked – and that is nuclear’s role in protecting the global environment and public health.


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