Repository Documentation Rethought
The Future of Nuclear Energy in Spain
Optimization of RPV Segmentation
Implementation of the Waste Management Transfer Act
Certification Centres for Management Systems in the Energy Industry
Nuclear is the primary source of electricity in Spain. Wind is second. In the fi rst quarter of 2017 nuclear’s contribution was 25 %, but by the end of the year it will even out to more or less the same level of 2016. Nuclear is still very important for Spain’s energy mix. The question is, what will happen with nuclear in the near future? NucNet spoke to Ignacio Araluce, president of Spanish industry group Foro Nuclear, about energy policy, plant shut-downs and how Spain’s nuclear industry is successfully diversifying overseas.
Anton Philipp Anthofer and Johannes Schubert
The German Act on Reorganization of Responsibility for Nuclear Disposal (Entsorgungsübergangsgesetz (EntsorgÜbG)) adopted in June 2017 provides the energy utilities with the new option of transferring responsibility for their waste packages to the Federal Government. This is conditional on the waste packages being approved for delivery to the Konrad final repository. A comprehensive approach starts with the dismantling of nuclear facilities and extends from waste disposal and packaging planning to final repository documentation. Waste package quality control measures are planned and implemented as early as in the process qualification stage so that the production of waste packages that are suitable for final deposition can be ensured. Optimization of cask and loading configuration can save container and repository volume. Workflow planning also saves time, expenditure and exposure time for personnel at the facilities. VPC has evaluated this experience and developed it into a comprehensive approach.
One of the most challenging tasks during plant decommissioning is the removal of highly radioactive internal components from the reactor pressure vessel (RPV). For RPV internals dismantling, it is essential that all activities are thoroughly planned and discussed in the early stage of the decommissioning project. One of the key activities in the detailed planning is to prepare the segmentation and packaging plan that describes the sequential steps required to segment, separate, and package each individual component of RPV, based on an activation analysis and component characterization study.
For the 15th time the German National Group of the Association Internationale du Droit Nucléaire/International Nuclear Law Association (AIDN/INLA) e. V. organised a regional conference. 90 participants from 15 countries, including representatives of Euratom and OECD/NEA, met in Bonn on 28 and 29 September to exchange views on current issues of nuclear law. The Rhine, which was in sight of the conference centre and connects countries, provided an excellent backdrop not only for the conference that connects nations, but also for the title of the conference “Atomic Energy Law in Motion” and for various lectures on nuclear transport.
In future in Germany, the state will be responsible for financing and handling the interim and final storage of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. With regard to interim storage, this objective is achieved with the provisions of the Waste Management Transfer Act. Regulatory implementation is based on these regulations. BGZ Gesellschaft für Zwischenlager mbH is responsible for interim storage on behalf of the Federal Government. Simultaneously with the transfer of interim storage facilities to BGZ a legal transfer of approval is carried out. Insofar as there is a technical, organisational or personnel conjunction with the nuclear power plant operation, which continues to exist beyond this deadline and is relevant for regulatory purposes, a regulation is made via a service contract with the BGZ. This ensures compliance with the licensing regulations. Irradiated fuel assemblies and the waste from reprocessing can be handed over to BGZ from 1 January 2019 onwards and waste with negligible heat generation can be disposed of as of the determination of their proper packaging.
In November 2013, a historic nuclear deal, the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) was struck between Iran and the P5+1 Countries, United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. Under this deal, Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear program that would close the doors for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. This indeed was historic as for over a decade, ever since the Iranian nuclear program attracted international attention and criticism, several arrangements were made to curtail the Iranian nuclear program, but none reached the desired success. In exchange for abiding by the JPA, Iran was promised partial relief of sanctions. The paper tracks the development and identifies the scope of Iran’s centrifuge program.
The IT security law forced the energy industry to implement system certifications for the first time in history. In contrast to most companies in the energy industry, which often only knew about product certifications, the energy industry now has to enter new territory. Certification companies receive their legitimation in Germany through DAkkS. The DAkkS is embedded in the context of European Union law. The work of the certification companies is determined by the specifications of the DAkkS as well as by the requirements of the ISO/IEC standards. These regulations should in any case be known to a certification customer so that he knows what a certification company does or does not do. In addition, a certification customer must also know which evidence must be presented in the sense of a reference standard against the certification company. The concrete evidence in this essay is based on an ISO/IEC 27001 certification in conjunction with the IT Security Catalog of the Bundesnetzagentur. With all this knowledge, the cooperation with the certification company will not be a problem for system certification.
Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana
One essential physical property of wind energy is its large spatiotemporal variation due to wind speed fluctuations. As a result, the total wind fleet output of 18 European countries extending over several thousand kilometres in north-south and east-west direction is highly volatile and exhibits a strong intermittent character. An intuitively expectable significant smoothing of this wind fleet output does not occur. In contrast, a highly intermittent wind fleet power output showing significant peaks and minima is observed not only for a single country, but also for the whole of the 18 European countries. Wind energy therefore requires a practically 100 % backup. Part two of this study is under preparation. It covers the analysis of the situation all over Europe.
Ludger Mohrbach and Helge Gottschling
Summary report on the Key Topic Enhanced Safety & Operation Excellence: Focus Session: International Operational Experience and the Nuclear Energy Campus of the 48th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2017) held in Berlin, 16 to 17 May 2017.
Victor H. Sánchez-Espinoza
The Institute of Neutron Physics and Reactor Technology (INR) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) together with the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) hosted this year the “Frédéric Joliot/Otto Hahn (FJOH) Summer School” in Karlsruhe. The topic of this year’s school was Uncertainty in Nuclear Reactor Systems Analysis: Improving Understanding, Confidence and Quantification. Recognized experts from Europe, America, and Asia presented the latest developments, current status, and trends on related fields.
Within the next two years, the UK will withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) as a result of the country’s decision to leave the European Union. As I wrote this article, legislators in the House of Commons were preparing to consider draft legislation – the Nuclear Safeguards Bill – that proposes a nuclear safeguards regime to form the backdrop of activities once the UK is ‘independent’ of the EU and its institutions. There are those who consider such an historic move to be bold and visionary. But is it?