Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI)
Workers at a General Electric factory in Poland prepare a massive generator stator for shipment to the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. Photo: GE Power, Canada.

The Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) is responsible for NEA programmes and activities that support maintaining and advancing the scientific and technical knowledge base of the safety of nuclear installations.

The Committee constitutes a forum for the exchange of technical information and for collaboration between organisations, which can contribute, from their respective backgrounds in research, development and engineering, to its activities. It supports the exchange of information between member countries and safety R&D programmes of various sizes in order to keep all member countries involved in and abreast of developments in technical safety matters.

The Committee reviews the state of knowledge on important topics of nuclear safety science and techniques and of safety assessments, and ensures that operating experience is appropriately accounted for in its activities. It initiates and conducts programmes identified by these reviews and assessments in order to confirm safety, overcome discrepancies, develop improvements and reach consensus on technical issues of common interest. It promotes the co-ordination of work in different member countries that serve to maintain and enhance competence in nuclear safety matters, including the establishment of joint undertakings (e.g. joint research and data projects), and assists in the feedback of the results to participating organisations. The Committee ensures that valuable end-products of the technical reviews and analyses are provided to members in a timely manner, and made publically available when appropriate, to support broader nuclear safety.

The Committee focuses primarily on the safety aspects of existing power reactors, other nuclear installations, new power reactors and Small Modular Reactors; it also considers the safety implications of scientific and technical developments of future reactor technologies and designs. Further, the scope for the Committee includes human and organisational research activities and technical developments that affect nuclear safety.

The Committee may sponsor specialist meetings and technical working groups to further its objectives. In implementing its programme the Committee establishes co-operative mechanisms with the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities in order to work with that Committee on matters of common interest, avoiding unnecessary duplications.

The Committee also co-operates with the Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health, the Radioactive Waste Management Committee, the Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle, the Nuclear Science Committee, and other NEA committees and activities on matters of common interest.

Working methods

The CSNI meets twice per year to discuss nuclear safety and regulatory issues, review the work performed, and decide on the future programme.

This programme of work is carried out mostly by working groups. These working groups meet once or twice per year to discuss progress and to integrate their efforts; they often rely on the work of task groups to complete specific tasks.

Typical "products" are as follows:

  • Several specialist meetings and workshops are organised each year, addressing specific topics.
  • Most tasks result in a technical report that collects the progress and results of research for a particular area, typically with recommendations and conclusions of the research.
  • State-of-the-Art reports bring together the latest developments in a given area or give a "snapshot picture" of the international situation regarding a particular issue, stimulate the formation of common understanding, and provide a source of up-to-date information for those countries that may not have an activity in the area.
  • Technical opinion papers are the summary consensus of experts for a particular topic.
  • Collective opinion statements are in general prepared by a senior expert group and reflect the CSNI collective opinion and recommendations for particular issues (e.g. recommendations for preserving certain facilities or capabilities).
  • International Standard Problems (ISP) are comparative exercises in which predictions of different computer codes for a given physical problem are compared with each other or with the results of a carefully controlled experimental study. The main goal of ISP exercises is to increase confidence in the validity and accuracy of tools which are used in assessing the safety of nuclear installations.
  • Somewhat related to the ISP programme is the establishment of sets of experiments for use in comparing codes. Known as a Code Validation Matrix, the results of such an extensive list of experiments are collected and stored in the NEA Data Bank for the purpose that they be made available to Member countries wishing to validate relevant codes.
Other Joint projects
Related news
Publications and reports

Effective Nuclear Regulation and Safety Management in a Pandemic 

On 1 June 2022, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) brought together the operational experiences of three guest speakers from the aviation, health and nuclear sectors. The speakers participated in a panel session that discussed lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Effective Nuclear Regulation and Safety Management in a Pandemic brochure highlights the lessons learnt related to ensuring business continuity during a health crisis and long-term risk management, as well as new initiatives to potentially build upon. 


Contact and members' areas

Véronique Rouyer
Natalie Bonilla (CSNI activities related to WGHOF)