The NEA assists its member countries in their efforts to ensure high standards of safety in the use of nuclear energy by facilitating international collaboration in effective and efficient nuclear regulation and cutting-edge nuclear safety research. The work of the Agency in nuclear safety and regulation is co-ordinated through the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) which held their biannual meetings from 30 May to 3 June 2022, the first in-person meetings of the Committees since December 2019. Participants discussed the Committees’ priorities for future work taking into account the current nuclear safety challenges and the evolving nuclear regulatory environment.
Joint CNRA and CSNI topical session
A special joint topical session of the CNRA and CSNI held on 1 June at the NEA headquarters was dedicated to discuss lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring business continuity during a health crisis and long-term risk management.
More than 40 experts from 15 countries and international organisations came together to listen to three guest speakers and actively participate in the panel session. Pascal Luciani, Deputy Director of the French Civil Aviation Safety Authority, shared lessons from the aviation industry and gave the presentation Shutting down and starting up again safely: The Case of Civil Aviation. Pascal Garel, Chief Executive of the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE), provided insights on business continuity and gave the presentation Industrial continuity in overflow context: The Case of Hospital Management System. Luis Soriano Martinez, Director of the World Association of Nuclear Operators’ (WANO) Paris Centre, discussed the perspectives from the commercial nuclear power sector.
During the panel session participants identified key lessons learnt in managing the COVID-19 crisis, such as importance of trust, adaptability, exchange of informal information, harmonisation of rules, competence monitoring and the need for high quality data, mechanisms to share information, strong and clear leadership, and workers’ safety. The discussion led by the two Committee Chairs Petteri Tiippana and Jean-Christophe Niel as well as NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, highlighted the need to consider the impact of the recent unexpected crises on licensing and oversight activities, and to evaluate the resilience capability of the nuclear sector in this context.
47th CNRA biannual meeting
The CNRA, a forum for collaboration amongst senior officials from nuclear regulatory bodies, held its 47th biannual meeting on 2-3 June 2022. The meeting convened 35 delegates from 16 countries as well as representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission. Representatives from partner country Ukraine also joined some sessions.
The committee discussed progress towards implementing a package of reforms that will revise its vision, mission, governance and organisational structure. These reforms are part of long-term effort dubbed the “Strategic Review” and their intent is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the CNRA. As part of this effort, the CNRA approved mandates for new working groups and the process for selecting the new working group members, chairs and vice chairs. The CNRA also approved four reports and a proposal to hold a workshop on supply chain issues in 2023.
71st CSNI biannual meeting
The CSNI, a forum for collaboration on the technical basis for the safety of nuclear installations, held its 71st meeting on 30-31 May 2022. The meeting gathered 35 delegates from 15 countries as well as representatives from the IAEA and the EC to share experiences gained in assessing nuclear safety in their countries.
The committee approved four technical reports and eight proposals for new safety-related investigations. The subjects addressed included the development of best practice guidelines for the use of computational fluid dynamics codes in nuclear reactor safety analyses and benchmarking results of experiments and calculations modelling “leak before break” processes.
In the future CSNI work, special emphasis will be given to analyses and research needed to support safety demonstrations of innovative nuclear technologies, including ones to be used for small modular reactors. To this end, the NEA will gather experts from 26 countries in Paris on 29-30 June to discuss safety assessment challenges which need to be addressed in order to ensure safe deployment of nuclear innovations. The event will help to set priorities for nuclear safety research to be undertaken together by NEA member countries to support safety demonstration of new reactor designs.