About the Working Groups

Fuel Cycle Plenary | CORDEL | Fuel Report | Radiological Protection | Law | Long Term Operation | Economics | Security of the Int'l Fuel Cycle | Supply Chain | Transport | Waste Management & Decomm | Sustainable Used Fuel Management

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

Fuel Cycle Plenary
Chair: James Nevling (Exelon)
Staff Director: Stephen Tarlton

The Plenary is World Nuclear Association’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 World Nuclear Association 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 Chairs: Hae Ryong Hwang (KEPCO E&C) and Xavier Pouget-Abadie (EDF)
Staff Director: Barry KauferAndrew Wasylyk, Henri Pelin, Marie Cletienne

CORDEL’s mission is to promote the standardisation of nuclear reactor designs. This can be achieved 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 2014, CORDEL started implementing its Strategic Plan. Over the past two years, this effort saw an increase in members’ participation (both in the working group and in its task forces), as well as in the number of key position papers published by the group. in addition, the Working Group has significantly reinforced its position as an industry representative on the international stage, through its active participation in MDEP, IAEA, ENISS, EUR and SDO Board, and IEC meetings.

The key successes in 2015 as well as further tasks to be undertaken by the various CORDEL Task Forces, include:

Mechanical Codes and Standards: After the publication of the Certification of NDE Personnel report in 2014, the Codes and Standards Task Force is now finalising its report on Stress Analysis. This report will act as the first step in a project to publish a set of best practices for non-linear analysis methodologies. The Task Force also played a key role in the ASME ST-LLC comparison of Welding and Welders’ qualification requirements internationally, which will be published by ASME ST-LLC at the end of 2015. Finally the Task Force is initiating a new project of the requirements for fatigue analysis internationally.

The Design Change Management Task Force completed its report on Design Knowledge and Design Change in the Operation of Nuclear Fleets published early 2015. The group is completing a Design Authority report, aligned with WANO principles. Further work will be carried out with the owners’ groups to share best practices and, if approved, publish a report.

The Licensing and Permitting Task Force held its New Build Licensing Conference, in April. This first-of-a-kind Conference was a unique forum where high-level leaders of many countries representing regulators and the industry discussed paving the way to nuclear power development. While it was concluded that barriers exist in both the technical and political arenas, it was emphasised that many of them could be overcome; the consensus was that continued dialogue between the Regulatory and Licensee communities was essential and that this this can best be carried out through programmes such as MDEP and CORDEL.

The IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards and Probabilistic Safety Goals Task Force will maintain oversight of the work being performed by the IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards Committee (NUSSC) to ensure that proper input related to industry concerns is provided. The Probablistic Safety Goals Task Force will perform benchmarking of practices within the IAEA Safety Goals framework to provide a means of comparing national/company approaches, with a view to identifying opportunities for harmonisation. At its September meeting, CORDEL agreed to separate this group into two separate Task Forces.

The Digital Instrumentation & Control (I&C) Task Force, created in 2013, has published its first paper on the safety classification of I&C systems. This report will serve as a basis for further positions papers, which in turn will inform the Task Force’s input to IEC and MDEP-DICWG. The task force is currently working on its second project, which will present the current issues as well as industry positions with regard to the application of defence in depth & diversity in Digital I&C. The Task Force has also developed an MOU with IEC.

The Small Modular Reactors Ad-hoc Group was upgraded to a Task Force in September this year. It published its first report on International Licensing of Small Modular Reactors which contains a consensus definition for SMRs. The Group is currently working on other position papers including “In-factory Inspection and Release Certification” and one on very small modular reactors (VSMRs). The SMR Task Force is working with the IAEA SMR Regulators Forum.

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

Published since the 1970s, the biennial Nuclear Fuel Report compiles data from World Nuclear Association 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 World Nuclear Association in its compilation gives the report its unique authority.

Radiological Protection
Co-Chairs: Willie Harris (Exelon); 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, understandable and implementable 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.

2014 highlights include:

• Completing a review of the latest available scientific evidence surrounding the contribution of radiation to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, as well as to lens of the eye effects, and providing an informed and credible voice for industry over how to incorporate such effects into the international system of protection. A position on this topic was delivered at the ICRP Special Liaison Organisation meeting, which the World Nuclear Association hosted in London in November 2014.

• Supporting the preparation of the radiological protection panel discussion at the World Nuclear Association Symposium.

In 2015, the working group will continue developing its longer term strategy. The impact of the accident at Fukushima and the ongoing lessons to be drawn, particularly around preparing for emergencies, and the transition from the emergency phase, will feature prominently in the group’s work. There will be further consideration of RP in the fields of environmental protection, radon and NORM management. The RP Working Group will also monitor and coordinate industry participation in the work of international organisations on radiological protection such as IAEA, ICRP and OSPAR, with particular emphasis on participation in the ICRP Symposium in S. Korea in 2015 and IRPA14.

Chair: Christian Lawerentz (NUKEM)
Vice Chair: Helen Cook (Shearman and Sterling)
Staff Director: Marie Cletienne

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

The Group increasingly interacts with other World Nuclear Association Working Groups with common work areas or objectives, such as CORDEL, Supply Chain and Security of the International Fuel Cycle
Successes in 2015 include:
• Hosting a session on recent developments in nuclear third party liability – both at its April and September Meetings;
• The New Build Licensing Conference that was organised jointly with CORDEL [see paragraph under CORDEL];
• Completing and publishing the World Nuclear Association Swaps in the International Fuel Market paper;
• Assisting the SMR Group by developing position papers on legal issues surrounding the deployment of SMRs, the first one addressing export-control issues;
• Outreach to Asian members

Long-term Operation Task Force
Chair: Mike Baron (Global Nuclear Associates)
Staff Director: Henri Pelin

The Long Term Operation Task Force (LTO TF) was initiated in 2015 under the umbrella of the Capacity Optimization Working Group (COWG) with the mandate of helping to improve the economic and technical case for extending nuclear plant lifetimes in all countries where reactors currently operate.
Specifically the group aims to:
• Exchange best practices and experience relating to the approaches used for Plant Lifetime Management
• Highlight innovation in technology and management (both within and outside the nuclear industry), that can improve plant performance and economics over the long term
• Contribute to international dialogue among regulators and inter-governmental agencies by sharing data and the results of proven ageing management, including safety management, programs that will help them to harmonize/standardize/optimize national regulatory regimes
• Provide accurate inform to decision-makers and key influencers of the potential risks and benefits of nuclear long term operation as they look at shaping future energy policy

Objectives include
• Country-specific status reports aim at covering all aspects of LTO, in particular technical issues, licensing requirements, economics.
The work of the Capacity Optimization Working Group has temporarily moved to this TF.

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 2015, the Group will:
  • Support the World Nuclear Association Strategic Communications team’s efforts to engage with the development banks on the financing of nuclear
  • Compile a World Nuclear Association Paper on The Economic Challenges to Nuclear Power.

Security of the International Fuel Cycle
Chair: Roger Brunt (Grosmont Howe Ltd)
Staff Director
Marie Cletienne

The original mission of this Group, set up in 2005, was to produce a report on the policy debate surrounding sensitive fuel cycle technologies, with particular reference to the IAEA initiative on Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The original report was issued in May 2006 and revised in 2011. The Group's mission was extended in 2013 to include security in the broader sense and the Group’s objectives are now to:
• Promote a reliable and proliferation-resistant international nuclear fuel cycle and to act as a reference point for potential newcomers;
• Assemble the practical expertise of the nuclear industry and stakeholders (including newcomers) to formulate an industry viewpoint on security policy and systems;
• Support and guide World Nuclear Association engagement with the IAEA and other agencies in the fields of security and non-proliferation to ensure that the industry's analysis contributes effectively to the consideration of future policy options.

In 2015, areas of focus have included:
• IAEA Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC): as observers on NSGC since 2013, the Group reviews and provides feedback on draft IAEA security guidance;
• Nuclear Industry Summit (NIS): provide members with a channel to contribute views ahead of the final Summit in 2016 in the US;
• Cyber Security: ensure that industry experience is reflected in guidance documents and best practice as appropriate, and that concerns are included in discussion;
• Proposals to extend Safeguards: formulate an industry view on proposals which will be presented to the IAEA.

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

As demand for nuclear power grows, economic factors and initiatives for localising production are driving the internationalisation of the nuclear power plant 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 World Nuclear Association members in these tasks with the ultimate goal of ensuring timely and efficient construction.

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. In 2014, it organized a major Supply Chain Forum in London, whose objectives were to foster an industry-wide dialogue on achieving product realization and demonstrating that regulatory and licensee requirements are met.

In 2015, the Group will:
  • i) Launch the 2nd World Nuclear Association Supply Chain Report (January)
  • ii) Provide support to Vendor Oversight and Control of Suppliers Task Force
  • iii) Publish World Nuclear Association report on good practice in compliance and licensing of nuclear exports
  • iv) Provide “Rough Guide” to Export Controls on World Nuclear Association website.
  • v) Support seminar on industry-government cooperation in enhanced export control with PNNL around NSG meeting in Vienna
  • vi) Represent World Nuclear Association at the Nuclear Quality Standard Association

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

This Group acts as a forum for communicating industry developments, exchanging leading practice, as well as for identifying and resolving issues relating to the shipment of nuclear material. A primary focus of the group is to address 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.

The Group is also represented on the Transport Facilitation Working Group, a multi-stakeholder initiative to preserve and open up new routes for the transport of radioactive and nuclear material, ensuring they can be delivered in a timely and efficient way. The group's January meeting in Beijing focused on regulatory and facilitation issues.

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). At its meetings in 2015, the Group will develop its longer term strategy. It will also continue to facilitate exchange between those companies with experience of decommissioning and those new to the field or planning for the future. In addition, it will 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.

Sustainable Used Fuel Management Group
Chair: Henri Zaccai (AREVA)
Staff Directors:
 Serge Gorlin

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

In 2015, the Group will:
  • i) Define key topics areas for messaging on sustainable used fuel management and begin constructing key messages
  • ii) Define and promote the key success factors in establishing a sustainable used fuel management programme
  • iii) Prepare a World Nuclear Association report on the status of used fuel management world-wide
  • iv) Further contribute to the IAEA work on SUFM and extend interaction across the departments, including presenting at the June IAEA used fuel conference.