Plant Performance Working Groups

Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (CORDEL)

Chair: Nawal Prinja (Jacobs, 2021/2022) 
Deputy Chairs: Tom Bergman (NuScale Power, elected Chair 2022/2023); Shin-Wan Kim (KEPCO E&C)
Staff Directors: Byung-Chan Na (Director of CORDEL), Allan CarsonRonan Tanguy

CORDEL’s mission is to promote a worldwide nuclear regulatory environment where internationally accepted standardized reactor designs 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 recognized competent authority would be acceptable in other countries. 

CORDEL acts as industry’s voice in the areas of reactor design standardization with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency, European Nuclear Installations Safety Standards Initiative (ENISS), European Utility Requirements for LWR Power Plants (EUR), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the Standards Development Organization Convergence Board.

In 2019, a new CORDEL Strategic Plan for 2019-2023 was issued, focusing on both new-build and long-term operation aspects of nuclear power plants. 

CORDEL has also published in December 2020 a report on Harmonization of Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing: Lessons Learned from Transport (December 2020), proposing a new international regulatory paradigm for international harmonization of reactor design and approaches to licensing.

A highlight is that CORDEL will hold its fourth regional workshop in association with the ENISS and EUR in Lyon, France on 18-20 May 2022 hosted by EDF and Framatome. 

The key achievements of the CORDEL Task Forces in 2020, as well as on-going tasks for 2021, are described below: 
Mechanical Codes and Standards Task Force
Chair: Nawal Prinja (Jacobs)  
Deputy Chair: Frédéric Beaud (EDF)

The Mechanical Codes and Standards Task Force (MCSTF) of the CORDEL Working Group was set up in 2010 to collaborate with the Standards Development Organizations Convergence Board (SDO Board) and the Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP) Codes and Standards Working Group (CSWG) on the international convergence of mechanical codes and standards, related to the design of nuclear power plant’s components important to safety. During 2018, the work of MDEP Codes and Standards Working Group (CSWG) was transferred to the Working Group on Codes and Standards Working Group (WGCS) under the Committee of Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) of the OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). The Task Force maintains close cooperation with the CNRA/WGCS.

Currently, the MCSTF has two pilot projects: fatigue life analysis and advanced manufacturing. The Task Force recently published its final report in its series on Non-Linear Analysis, proposing harmonized industrial practices based upon the outcomes of analyses and benchmarking results from previous reports in the series. The Task Force is continuing its work on the comparison of code requirements for fatigue analysis, having publishing an initial report on “Comparison of Pressure Vessel Fatigue Codified Design Rules Based on S-N Approach” and is currently examining common and harmonized design rules for pressure vessels. The Task Force’s report on advanced manufacturing is nearing completion, it will present current progress in the field by member organizations and highlight the challenges that remain with regards to codes and standards and regulation to enable the implementation of the new techniques into nuclear supply chains. 
Design Change Management Task Force
Co-Chairs: Jinxing Yan (SNERDI); Vacant
The Task Force revisited its scope and work programme in 2018. The Task Force contributes to work to facilitate the sharing of design change information on common nuclear power plant designs among different utilities, owners groups, and international organizations, and to maintain a dialogue with WANO and the IAEA on the responsibilities of operators on how they manage their fleets and cooperate internationally to keep a high degree of standardization.  

Licensing and Permitting Task Force
Chair: Claude Mayoral (Edvance)
Deputy Chair: Carrie Fossaen (NuScale Power)

The Task Force has worked on the concept of a reference plant which could be more easily licensed in a given country by taking advantage of an acceptance of the reference plant design by a competent safety authority. The report on reference plant concept was published at the end of 2019. The Task Force continues to benchmark leading practices regarding licensing and promotes innovation leading to more efficient licensing processes. In June 2021, the task force completed the report ‘Design Maturity and Regulatory expectations for Small Modular Reactors’ jointly with SMRTF, which identified country specific approaches to licensing and the required design maturity to engage regulators in the licensing processes. The Task Force is currently working on the topic of different interpretations of regulatory requirements. 

IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards Task Force
Chair: Etienne Courtin (Framatome) 
Deputy Chair: Robert Vesecky (CEZ,a.s.)

This Task Force actively contributes to the IAEA Nuclear Safety Standards Committee (NUSSC), providing consolidated industry inputs and feedback. In 2020, the focus was on Chemistry Programme for Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants, Equipment Qualification for Nuclear Installations, and Development and Application of Level 2 Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants . The Task Force took part of the NUSSC’s working group on Safety Guide on Assessment of the Application of General Requirements for Design of Nuclear Power Plants and the consultancy meetings of the IAEA SMR Safety Working Group on applicability reviews of current safety standards, and provided the IAEA with industry inputs to the safety guide update and comments on safety standards applicability. The Task Force closely collaborate with ENISS and EUR to avoid duplication.

Digital Instrumentation & Control Task Force
Chair: Johannes Pickelmann (Framatome)  
Deputy Chair: Alan Poole (Jacobs)  

The Task Force continues to work on defence-in-depth and diversity aspects as well as on safety classification related questions. A revision of the report on the comparison of key concepts following comments by the OECD/NEA CNRA-Working Group on Digital I&C (WGDIC) and changes in national definitions was published in 2019. Similarly, the report on safety classification for I&C Systems in Nuclear Power Plants - Current Status & Difficulties was revised taking into account comments from CNRA-WGDIC and published in March 2020. The Task Force published another document on International Nuclear I&C and Electrical System Standards Tables with URLs in May 2020, which brings together the related standards used by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) communities.

Following a workshop on I&C modernization held in Erlangen, Germany in October 2019, the Task Force published a report on I&C modernization in September 2020. Other topics being currently discussed for future activities are related to cybersecurity and FPGAs. The Task Force will maintain its efforts to increase the visibility of its work within relevant SDOs and international organizations (IEEE, NEA CNRA, etc), and continue to interact with IAEA in the development of relevant TECDOCs.

Small Modular Reactor Task Force 
Chair: Tom Bergman (NuScale Power)  
Deputy Chair: Peter Hastings (Kairos Power) 

The Group promotes application of the CORDEL model to global SMR deployment, presenting and discussing it at relevant international fora, such as the IAEA SMR regulators’ forum and INPRO. The task force provided industry’s common comments on the Phase 2 interim reports of the IAEA SMR regulators’ forum in June 2020. In June 2021, the task force completed the report ‘Design Maturity and Regulatory expectations for Small Modular Reactors’ jointly with LPTF, which identified country specific approaches to licensing and the required design maturity to engage regulators in the licensing processes.

The Task Force continues to develop proposals for more innovative and efficient licensing of SMRs, through looking at topics, such as in-factory certification of modules; inherent safety features and passive safety system capability justification; changes needed in the regulatory/licensing framework for non-LWR/advanced reactors; security approaches and non-proliferation issues; and emergency planning zones (EPZ). 

Supply Chain

Chair: Laurent-Olivier Coudeyre (EDF)  
Staff Director: Nathan Paterson

The Group supports members in monitoring and identifying market trends, providing guidance on timely, consistent and efficient plant construction, and in communicating with stakeholders on industrial developments. Links with international stakeholders such as the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the European industry association FORATOM have been strengthened to avoid duplication and help amplify industry’s voice. 
The Group exchanges regularly with the OECD-NEA Multinational Design Evaluation Programme’s (MDEP’s) Vendor Inspection Coordination Working Group (VICWG) and with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supply chain activities and TECDOC developments. Key activities for the WG include input towards the World Nuclear Supply Chain Outlook Report series, specialist supply chain publications and focussed analysis on topics such as localisation, quality culture, commercial grade dedication, new build and SMR industrialisation, public-private supply chain development, innovative supply chain practices and cost-competitiveness. 

Active collaboration with other WNA WGs and TFs is regularly enabled in tackling common challenges and to optimise synergies.

Capacity Optimization

Co-Chairs: Mike Baron (Global Nuclear Associates) and Abderrahim Al Mazouzi (EDF)  
Staff Director: Ronan Tanguy

The Group was set up as a forum for discussing means by which nuclear power plant operators worldwide can improve the performance of their plants in areas such as maintenance and availability. Its recent focus, prompted by the average age of the global fleet reaching over 30 years, has been in the area of long-term operations (LTO). The LTO Task Force monitors existing work performed by WANO, NEA and IAEA in this field, and has produced a technical position paper to support outreach to policy makers regarding the feasibility and importance of continued operation of the existing fleet. The Task Force will also be a forum for industry, including vendors and utilities, to share leading practice in this field. 

Waste Management and Decommissioning 

Chair: Mike Pieraccini (EDF)  
Staff Director: Alexandre de Ruvo 

The Group monitors trends in waste management strategies on both the international and local level, and seeks to establish a consensus for a more effective system of nuclear waste management and decommissioning. The Group promotes resource efficiency through the appropriate re-use and recycling of material, and the safe long-term disposal of radioactive wastes from nuclear sites as prescribed in national regulation. Additionally, it cooperates with other Working Groups on topics of mutual interest, such as the radiological protection of workers during decommissioning, or with regard to multinational repositories.

In 2019, the Working Group published a methodological guide for managing waste from decommissioning. The guide covers various strategic, technical and economic aspects of nuclear waste management. The conclusions of this report are actively promoted internationally through conferences and technical papers to which the WM&D group members are involved with. 

The Group is regularly represented and actively contributes to various international organisations and technical committee such as the IAEA’s International Radioactive Waste Technical Committee (WATEC), The IAEA’s Status and Trends in Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Management report, the NEA’s Working Party on Deep Geological Repositories and Nuclear Liability (WPDGR) or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) report.


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