Technical Meeting on Global Cooperation on Generic Safety Issues for Nuclear Power Plants and Measures for their Resolution

10-12 December 2007
Bonn, Germany

Announcement


1. INTRODUCTION

A generally accepted approach to characterize safety-related matters in nuclear power plants is to express them as safety issues which need to be resolved. When such safety issues are applicable to a generation of plants of a particular design or to a family of plants of a similar design, then they are termed generic safety issues. Examples of generic safety issues are those related to pressure vessel integrity, pressure tube integrity, control rod insertion reliability or ECCS sump screen adequacy.

This approach of using generic safety issues for identifying and resolving safety concerns has been practiced in the USA since the 70s (NUREG-0410 and NUREG-0933). Other Member States including France, Germany, Japan, Spain and Sweden also have experience in using similar approaches. In the 90s, the IAEA developed lists of generic safety issues for WWER and RBMK NPPs. These were used as a reference to facilitate the development of plant specific safety improvement programmes and to serve as a basis for reviewing their implementation.

This approach was further extended. In 1998, the IAEA completed the IAEA-TECDOC-1044 entitled Generic Safety Issues for Nuclear Power Plants with Light Water Reactors and Measures Taken for their Resolution and established the associated Generic Safety Issues for Light Water Reactor (LWR) NPPs database (LWRGSIDB) (Computer Manual Series No. 13). Subsequently, at their 1999 Annual Meeting, the senior regulators from countries operating CANDU type nuclear power plants decided that it would be useful to develop a document covering all the generic safety issues that apply to CANDU type NPPs. This document has now been completed and is currently being published as IAEA-TECDOC-1554. The associated PHWRGSIDB database is also in the process of being established and tested. Each of these documents and databases contain a list of generic safety issues, on the basis of broad international experience, which could be used by the Member States as a reference in reassessing the safety of their operating plants. The applicability of these issues to each plant under review would, however, have to be checked on a case by case basis. It must also be pointed out that such a list of generic safety issues cannot ensure that all the possible safety concerns would be identified, since these would also be influenced by plant specific situations .

In this context, a list of generic safety issues would be one element in the framework of IAEA activities to assist Member States in reassessing the safety of operating nuclear power plants. Other possible elements are:

Periodic Safety Review of Nuclear Power Plants, NS-G-2.10, 2003

(An IAEA Safety Guide which provides guidance on procedures)

Evaluation of the Safety of Operating Nuclear Power Plants Built to Earlier Standards A Common Basis for Judgement, Safety Reports Series No. 12, 1998 (An IAEA Safety Report which provides assistance for making expert judgments in the safety review process)

A Common Basis for Judging the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants Built to Earlier Standards, INSAG-8, 1995 (An INSAG document)

As originally envisaged, the IAEA publications and associated databases would be kept up to date on the basis of experience feedback provided by Member States related to addressing and resolving the safety issues. This would enable wide knowledge sharing and mutual learning among Member States. To provide a forum for a wide review of the experience accumulated in Member States on generic safety issues for nuclear power plants and measures for their resolution, this TM is being convened by the IAEA.

2. OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the meeting are to:

(a) Discuss examples of how the IAEA reports and databases have been used so far in Member States;

(b) Discuss how the information contained in the databases can be utilized most effectively in the context of a Global Nuclear Safety Regime/Network, both for reassessing and enhancing the safety of operating nuclear power plants, and for providing feedback to the IAEA;

(c) Identify those generic safety issues that need to be reflected in the IAEA safety guides;

(d) Exchange information on the current status of generic safety issues;

(e) Agree on possible sources of information for updating the databases; and

(f) Agree on a mechanism, including a time frame, for future updates of the databases.

Special emphasis will be on the measures taken by Member States to address the safety issues and the associated additional sources of information.

3. PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The programme will consist of presentations, plenary discussions and working group activities.

4. PARTICIPATION

Participation is solicited from regulatory bodies, technical support organizations, governmental, national and international organizations and utilities engaged in operation or licensing of nuclear power plants. To ensure maximum effectiveness in exchange of information, it is expected that participants are actively involved in the subject of the Meeting.

Participants should complete the attached Participation Form as soon as possible and send it to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or National Atomic Energy Authority) for transmission to the IAEA Secretariat, to arrive not later than 29 October 2007. The designation of a participant will be accepted only if forwarded by the Government of an IAEA Member State or by an Organization invited to participate.

The meeting is, in principle, open to all officially designated persons. The Agency, however, reserves the right to limit participation in case this becomes necessary due to limitations imposed by the available seating capacity. It is therefore recommended that interested persons take the necessary steps for the official designation as early as possible.

5. EXPENDITURE

The costs for the organization of the Meeting are borne by the Government of Germany, no registration fee is charged to participants.

Travel and subsistence expenses of participants will not be borne by the Agency.

6. WORKING LANGUAGE

The working language of the Meeting will be English.

7. LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS

The Meeting will be held in Meeting Room 1.150 at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety (BMU), Robert-Schumann-Platz 3, 53175 Bonn, and will start on Monday, 10 December at 13:00 and will end in the afternoon on Wednesday, 12 December 2007.

8. ACCOMMODATION

Detailed information on accommodation and other administrative details will be made be available on the IAEA conference web site.

9. VISA

Designated participants who require a visa (Schengen visa) to enter Germany should submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Germany as soon as possible. Please note that under certain circumstances, the procedure could take at least three weeks.

10. CONTACT INFORMATION

The following persons may be contacted for further information or assistance:
(a) Scientific issues

Scientific Secretary (IAEA)
Mr. George Philip
Department of Nuclear Safety and Security
PO Box 100
Wagramer Strasse 5
1400 Vienna, Austria
Telephone No.: +43-1-2600-22857
Telefax No.: +43-1-26007
Email: [email protected]

11. MEETING WEB PAGE

Please visit the IAEA meeting web site regularly for new information regarding the meeting under:

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/Announcements.asp?ConfID=35262