INPRO Steering Committee Holds 19th Meeting at IAEA
Jul 18, 2012
The 41 representatives from INPRO Members who attended the 19th INPRO Steering Committee Meeting on 11 to 13 July 2012, confirmed good progress in implementing the INPRO Action Plan 2012–2013, identified Member State priorities and support for individual INPRO projects, and made recommendations for current and future activities. They also highlighted the importance for cooperation with other international organizations and initiatives.
“We commend the IAEA Secretariat and the INPRO Group for delivery of high quality work with limited resources”, said Robert Speranzini, the Canadian representative, who served as Chair of the meeting.
In opening the meeting, Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy and INPRO Project Manager, welcomed Malaysia and Vietnam as new Members of INPRO. The membership is now comprised of 36 countries and the European Commission (EC).
Referring to the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was devised in response the Fukushima nuclear accident, Mr Bychkov pointed out that “the Plan impacts on the activities of the Department of Nuclear Safety and the Department of Nuclear Energy as we focus our work on strengthening safety”.
“Of the 12 main action items [in the Plan], INPRO is actively involved in particular in the effective utilization of research and development”, said Mr Bychkov and added that INPRO’s contributions will be useful for several other action items.
The presentations of Member representatives indicated active participation in all INPRO activities and collaborative projects, in particular the new project on Proliferation Resistance and Safeguardability Assessment (PROSA) and the SYNERGIES project, for which 25 Member States and international organizations have signed the Terms of Reference so far.
INPRO Methodology Update
The representatives of Belarus, Indonesia and Ukraine reported on the progress of national nuclear energy system assessments (NESAs) using the INPRO methodology.
This methodology will now be upgraded and revised over the next year. “There was strong support for the general outline of the 2nd edition of the INPRO methodology, provided in a White Paper to the Steering Committee”, explained Randy Beatty, INPRO Group Leader.
“INPRO has an important role to play in helping Member States to develop innovations that can be incorporated into a nuclear energy system to reduce the risk of severe accidents during natural disasters. As INPRO updates the methodology for NESAs, it should be adjusted in each technical area to include lessons learned from Fukushima. This will be a great challenge for INPRO and for the entire Agency in the coming months and years” emphasized Mr Bychkov.
A special session was devoted to cooperation with international organizations and initiatives. Representatives from the EC, the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform (SNETP), OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA), the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) and the World Nuclear Association (WNA) reported about activities of common interest and ongoing or potential cooperation.
“Collaboration with other international initiatives is welcome. One of the recommendations of the Steering Committee is to ensure good coordination with GIF, OECD/NEA and other international activities, as well as with other IAEA programmes”, said Chairman Speranzini.
“We value our collaboration with INPRO, and we look forward to further exchanges of information on projects of mutual interest. We have been active observers in the past”, explained Henri Paillere of the OECD/NEA. “The NEA was active in the GAINS project with contributions from its own projects on related topics, and now we look forward to the outcome of SYNERGIES”, he added.
“We are relatively new to INPRO and for the first time attended this meeting last year as an observer”, said Irena Borysova from the WNA. “However, learning about the wealth and breadth of the activities that INPRO offers in support of strategies for nuclear power developers would definitely be of benefit for the WNA members, who are commercial nuclear businesses. There are many links which we can build between INPRO and various WNA Working Groups, deriving mutual benefit from each other's work”.
“I am glad to see that INPRO’s cooperation and interactions with other international organizations and initiatives are developing well and in a mutually beneficial way” concluded Deputy Director General Bychkov in his closing remarks.
The 20th meeting of the INPRO Steering Committee will take place on 22–24 May 2013, and the 21st Meeting is scheduled for 13–15 November 2013.