The INPRO Methodology
The INPRO methodology identifies a set of Basic Principles, User Requirements and Criteria in a hierarchical manner as the basis for the assessment of an innovative nuclear system:
|Structure of the INPRO methodology using Basic Principles, User Requirements and Criteria|
It is intended that:
- The fulfilment of a Criterion for an INS is confirmed by the Indicator(s) complying with the Acceptance Limit(s).
- The fulfilment of a User Requirement(s) is confirmed by the fulfilment of the corresponding Criterion (Criteria) (bottom-up approach).
- The fulfilment of a Basic Principle is achieved by meeting the related User Requirement(s).
INPRO takes a holistic approach to assess innovative nuclear systems in seven areas:
In the area of economics, one Basic Principle has been identified, namely, that to contribute to sustainable development, energy and related products and services from an INS must be affordable and available. If energy and related products and services are to be affordable, the cost to the consumer must be competitive with that of low cost/priced alternatives. And if they are to be available, the systems to supply them must be developed and deployed.
The Basic Principle concerning infrastructure states that regional and international arrangements are to provide options that enable any country that so wishes to adopt an INS for the supply of energy and related products without making an excessive investment in national infrastructure. The associated User Requirements and Criteria recognize the need to establish a national legal framework with corresponding institutions; adequate economic infrastructure to facilitate availability of credit lines; industrial infrastructure to cover mainly construction, transport, operation and maintenance; socio-political infrastructure to allow long term commitment and public acceptance; and appropriate human resources for all steps of the nuclear programme, including safe operation of nuclear facilities.
The Basic Principles in the area of waste management have been derived from the IAEA Safety Fundamentals concerning "The Principles of Radioactive Waste Management". Thus, the generation of waste is to be kept to the minimum level practicable, securing an acceptable level of protection of human health and the environment without undue burdens on future generations, and all waste generation and waste management steps are to be taken into account.
The Basic Principles associated with proliferation resistance require that intrinsic features and extrinsic measures be implemented throughout the full life cycle of the INS, and that they be optimized, by design and engineering, to provide cost effective proliferation resistance. In an INS, the attractiveness of nuclear materials and technology for diversion to a nuclear weapons programme should be low, and the diversion of nuclear material difficult and detectable.
One Basic Principle has been defined by INPRO in the area of physical protection. It requires the implementation of an adequate physical protection regime throughout the lifetime of an INS. The corresponding User Requirements are based on the fundamental principles of the amended convention on the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, and emphasize the need to take into account jointly all aspects of physical protection, proliferation resistance and safety during all design stages of an INS.
Protection of the environment is a major consideration in the processes for approving industrial activities in many countries and is a central theme in the concept of sustainable development. There is a prima facie case that nuclear power supports sustainable development by providing much-needed energy with a relatively low burden on the atmosphere and on water and land resources. Further deployment of nuclear power would help alleviate the environmental burden caused by other forms of energy production, particularly the burning of fossil fuels. INPRO has set out two Basic Principles related to the environment, one dealing with the acceptability of environmental effects caused by nuclear energy and the second dealing with the capability of an INS to deliver energy while making efficient use of non-renewable resources.
In the area of safety of nuclear installations, the Basic Principles require that the INS enhance the concept of defence-in-depth, with an increased emphasis on inherent safety characteristics and passive safety features resulting in a health and environmental risk of an INS that is comparable with that of industrial facilities used for similar purposes.