Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials

Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options (TWGNFCO)


Terms of Reference

1. Background:

Different advisory groups have been set up in the past in the nuclear fuel cycle program to discuss various aspects of the fuel cycle such as spent fuel management, plutonium issues and recycling, many of which are closely interrelated to present and future fuel cycle options.

Therefore and as a result of a review of all Agency’s programmes the Agency has decided to merge the activities of the former Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options and the Regular Advisory Group on Spent Fuel Management in the new Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options (TWGNFCO).

2. Objectives:

The TWGNFCO will focus its work on nuclear fuel cycle options and spent fuel management as they affect the back end of the fuel cycle. It will give due recognition to all relevant aspects including safety, economy, health, environmental implications and non-proliferation.

3. Specific Subjects:

In addition to the above-mentioned objectives the agency may identify topics of particular interest to be addressed at each meeting.

4. Scope:

The topics for which expertise is required concerning fuel cycle options and spent fuel management include:

  • Back-end fuel cycle policies and strategies;
  • Spent fuel management;
  • Fuel cycle options and relevant issues;
  • Nuclear material management.

5. Functions:

Exchange information on the current status and progress on fuel cycle options in Member States with emphasis on implications for spent fuel management

Identify new trends and directions in the topic areas

Identify areas of potential multinational co-operation in this area

Comment on Agency’s existing program and assist in formulating future program in this area

Discuss specific/emerging subjects as requested by Member States or the Agency

6. Outcome:

Each country/participant is requested to present a paper. The papers and the results of the meeting will be published as an Agency document.

7. Membership:

The Deputy Director General of Nuclear Energy (DDG-NE) will request Member States to nominate recognized senior experts in the nuclear fuel cycle including spent fuel management to become official member of the TWGNFCO.

Members are encouraged to be accompanied by up to two experts in the field of the specific subject chosen by the Agency for each meeting.

The DDG-NE will invite representatives from OECD/NEA and EC and may also invite other organisations to be represented at meetings of the TWGNFCO.

Members of the following countries/organisations attended in the past meetings of either or both of the merging Working Groups:

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine, USA


Members and alternates will normally serve on the Working Group for a period prescribed by their governments, preferably for a period of at least four years.

8. Working Group Meetings:

The Working Group normally meets each year at the IAEA Headquarters. The duration of the meeting is decided by the Scientific Secretary which is 5 days in maximum. The members shall present a full country report focusing on the topics of the Scope.

The minutes of the TWGNFCO meetings will be produced as Working Material. The Working Material Reports should be issued in a short time after the meeting.

9. Methods of Work:

A chairperson will be appointed by the DDG-NE from the TWGNFCO members.

The Scientific Secretary will alternate from the Units of Spent Fuel Management and Nuclear Fuel Cycle Issues.

Before each meeting, the Nuclear Fuel Cycle & Materials Section will prepare an agenda in consultation with the chairperson. After each meeting, the Chairperson will produce a summary of the outcome of the meeting and conclusions.

The group will meet once a year.

10. Resources:

The Secretariat will provide the resources necessary to ensure the efficient working of the TWGNFCO.

The expenses of each member (and assistants) attending meetings of the TWGNFCO shall, in general, be borne by the Member State or organisation concerned.

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