International Conference on Topical Isues in Nuclear Safety
3 - 6 September 2001
[View the Programme, Timetable,
Poster Session and Poster
In 1991, the IAEA organized an international conference on The
Safety of Nuclear Power: Strategy for the Future. Recommendations
from the 1991 conference prompted actions in subsequent years to advance
nuclear safety worldwide. One of those actions was the establishment
of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which entered into force in October
1996. The first review meeting of the Conventions Contracting
Parties was held in April 1999. The meeting identified a number of
external factors and circumstances which could have a significant
impact on nuclear safety if they were not counteracted. These included:
(a) deregulation of electricity markets; (b) maintaining competence
in industry, regulators and research institutions; and (c) lack of
economic resources in some countries.
In 1998, the Agency held an International Conference on Topical
Issues in Nuclear, Radiation and Radioactive Waste Safety. The
nuclear safety issues discussed during the conference were: (1) safety
management; (2) regulatory strategies; and (3) backfitting, upgrading
and modernization of nuclear power plants. Senior nuclear safety decision
makers at the technical policy level reviewed these issues and formulated
recommendations for future actions by national and/or international
organizations. On the safety management issue, recommendations were
made to monitor safety performance by using indicators. Recommendations
on the regulatory strategies issue indicated the need for further
work on utilizing PSA and on optimizing the prescriptive nature of
regulations, as well as on the future availability of competent professionals.
Substantial progress has been made, and continues to be made by
Member States in enhancing the safety of nuclear power plants. At
the same time, more attention is being given to other areas of nuclear
safety. The safety standards for research reactors are being updated
and new standards are planned on the safety of other facilities in
the nuclear fuel cycle. It seems appropriate at this time to analyse
current topical issues and determine priorities for future work and
areas needing international consensus building.
The objective of the conference is to foster the exchange of information
on topical issues in nuclear installations safety, with the aim of
consolidating an international consensus on:
- the present status of these issues;
- priorities for future work; and
- needs for strengthening international co-operation,
including recommendations for future activities for the IAEA.
- THEMATIC SCOPE
Five current topical issues have been identified by the Conference
Programme Committee as subjects for technical sessions. Each topic
encompasses both general policy issues and more specific
technical issues. The topics and a selection of related issues are
Issue papers have been prepared in advance of the Conference to
provide an overview of each topic and the related issues. Further
information on the issues will be presented in the form of invited
keynote papers and contributed papers.
The Conference will cover the following main topics:
Issue 1: Risk-informed
decision making (
- Risk-informed decision making: pros and cons.
- The value and limitations of PSA techniques and
results in underpinning risk-informed decision making.
- Consistency between risk-informed decision making,
defence-in-depth and good engineering practice.
- Risk informed decision making: a way to improve
- Risk criteria and safety goals to be used in risk-informed
decision making: dealing with uncertainties.
- Experience with risk-informed decision making.
- The legal basis for risk-informed decision making.
- Using risk indicators as the basis for safety classification
of structures, systems and components.
- Quality requirements for a PSA to serve as a basis
for risk-informed decision making.
- PSA expertise at the utility and the regulatory
body when using risk-informed decision making.
- Ownership and updating of PSA by utilities.
- Need for international standards for PSA to support
risk-informed decision making?
- How to consider organizational factors and safety
culture in risk-informed decision making.
- Concept of ‘risk neutral’ decisions.
- Treatment of multiple changes in the installation.
Issue 2: Influence
of external factors on safety (
- Pressures arising from economic deregulation and
competitive electricity pricing and their possible role in encouraging
or discouraging improved nuclear installation safety in the long
- Implications of political decisions on early closure
for the safety of nuclear installations.
- Role of the regulator in not unnecessarily hindering
the competitiveness of nuclear installations while ensuring that
safety margins are not eroded under these changing circumstances.
- Experience of utilities and regulators who have
been through or who are embarking upon these changes; lessons learned
in how to achieve a positive safety outcome while avoiding the obvious
- Downsizing utilities and/or regulatory bodies while
maintaining safety margins.
- Effect of executive reward systems on safety.
- The image of the nuclear industry among the business
community and during the economic transition of the electrical supply
Issue 3: Safety
of fuel cycle facilities (
[Note: this topic excludes nuclear power plants, research reactors,
uranium mining, waste management and disposal facilities]
- Lack of international safety standards.
- Extensive reliance on operator and administrative
controls to achieve safety.
- Chemical and toxic risks associated with the nuclear
- The variety and diversity of technologies and processes
- The disposition of radioactive materials within
- The operator’s ‘hands on’ involvement in operations
and the frequent changes in operating modes.
- Dominant risk to the facility operator: setting
- Consideration of criticality accidents.
- Emergency preparedness.
Issue 4: Safety
of research reactors (
- Ageing of equipment and structures in operating
- Uncertain status of many research reactors (more
than 200) that are shut down but not decommissioned without clear
definition of safety precautions and preservation measures.
- Lack of regulatory oversight and in many cases lack
of a regulatory framework.
- Insufficient independent peer reviews of safety.
- Lack of an international convention to cover the
safety of research reactors.
- Systematic (periodic) reassessment of safety.
- Obsolescence of equipment and lack of maintenance.
- Loss of expertise and corporate memory.
- Lack of quality assurance programmes.
- Lack of clear utilization programmes and consequent
lack of financial support.
- Financing of safety measures (safety reassessment,
safety upgrading, dismantling and decommissioning).
- Ownership of shutdown reactors.
- Safety assessment of different modes of utilization,
- Emergency preparedness.
- Training and qualification of regulators and operators.
- Safety implications of new fuels.
Issue 5: Safety
performance indicators (
- Characterization of operational safety attributes
through safety performance indicators.
- Comprehensive sets of indicators at plant, national
and international level.
- Assessment of overall safety performance through
aggregation of indicators.
- Safety performance indicators as mechanisms for
- Advantages and limitations of safety performance
- Adaptation of generic safety performance indicators
to plant specific circumstances.
- Data collection for safety performance indicators.
- Experience with selection of indicators, setting
targets, monitoring trends and triggering actions.
- The use of safety performance indicator displays.
- Indicators to monitor safety culture.
- Development and use of qualitative safety performance
- Use of additional indicators to address issues such
as industrial safety attitude and performance, staff welfare and
- Indicators of the effectiveness of the nuclear regulatory
- Communicating safety outside the nuclear community.
The Conference is directed at a broad range of experts in the area
of nuclear safety, including professionals from the different disciplines
involved in the safety of nuclear power plants, installations in other
parts of the fuel cycle, and research reactors. It is aimed at both
licensees and governmental officials, including persons from regulatory
bodies and senior policy makers.
All persons wishing to participate in the meeting are requested
to complete a Participation Form and
send it as soon as possible to the competent official authority (Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, national atomic energy authority) for subsequent
transmission to the Conference secretariat. A participant will be
accepted only if the Participation Form
is transmitted through the government of a Member State of the International
Atomic Energy Agency or by an organization invited to participate.
Participants whose designations have been received by the Conference
secretariat will be notified directly two to three months before the
- PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
The Conference programme will be structured as follows:
- CONTRIBUTED PAPERS AND POSTERS
Concise papers on issues falling within the scope of the Conference
may be submitted as contributions to the Conference. These papers
will not be presented orally, but will be summarized and introduced
by a rapporteur, as indicated in Section 5. A book of contributed
papers will be distributed to all participants upon registration.
The poster session will include topical poster presentations by IAEA
staff on recent major achievements in the Agency’s nuclear safety
programme, including the status of revision of the Safety Standards
Series. Comments or questions on the contributed papers can be raised
in the appropriate technical sessions. Authors of contributed papers
are encouraged to present the substance of the paper in the form of
a poster. Instructions for the preparation and submission of contributed
papers and posters are given in the Appendix.
The deadline for the submission of contributed papers is
28 February 2001.
- DISTRIBUTION OF DOCUMENTS/PROCEEDINGS
A preliminary programme, together
with detailed information on accommodation and other relevant topics
will be sent to all officially designated participants in June 2001.
The final programme and the book of contributed papers will be distributed
The Proceedings, which will be published by the IAEA after the Conference,
will contain the introductory presentations, summary presentations
of the issue papers (as well as the issue papers themselves), rapporteurs’
reports of contributed papers, chairpersons’ summary reports for each
session, and the results of the concluding session. The Proceedings
can be ordered, at a discounted price, during the Conference.
There is no registration fee for participation in the Conference.
- VENUE, DATE AND WORKING LANGUAGE
The Conference will be held from 3 to 6 September 2001 at IAEA Headquarters
in Vienna, Austria. The registration desk will be open from 8:00 a.m.
on Monday, 3 September 2001 and the opening session will start at
The working language of the Conference will be English.
The address of the Conference Secretariat is as follows:
c/o International Atomic Energy Agency
Wagramer Strasse 5
P.O. Box 100
Telephone No.: (+43) - 1 - 2600(0) plus extension
Telefax No.: (+43) - 1 - 26007
The General Co-ordinator of the Conference is Mr. J.Versteeg, Safety
Co-ordination Section, Department of Nuclear Safety (telephone extension:
22551, e-mail: J.Versteeg@iaea.org).
The technical programme co-ordinator is Mr. L. Lederman, Division
of Nuclear Installation Safety, Department of Nuclear Safety (telephone
extension: 26070, email: L.Lederman@iaea.org).
Conference organization is provided by Ms.H. Schmid, Conference Services
Section, Division of Conference and Document Services (telephone extension:
21316, e-mail: H.Schmid@iaea.org).
The Editor for the conference proceedings is Mr. G. Ramesh, Publishing
Section (telephone extension: 22510, e-mail: G.Ramesh@iaea.org).
- CONTACT POINTS AND REGISTRATION
The Participation Form should be sent
to the competent official authority (Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
national atomic energy authority) for transmission to the Conference
Secretariat (see item 10 above).
Subsequent correspondence on technical matters should be addressed
to the Conference Co-ordinator and correspondence on administrative
matters to the IAEA Conference Service Section.
Designated participants who require a visa to enter Austria should
submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular
representative of Austria as soon as possible. Please note that Austria
is a Schengen State and therefore persons who require a visa will
have to apply for a "Schengen visa" at least 14 days before entry
into Austria. In States where Austria has no diplomatic mission, visas
can be obtained from the consular authority of a Schengen Partner
State representing Austria in the country in question. [As of September
1999, the Schengen States are: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany,
Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.]
A P P E N D I X
Guidelines for The Preparation and Presentation of A Poster
Information on a poster should attract attention. It should therefore
be limited to the most important facts only.
- PREPARATION OF A POSTER
Each poster author will be assigned a poster board with the size
85 cm high and 115 cm wide.
All display material should be prepared in advance. It should preferably
consist of smaller sections which can be mounted on the board in the
The top of the poster should display, in lettering not smaller than
3 cm in height, the following information:
Title of Presentation, Names of Authors, Affiliations
The text of the poster should be easily readable from a distance
of 2 to 2.5 m. Machine typed characters are too small. Use heavy lettering
at least 1 cm high.
The poster should be divided into:
or an equivalent division. It is advisable to leave details and
explanations for the face-to-face discussions.
- PRESENTATION AT THE MEETING
Poster authors are kindly requested to be at their posters for discussion
with interested participants during the relevant poster
session on Wednesday, 5 September from 14:00 -15:30 as indicated
in the meeting programme.
Text and presentation should be in English.
PLEASE NOTE that further details on the possibilities for
arranging the displays in the POSTER area will be given at the beginning
of the meeting.