Preparing for a New Project: INPRO-SYNERGIES

Oct 27, 2011

Preparing for a New Project: INPRO-SYNERGIES
A group of international experts discussed the way
forward for the new INPRO-SYNERGIES project
at the IAEA on 10-14 October 2011

Dynamic modelling is an excellent way to understand the sustainability of nuclear energy systems. Building on and enhancing the analytical framework developed within the INPRO-GAINS project (Global Architecture of Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems), a new INPRO Collaborative Project plans to model and examine more specifically the various forms of collaboration among nuclear technology suppliers and users and the driving forces and impediments to achieving a globally sustainable nuclear energy system.

“We also want to identify those forms of collaboration that would ensure a ‘win-win’ strategy for both holders and users on the way to a sustainable nuclear energy system”, said Mr Vladimir Kuznetzov, INPRO Scientific Secretary of the new project entitled SYNERGIES, which stands for Synergistic Nuclear Energy Regional Group Interactions Evaluated for Sustainability. “Regional is used in a non-geographical sense, since ‘regional’ collaboration may include countries that do not belong to the same geographical region”, explained Mr Kuznetsov.

First steps towards launching the project were made when a group of 18 international experts met at the IAEA on 10-14 October 2011 to define the overall structure and scope, develop basic elements of the implementation plan, including task objectives and task descriptions with tentatively defined task teams and task leaders, and the interrelationships between the tasks of the project.

Chaired by Mr G. Edwards of Canada, the meeting included participants from Belgium, China, France, India, Indonesia, Romania, the Russian Federation, Spain, Ukraine, USA, the EC’s Joint Research Centre and the World Nuclear Association. Armenia, Argentina, Belarus, the Republic of Korea, Italy, OECD-NEA, and Vietnam had indicated their interest to participate, but were unable to attend this time. All participants delivered presentations concerning their areas of interest in the SYNERGIES project, reflecting on national needs and specifying their desired role in the project.

Participants were also able to enjoy an invited lecture by Dr Ratan Kumar Sinha, Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in India, who presented an Indian view on the Role of cooperation among countries making a transition to a globally sustainable nuclear energy system.

A simple presentation of the project objectives with a link to other INPRO projects was elaborated as follows:

  • GAINS (previous project): What are the advantages of transition to a globally sustainable nuclear energy system?
  • INPRO-SYNERGIES: How could collaborations facilitate this transition?
  • ROADMAPS (future project): What needs to be done, when, and by whom, to achieve such a collaborative transition?

The SYNERGIES objective was refined as:

To identify and evaluate mutually beneficial collaborative architectures and the driving forces and impediments for achieving globally sustainable nuclear energy systems.

The following tasks of the project were defined:

  • Task 1 (Core Task): Evaluation of Synergistic Collaborative Scenarios of Fuel Cycle Infrastructure Development;
  • Task 2 (Support Task): Evaluation of Additional Options for NES with Thermal and Fast Reactors;
  • Task 3 (Support Task): Evaluation of Options for Minor Actinide Management;
  • Task 4 (Cross-cutting Task): Elaboration of key indicators specific for synergistic collaboration, including economic assessment methods.

It was decided that the project will focus on short-term and medium-term collaborative architectures capable to develop pathways to long term sustainability. Following the approach established in GAINS, drivers and impediments for collaboration among countries would be assessed using appropriately defined key indicators in:

  • Economics;
  • Security of supply;
  • Resource constraints;
  • National infrastructure requirements,
  • Aspirations of being a technology provider,
  • Proliferation resistance and other subject areas of INPRO.

“The project is targeted for implementation in the biennium of 2012–2013” said Mr Kuznetsov. “The final report will be produced in 2014”, he added.

So far, expressions of interest came from Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Commission, France, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Japan, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the Russian Federation, Spain, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam, the World Nuclear Association (WNA), the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC).

More users and newcomer countries are welcome to participate in INPRO-SYNERGIES.

Invitations to all interested Member States will be sent in December 2011. The kick-off consultancy or technical meeting will be convened tentatively in April 2012.

A supporting interregional workshop on Drivers and Impediments for Regional Collaboration on the Way to Sustainable Nuclear Energy Systems is scheduled for 23-27 April 2012.

Contact: Mr. V. Kuznetsov, Scientific Secretary, INPRO Collaborative Project on Synergistic Nuclear Energy Regional Group Interactions Evaluated for Sustainability (SYNERGIES)

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