The INPRO Methodology

View Manual of the INPRO Methodology: Full Report (Volumes 1 to 9)

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
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).

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 1: Overview of the Methodology

INPRO takes a holistic approach to assess innovative nuclear systems in seven areas:


As part of the updated INPRO methodology, this manual provides guidance on assessing the sustainability of a nuclear energy system in the area of economics. This is an independent assessment of the economic competitiveness of nuclear power, compared with available alternatives. It starts with a short description of the goals and output of energy system planning, followed by general background information on performing an INPRO economic assessment and presents a discussion of the basic principles, the associated user requirements and criteria. Additional background information on economic terms and support tools is provided in the appendices.

See IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NG-T-4.4: INPRO Methodology for Sustainability Assessment of Nuclear Energy Systems: Economics


This manual is part of the updated INPRO methodology. It provides guidance on assessing the sustainability of a nuclear energy system in the area of infrastructure. INPRO Basic Principle in this area states that a country shall be able to adopt, maintain or enlarge a NES for the supply of energy without making an excessive investment in national infrastructure. The associated User Requirements and Criteria recognize the need to establish a national legal framework and corresponding institutions; adequate economic infrastructure to facilitate availability of credit lines; industrial infrastructure to cover mainly construction, transport and maintenance; socio-political infrastructure to allow long term commitment and public acceptance; appropriate human resources for all steps of the nuclear programme; minimization of the needed infrastructure for a given nuclear power programme; and regional and international arrangements which can be used for minimization of necessary national infrastructure.

See IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NG-T-3.12: Methodology for Sustainability Assessment of Nuclear Energy Systems: Infrastructure

Waste Management

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.

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 4: Waste Management

Proliferation resistance

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.

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 5: Proliferation resistance

Physical protection

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.

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 6: Physical protection


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.

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 7: Environment


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.

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 8: Safety of Nuclear Reactors

See TECDOC 1575 Rev.1 - INPRO Manual Vol. 9: Safety of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities

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