Technical Working Group Discusses Life Management of Nuclear Power Plants

Meeting of the TWG on Life Management of Nuclear Power Plants held at the IAEA on 20-22 February 2013

2013-02-25 | The IAEA held the biennial meeting of the Technical Working Group on Life Management of Nuclear Power Plants (TWG-LMNPP) in Vienna, Austria on 20-22 February 2013. Twenty TWG members from 19 Member States and one international organization attended the meeting, which was chaired by Mr G. Young from USA.

The TWG is comprised of a group of experts from Member States who provide advice to the IAEA concerning all aspects of life management of nuclear power plants aimed at ensuring safe, economical and reliable long term operation. The focus of interest of the TWG-LMNPP is plant life management and long term operation to operate beyond design life time. Ageing management covers all aspects of ageing assessment and mitigation including design, engineering, operations and maintenance actions to ensure safe continued operation and to control, within acceptance limits, ageing degradation and wear of key components of the plants.

Mr Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, welcomed the meeting participants and provided background information on the activities of the IAEA, especially those related to plant life management for long term operation.

“The most important lesson that we have learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident is that we need a more intense focus on nuclear safety. The IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was approved by all Member States, is now being implemented as a programme of work to strengthen the global nuclear safety framework”, said Mr Bychkov. He encouraged TWG members to share their experience and expertise with expanding and new nuclear power programmes and proposed that TWG members focus on this issue when providing recommendation for 2016-2017. Sharing experiences could be facilitated through the IAEA regular programme or technical cooperation projects.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide a forum for the exchange of information in the field on Nuclear Power Plant Life Management for Long Term Operation, provide technical support to the 2014−2015 programmes in this area, and suggest future activities for 2016−2017 related to IAEA programmes.

Finally, the TWG members discussed preliminary plans for the 4th International Conference on Nuclear Power Plant Life Management for Long Term Operation, to be held in 2017 and identified Europe as the preferred location for this conference. The 3rd Conference on this topic was held successfully in May 2012 in Salt Lake City, USA.

“The IAEA is working to reflect and consolidate Member States’ needs into all IAEA programme activities. We are collecting information, opinions, and suggestions from Member States through mechanisms such as meetings, coordinated research projects, and international forums. The TWG actively promotes collaboration from Member States in coordinated research programmes and supports the implementation of results”, explained Mr Ki Sig Kang, Scientific Secretary of the TWG-LMNPP and Technical Head for Plant Life Management/Long Term Operation in the IAEA Nuclear Power Engineering Section.