What are first steps towards a nuclear power programme?

Participants in a group discussion during the IAEA workshop, held at KNA, Seoul on 17-21 March 2014.
(Photo: K.S. Kang, IAEA)

2014-03-27│A number of IAEA Member States are at a very early stage of considering adding nuclear power to their national energy mix. A recent IAEA workshop, held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, addressed first steps to be taken and provided guidance and training in conducting energy assessments, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies on the introduction of nuclear power.

A pre-feasibility study helps answer questions such as: Why nuclear power? Would nuclear power be competitive? Is nuclear power safe? How could a nuclear power programme be financed? What would be the environmental impacts? Can nuclear power help combat climate change? What about nuclear waste?

"A pre-feasibility study is normally the starting point and addresses the overall nuclear power programme and national strategy," explained Ahmed Irej Jalal, IAEA Scientific Secretary of the Meeting. "A full feasibility study provides then the justification for the first nuclear power project and describes how it would be implemented."

The workshop sessions addressed nuclear power and energy policy; main issues connected with pre-feasibility studies for the introduction of a nuclear power programme; and the main technical aspects of feasibility studies. Thirty-one participants from 20 Member States participated and presented their countries' status and challenges. They also discussed the scope of the assessments and studies for specific countries or regions that would be required in the decision making on a new nuclear power programme. Participants were also introduced to IAEA support in the areas of energy planning, project management, human resource management and feasibility study preparation.

"A feasibility study is very important when developing a new nuclear power project," said Mr Ahn Hong Jun, Chairman of the Korea Nuclear Association for International Cooperation (KNA), which hosted the event at its headquarters. "It will help determine how the first nuclear power project can be completed within the defined budget and schedule while meeting all quality and safety requirements."

The IAEA Workshop on Energy Assessments and Pre-feasibility/Feasibility Studies for Nuclear Power Programmes was held on 17-21 March 2014 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, with support from KNA. All presentations from the workshop are available on the meeting webpage.

- By Ki-Sig Kang and Irej Jalal, Department of Nuclear Energy