Research Reactor Section

Technical Working Group on Research Reactors (TWGRR)


Terms of Reference:

The Technical Working Group on Research Reactors is a group of experts to provide advice and support programme implementation, reflecting a global network of excellence and expertise in the area of Research Reactors.


  • Types of facilities: The TWGRR will focus its work on activities related to all types of research reactors (RRs), including critical assemblies, subcritical assemblies and pulsed reactors. Also included in the scope are facilities for: RR fuel fabrication, RR fuel development, RR fuel post irradiation and RR spent fuel storage.
  • Managerial areas: All managerial areas involved in the operation of the above listed types of facilities are included in the scope of the TWGRR.
  • Technical areas: The TWGRR will give the necessary attention to all of its relevant aspects, including operation, utilization, nuclear fuel cycle, maintenance, refurbishment, modernization, quality assurance, new designs and decommissioning with due consideration to safety and non-proliferation. The TWGRR will especially address the projected needs for RRs on a global and regional basis with a long-term time horizon.
  • Crosscutting: The scope of the TWGRR cuts across all IAEA organizational structures dealing with RRs.


The functions of the TWG on Research Reactors are:

  • To provide advice and guidance, and to marshal support in their countries for implementation of the Agencyÿs programmatic activities in the areas of RR operation, utilization, nuclear fuel cycle, ,maintenance, refurbishment, modernization, quality assurance, new designs and decommissioning;
  • To provide a forum for information and knowledge sharing on national and international programmes development in the area of RR operation, utilization, nuclear fuel cycle, maintenance, refurbishment, modernization, quality assurance, new designs and decommissioning;
  • To act as a link between the Agencyÿs activities in specific area and national scientific communities, delivering information from and to national communities;
  • To provide advice on preparatory actions in Member States and the Agencyÿs activities in planning and implementing coordinated research projects, collaborative assessments and other activities as well as the review of the results on RR activities within their scope;
  • To develop and/or review selected documents from the Nuclear Energy Series, assess existing gaps and advise on preparation of new ones, in the scope of their field of activity;
  • To identify important topics for discussion at SAGNE and contribute to status reports, technical meetings and topical conferences in the field of RRs;
  • To provide guidance to member states in order to improve and optimize the utilization of research reactors, in national, regional and extra regional contexts. When considered appropriated, to provide guidance in order to define actions for reactors that have been placed in shutdown condition;
  • To identify relevant issues and topics which might increase cooperation among different research reactor centres, particularly in various regions of the world;
  • To encourage and facilitate regional and international collaborative programmes in the construction and utilization of research reactors, and to be a forum for discussion of issues related to impediments and challenges that can be faced by the concept of a regional research reactor park;
  • To propose the realization of events that will work as a forum for the exchange of information among the participants in all areas described in a). Such events include, technical meetings, workshops, international symposiums and conferences;
  • To address the projected needs for RRs on a global and regional basis with a long-term time horizon; and
  • To encourage participation of young professionals, as appropriate, in Agency activities.


Members of the TWG on RRs shall be appointed by the Deputy Director General, for Nuclear Energy, based on consultations with the Deputy Director General for Nuclear Applications, following consultation with the respective national authorities or organizations.

Members of the TWG on RRs:

  • Shall be recognized experts that worked with research reactors having extensive links with national technical communities. There shall be appropriate representation on the Group from RR operators, fuel cycle, materials specialists, designers of RRs, researchers and users of RRs.
  • Are to serve for a standard length of four years.
  • Shall participate in the Group in their personal capacity and shall provide as appropriate views on national policies and strategies in the technical field.
  • May as appropriate bring experts to provide additional information and share experience in the meetings of the TWG.

The total membership of the TWGRR shall not exceed 20 members.

The Deputy Director General of the Department of Nuclear Energy may from time to time also co opt additional members and/or invite observers from other Member States and international or regional organizations on an ad-hoc or continuing basis.


The Chairman of the TWG on RRs shall be selected from the members of the TWG by the Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy.


Within available resources, the Deputy Director General will provide for administrative and secretariat services required by the TWG on RRs, including meeting facilities, maintenance of records and distribution of documents. The IAEA shall provide the services of a scientific secretary to be appointed by the Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy. Support, when required, will be provided by managers/staff from NE, or other relevant department.


Except as otherwise herein stated, the TWG on RRs will determine its own methods of work, including preparation of its Agenda, establishment of special groups, keeping of records and other procedures, and report on its findings to SAGNE.

The activity of the TWG on RRs between periodic meetings shall be coordinated by the Scientific Secretary taking into due consideration the relevant recommendations of the TWG and SAGNE.

Following each meeting the TWG on RRs shall provide the Deputy Director General with a report on its achievements and recommendations. The report shall be also published on the WEB in a format and content agreeable to all members.

The Chairman of the TWG shall communicate to SAGNE recommendations for strategic development or other important topics to be discussed at SAGNE meetings.


The TWG on RRs will meet at regular intervals but no more than once in a year with each meeting lasting up to five workings days. Extraordinary meetings may be called when required.

Meetings will be conducted in English only.


The IAEA is not in a position to bear the travel and other costs of members to TWGRR meetings. All costs involved in the participation of each member, including travel and per diem expenses, shall in general be supported by the nominating Member State/organization. However, the IAEA may contribute to the cost of attendance of members from developing countries, if sufficient funds are available and if a significant contribution can be made to the meeting by the respective members.

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