The licensing and safety issues for small and medium-sized reactors (SMRs) will be the primary focus of the 6th INPRO Dialogue Forum which takes place at IAEA Headquarters from 29 July to 2 August 2013. INPRO stands for the IAEA's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, a collaborative mechanism to ensure that nuclear technology is available to meet long-term global energy needs in a sustainable manner. The INPRO Dialogue Forum allows technology holders, users and other stakeholders from Member States to meet regularly to discuss new innovations in this area.
Some 120 experts and representatives from 37 countries and five international organizations are taking part in the week-long dialogue. These participants are nuclear regulators and operating organisations in the IAEA Member States that are potentially licensing or preparing to license SMRs, and experts engaged in the development of sustainable nuclear energy systems. For this particular dialogue forum, panel discussions will address challenges and issues for SMR deployment and licensing, lessons learned for SMRs from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and international cooperation on SMR licensing and safety.
Working groups will discuss in particular:
- Considerations for SMR designs;
- Siting considerations of SMRs;
- Application of a graded approach in the regulatory and licensing process;
- Legal and regulatory framework of SMRs; and
- Public participation in the SMR licensing process.
The results are expected to be summarized at the last day of the Dialogue Forum.
For those countries considering SMRs in their nuclear power development programme, the Dialogue Forum will provide licensing and regulatory knowledge, and participants will have an opportunity to discuss common safety issues with technology holders. The sessions are designed to help them develop and prioritise licensing and safety issues, develop an understanding of related work in other forums and a recommended path forward to resolve, and address the issues identified through participation in a working group.
This Dialogue Forum is jointly organized by the Department of Nuclear Energy (INPRO and Nuclear Power Technology Development Section) and the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (Regulatory Activities Section).
About the INPRO Dialogue Forum
The traditional objective of the INPRO Dialogue Forum is to bring together nuclear technology users and technology holders from all IAEA interested Member States to discuss issues related to sustainable nuclear energy development and deployment. This dialogue facilitates mutual understanding of the needs and potential roles of technology users and the possibilities and limitations of technology holders.
To date, five INPRO Dialogue Forums have been held since 2010. Past forum dialogues have covered issues such as: Nuclear Energy Innovations; Multilateral Approaches to Sustainable Nuclear Energy Development; Common User Considerations for Small and Medium-sized Nuclear Power Reactors; Drivers and Impediments for Regional Cooperation on the Way to Sustainable Nuclear Energy Systems; and Long-term Prospects for Nuclear Energy post-Fukushima.