The main mission of the Working Group on Fuel Safety (WGFS) is to advance the current understanding and address cross-cutting issues related to fuel behaviour in accident conditions, including work on associated aspects of thermal-hydraulics, oxidation, chemistry, mechanical behaviour and reactor physics.
Specifically, the WGFS:
The Working Group aims at facilitating international convergence in fuel safety issues, including experimental approaches, interpretation and use of the experimental data or of other relevant information.
Co-operation with other NEA bodies is actively pursued, as appropriate, e.g. with the Working Group on the Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA) on issues involving thermal hydraulics and/or fuel damage, with the Working Group on Fuel Cycle Safety (WGFCS) on fuel-storage issues and with subsidiary bodies of the Nuclear Science Committee (NSC) working on fuel issues. This results in optimisation of both the resources mobilised by member countries for NEA activities and the quality of the work produced.
The Working Group performs its activities mainly through organising topical meetings on specific subjects or through task forces dedicated to covering specific programme items.
Task groups (password protected | reminder)
The expert group provided advice to the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS) on the scientific development needs (data and methods, validation experiments, scenario studies) of sensitivity and uncertainty methodology for modelling of different reactor systems and scenarios. It was completed in 2020 and the topic is currently addressed in the Working Party on Scientific Issues and Uncertainty Analysis of Reactor Systems (WPRS).
The Working Group on the Analysis and Management of Accidents (WGAMA) focuses on the NEA activities related to potential design-basis and beyond design-basis accidents in nuclear reactors and related technologies. The accident progression includes in-vessel and ex-vessel phenomena involving system thermal-hydraulics, core damage and relocation, release and transport of radioactive materials and their physical-chemical behaviour, combustible gas generation, distribution and combustion, and molten core-concrete/structure interactions. The WGAMA also works on the safety aspects of existing nuclear reactors and related technologies as well as emerging challenges of evolutionary and innovative reactor designs and nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors. Group's priorities are based on established criteria of the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and in particular on safety significance and risk and uncertainty considerations.
The objective of the Working Group on Fuel Cycle Safety (WGFCS) is to advance the understanding of relevant aspects of nuclear fuel cycle safety, including: uranium mining and milling; uranium refining and conversion to uranium hexafluoride; uranium enrichment; fuel fabrication and storage (including MOX fuel); spent fuel storage; spent fuel reprocessing; decommissioning of nuclear facilities; radioactive waste management and disposal options (including for spent fuel) and the research and demonstration facilities that support these activities.
This working group's objective was to advance the current understanding and to address safety issues related to fuel safety margins, in particular to systematically assess the technical basis for current safety criteria and their applicability to high burn-up and to the new fuel designs and materials being introduced in nuclear power plants.