Industry pushes for standardization

12 April 2010

The major players of the nuclear industry today pledged support for a cooperative effort between the industry and regulatory authorities to achieve greater standardization of reactor design requirements across the world.


Great savings could be made in future nuclear projects if a reactor design already approved by the safety regulators of one country could be used in others without major design changes for each. This would mean quicker, less costly build as well as greater safety thanks to more meaningful sharing of experience.


The World Nuclear Association established a special working group dedicated to this issue in 2007, and now some of the WNA's major members have pledged active cooperation with concurrent initiatives. The pledge, contained in a WNA letter signed by heads of reactor vendors and major utilities, was transmitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the European Nuclear Safety Regulator Group (ENSREG) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). One crucial recipient was the Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP) under which ten major national regulators have focused on this objective.


The WNA letter states that steady progress towards greater standardization in reactor designs "is essential if the world is to achieve success in the decades ahead in exploiting the full potential of nuclear power as a large-scale source of clean energy."


In collectively backing the project, the firms said they would "devote the resources necessary" for the WNA working group to be "an active and effective participant in this cooperative process." Composed of industry experts, the working group carries the acronym CORDEL, for Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation & Licensing. Based on its initial work, the CORDEL group published a proposal for a three-phase process to achieve standardization, beginning with mutual acceptance by regulators of review data and ending with internationally valid design approval.


The group has promised to facilitate cooperation and experience feedback from all stages of new nuclear build; share industry experience with international regulatory initiatives, especially MDEP; and "contribute to cooperation among regulators in efforts to converge toward design standardization and harmonization of national regulatory regimes."


WNA director John Ritch stressed the importance of the industry's collective effort: "Momentum toward the important objective of reactor design standardization will be achieved only with active stimulus and expertise from major nuclear companies acting together. The CORDEL group is now mandated to perform that role. We see in this WNA effort a paradigm for collective industry action to shape the future of civil nuclear power."





John Ritch

Director General

World Nuclear Association


Anne Lauvergeon
CEO, Areva


Hugh MacDiarmid
President and CEO,
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.


Henri Proglio
Chairman and CEO,
Electricité de France


Wulf H Bernotat


Christopher Crane
President and Chief Operating Officer, Exelon


Jack Fuller
CEO, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy


Masaharu Hanyu
President, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy


Akira Sawa
Director, Executive Vice President, Nuclear Systems
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries


Ichiro Takekuro
Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer
Tokyo Electric Power Company


Yashuharu Igarashi
Executive Officer, Corporate Senior Vice President, President and CEO, Power Systems


Aris Candris
President and CEO



Yukiya Amano
Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency
André-Claude Lacoste
Chairman, Policy Group
Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP)
Luis Echávarri
Director General, Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD
Andrej Stritar
Chairman, European Nuclear Safety Regulator Group

cc: Laurent Stricker
Chairman, World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO)



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