ASN and top regulators meet with stakeholders to discuss the review of new reactor designs
The 3rd Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) Conference on New Reactor Design Activities was held in Washington on 14-15 May 2014.
This conference was attended by almost 150 people from national regulators (including 14 regulatory bodies members of the MDEP), international organizations and nuclear industry from more than 17 countries. The closing session was co-chaired by Pierre-Franck Chevet, Chairman of the ASN and Allison Macfarlane, Chairman of the US NRC (US regulatory body) and current Chairman of the MDEP.
This conference provided an opportunity to national regulatory bodies members of the MDEP, including the ASN, to present the progress of work of the programme and to industrial stakeholders to present their on-going activities related to new reactor designs and to provide feedback on MDEP activities and future.
Allison Macfarlane highlighted the progress of the programme since its inception in 2006 at the initiative of André-Claude Lacoste who was the first Chairman of the programme. These achievements helped to improve the cooperation of national regulatory bodies on new reactors design reviews, on control of the construction or of the commissioning of reactors under construction.
The Chairman of the MDEP had furthermore outlined various interactions between the MDEP and safety related initiatives carried out within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the OECD Nuclear energy Agency (NEA).
The Conference was divided into seven sessions, linked to most important issues raised among regulators facing new reactors reviewing.
In each of these sessions, MDEP stakeholders stressed the need to continue the work on harmonization of the regulation and international practises and to anticipate upcoming new reactor reviews to be undertaken in the future, notably by taking benefit from knowledge already acquired through MDEP.
Messages from the stakeholders will be considered by MDEP to inform its future.
Last, Sophie Mourlon, Deputy Director-General of the ASN, chaired the 23rd meeting of the Steering Technical Committee (STC) of the MDEP which was held on 13 and 16 May 2014 on the side of the MDEP Conference. Since January 2014, Sophie Mourlon, chairs the STC which oversees the work of technical groups within the MDEP
 including : IAEA, IRSN, NEA (OECD), WANO, NEI.
 Vendors, designers, operators, licensees and applicants, standard development organisations, etc., including HITACHI-GE, EDF, AREVA, ATMEA, DOOSAN, VALINOX, WESTINGHOUSE, SNERDI, TOSHIBA, KEPCO, VATTENFALL, EXELON, ROSATOM, SNERDI, Co-operation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (World Nuclear Association / CORDEL).
 Seven sessions were as follows :
- “Design-specific working groups”, chaired by Petteri Tiippana – Director General STUK (Finland);
- “Commissioning activities”, co-chaired by Wang Zhontang, vice-administrator from NNSA (China) and William Travers, Director General FANR (United Arab Emirates);
- “Vendor inspections”, co-chaired by S. S. Bajaj, chair AERB (India) and Yong Hwan Kim, Secretary General NSSC (Republic of Korea);
- “Digital instrumentation and control”, co-chaired by Fredrik Hassel, Deputy Director-General SSM (Sweden) and Dr. Mzubanzi B. Tyobeka, Chief Executive Officer NNR (South Africa);
- “New reactor activities related to the Fukushima Daiichi accident”, co-chaired by Pierre-Franck Chevet, Chair ASN (France) and Daiji Takeuchi, Director-General for Nuclear Regulatory Technical Affairs NRA (Japan);
- “Codes and standards harmonisation”, co-chaired by Terry Jamieson, Vice-President CNSC (Canada) and Valery Bezzubtsev, Deputy Chair Rostechnadzor (Russian Federation) ;
- “MDEP way forward and related activities”, co-chaired by Dr. Allison Macfarlane, Chair US NRC (United States), and Pierre-Franck Chevet, Chair ASN (France).