Nuclear, Reactors

reactor design standardization

13 April 2010– The World Nuclear Association (WNA) and several industry executives from reactor vendors and major operators said they support a collaborative effort to standardize nuclear power reactor designs worldwide.

The executives formed a working group on Cooperation in Reactor Design Evaluation and Licensing (CORDEL) that will help facilitate cooperation and feedback within the nuclear industry in all stages of new build, share that information with inter-governmental organizations and help converge design regularity across the world.

In a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the World Association of Nuclear Operators and several other groups, WNA Director General John Ritch said the need for setting international standards is great.

“The multiple benefits of international standardization include greatly heightened economy, enhanced experience feedback and safety, regulatory efficiency and predictability in new-plant approval and construction,” Ritch said. “To achieve standardization will require the combined efforts of industry, regulators, national governments and inter-governmental institutions.”

CORDEL recently released a report, “International Standardization of Nuclear Reactor Designs,” that outlines a three-phase approach to achieving international standardization of nuclear reactor designs. The phases are: Sharing design assessment, validating and accepting design approval and issuing international design certification. The report also says the phases cannot be implemented until there is an alignment of licensing processes.