Federal Agency for Nuclear Control

Brussels, Belgium

Federal Agency for Nuclear Control

Brussels, Belgium
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: Fission-2012-3.3.1 | Award Amount: 6.50M | Year: 2013

This proposal aims to close gaps that have been identified in nuclear and radiological preparedness following the first evaluation of the Fukushima disaster. It addresses the call Fission-2010-3.3.1: Update of emergency management and rehabilitation strategies and expertise in Europe. The consortium intends to review existing operational procedures in dealing with long lasting releases, address the cross border problematic in monitoring and safety of goods and will further develop still missing functionalities in decision support system ranging from improved source term estimation and dispersion modelling to the inclusion of hydrological pathways for European water bodies. As the management of the Fukushima event in Europe was far from being optimal, we propose to develop means on a scientific and operational basis to improve information collection, information exchange and the evaluation for such types of accidents. This will be achieved through a collaboration of industry, research and governmental organisations in Europe taking into account the networking activities carried out under the NERIS-TP project. Furthermore, the NERIS Platform member organisations (so far 43 partners) will be actively involved in the development.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: Fission-2011-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 1.36M | Year: 2012

SITEX aims at identifying the efficient means that should be developed through the establisment of a sustainable expertise function network within a European framework with the view to: - allowing mutual understanding between regulatory bodies, TSOs and waste management organisations (WMOs) on (i) the regulatory expectations at decision holdpoints and (ii) how the scientific and technical elements carried out by the WMOs comply with these expectations. In that perspective, the needs in clarification of existing regulatory guidance or in developing new guidance will be addressed. Exchanges with IGD-TP on that issues is favoured. In complement, role of expertise function and the needs for improving it will be discussed; - in coordination with or in complement to WMOs research program, defining TSOs R&D program that would ensure independent capabilities development for reviewing the Safety Case and assessing the scientific arguments provided by WMOs. TSOs R&D program and priorities will be adressed by favouring close interaction with IGD-TP and seeking for joined research activities with the WMOs in order to foster common understanding of technical key points for safety and avoiding undue duplication; - ensuring competence building of experts in charge of technical review and transfer of knowledge on waste safety and radiation protection; the needs in guidance development for harmonising the technical review activity and in dedicated training and tutoring for spreading the expertise culture and practices will be addressed; - sharing, where needed, expertise approach with various stakeholders, in a manner more integrated than when only communication or dissemination are envisaged. Compilation of past actions and learning of ways of implication of stakeholders in the process of technical review will be discussed.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Fission-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 11.63M | Year: 2009

The multiple barrier concept is the cornerstone of all proposed schemes for underground disposal of radioactive wastes. The concept invokes a series of barriers, both engineered and natural, between the waste and the surface. Achieving this concept is the primary objective of all disposal programmes, from site appraisal and characterisation to repository design and construction. However, the performance of the repository as a whole (waste, buffer, engineering disturbed zone, host rock), and in particular its gas transport properties, are still poorly understood. Issues still to be adequately examined that relate to understanding basic processes include: dilational versus visco-capillary flow mechanisms; long-term integrity of seals, in particular gas flow along contacts; role of the EDZ as a conduit for preferential flow; laboratory to field up-scaling. Understanding gas generation and migration is thus vital in the quantitative assessment of repositories and is the focus of the research in this proposal for an integrated, multi-disciplinary project. The FORGE proposal is for a pan-European project with links to international radioactive waste management organisations, regulators and academia, specifically designed to tackle the key research issues associated with the generation and movement of repository gasses. Of particular importance are the long-term performance of bentonite buffers, plastic clays, indurated mudrocks and crystalline formations. Further experimental data are required to reduce uncertainty relating to the quantitative treatment of gas in performance assessment. FORGE will address these issues through a series of laboratory and field-scale experiments, including the development of new methods for up-scaling allowing the optimisation of concepts through detailed scenario analysis. The FORGE partners are committed to training and CPD through a broad portfolio of training opportunities and initiatives which form a significant part of the project.

PubMed | World Health Organization, American University of Beirut, University of Würzburg, Nagasaki University and 7 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Radiation protection dosimetry | Year: 2016

The meeting held in May 2014 in Wrzburg, Germany, discussed the scope of the revision of the 1999 WHO guidelines for iodine thyroid blocking (ITB) by following the WHO handbook for guideline development. This article describes the process and methods of developing the revised, evidence-based WHO guidelines for ITB following nuclear and radiological accidents, the results of the kick-off meeting as well as further steps taken to complete the revision.

Tarkanyi F.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Ditroi F.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Takacs S.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Kiraly B.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms | Year: 2012

Cross-sections of deuteron induced nuclear reactions on natural molybdenum have been studied in the frame of a systematic investigation of charged particle induced nuclear reactions on metals for different applications. The excitation functions of 93,94g,94m,95g,95m,96,99mTc, 90,93m,99Mo, 90,91m,92m,95m,95g,96Nb and 88,89Zr were measured up to 50 MeV deuteron energy by using the stacked foil technique and activation method. The goal of this work was first of all to study the production possibility of the medically important 99mTc, and its 99Mo parent, to get experimental data useful in accelerator technology, and for testing nuclear reaction theories. The thick target yields and production possibilities of 99mTc and 99Mo were estimated up to 50 MeV deuteron energy, and it is shown that besides the proton induced reactions, deuteron induced reactions on enriched molybdenum target seem to be promising. For most of the reaction products published experimental data for excitation functions are available only up to 20 MeV, and our new values confirm and extend the dataset. The experimental data were compared with the results of model calculations obtained by using ALICE-IPPE-D, EMPIRE-II-D and two versions of the TALYS code resulting in moderate agreement. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bollaerts K.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | Fierens S.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | Van Bladel L.,Federal Agency for Nuclear Control | Simons K.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | And 8 more authors.
Thyroid | Year: 2014

Background: Public health concern about nuclear activities have existed since the 1980s. Most studies on this subject investigated childhood leukemia. Thyroid cancer may be another health outcome of interest, because some nuclear installations are a potential source of radioactive iodine isotopes in the environment and because thyroid cancer is known to occur after exposure to these isotopes. Methods: This study describes an ecological study investigating whether there is excessive thyroid cancer incidence among residents living in the vicinity of nuclear sites. Single-site analyses using indirect standardization (standardized incidence ratios [SIRs]) and Poisson regression modeling (rate ratios [RRs]) were conducted. The proximity area is typically defined as a circular zone with a radius of 20km centered on the site. However, the choice of the size of this area is somewhat arbitrary. Therefore, a sensitivity analysis was carried out to investigate whether the results vary with radii of increasing proximity. Results: No increased thyroid cancer incidence was found within the 20km proximity area around the nuclear power plants of Doel (SIR=0.74 [95% confidence interval (CI)=0.64; 0.84] and RR=0.72 [95% CI=0.63; 0.83]) and Tihange (SIR=0.86 [95% CI=0.70; 1.01] and RR=0.85 [95% CI=0.70; 1.02]). For the sites of Mol-Dessel and Fleurus, where a combination of nuclear research and industrial activities are located, the incidences of thyroid cancer within the 20km proximity area were higher than expected (Mol-Dessel: SIR=1.19 [95% CI=1.01; 1.36] and RR=1.19 [95% CI=1.02; 1.38]; Fleurus: SIR=1.15 [95% CI=1.02; 1.28] and RR=1.17 [95% CI=1.04; 1.33]). For Chooz, a French nuclear power plant close to the Belgian border, the results were unstable as a result of the small population denominator. For all Belgian nuclear sites, the results were generally insensitive to the choice of the proximity area. Conclusions: No evidence for excessive thyroid cancer incidence around the Belgian nuclear power plants was found. On the other hand, an increased incidence of thyroid cancer was observed around the sites with other nuclear activities. Further research is recommended to verify whether the observed increases could be related to the site-specific nuclear activities. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Bajwa C.,International Atomic Energy Agency | Pope R.,Federal Agency for Nuclear Control | Zhao Y.,Ministry of Environmental Protection
Packaging, Transport, Storage and Security of Radioactive Material | Year: 2013

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for developing safety requirements for the transport of radioactive material. These requirements were first published in 1961 as 'Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material', Safety Series No. 6 (the Regulations), and have been revised at regular intervals, in consultation with Member States, and with input from other relevant organisations, as appropriate. The current regular review and revision of the Regulations has been driven by problems, challenges and the demand for improvements, as well as the need to take into account experiences in transport, newly identified issues, new technologies, best practices, the demand for sustainable transport and harmonisation. After 50 years, 15 editions of the Regulations have been published. With the passage of time, the scientific and technical heritage of several decades of development in transport safety has begun to fade. The need to capture valuable knowledge, which needs to be preserved for future reference, has become clear. In general, every requirement in the regulations was developed on the basis of deliberations among international experts and an appropriate technical basis. The knowledge bases for these often exist in a decentralised manner in many Member States with mature nuclear programmes. Easier access to the existing technical bases for the Regulations could lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the Regulations. Knowledge capture and transfer can contribute to the development of and innovations in transport safety. This paper provides an overview of international level efforts that began in 2010 to develop a comprehensive and detailed technical basis document (TecBasDoc) to support the current and future revisions of the Regulations. The draft TecBasDoc has so far resulted from efforts by IAEA staff and a large number of international transport experts. It exceeds 150 pages in length using, to the greatest extent possible, historical documents dating as far back as the 1950s as reference material. The intent of this effort is to record, for those Member States new to transport and for future generations, the scientific and technical heritage of several decades of development that has occurred in transport safety and to capture valuable knowledge so it can be preserved for future reference. The latest effort has involved consultants to the IAEA adapting the draft to reflect guidance from the IAEA's Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC) and delving into the IAEA's archives and other sources of historical documents, searching out many long sought, older supporting documents. The draft is currently structured into 12 chapters, embodying multiple supporting appendixes. This paper elaborates on the first chapters of the document, which include General History, Fundamental Safety Principles, Safety Objectives and Principles for Transport, General Safety Requirements, Radiation Protection and Controls for Transport. Two companion papers at PATRAM 2013 address the status of the TecBasDoc in the topical areas of package testing and criticality control. In all cases, the chapters of the TecBasDoc address how early decisions were made citing well known historical experts and discussing how these initial decisions have been adapted to meet the emerging international safety guidelines. © 2014 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd.

PubMed | World Health Organization, Catholic University of Korea, Trinity College Dublin, International Atomic Energy Agency and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR | Year: 2015

A recent international meeting was convened by two United Nations bodies to focus on international collaboration on clinical appropriateness/referral guidelines for use in medical imaging. This paper, the second of 4 from this technical meeting, addresses barriers to the successful development/deployment of clinical imaging guidelines and means of overcoming them. It reflects the discussions of the attendees, and the issues identified are treated under 7 headings: Practical Strategy for Development and Deployment of Guidelines; Governance Arrangements and Concerns with Deployment of Guidelines; Finance, Sustainability, Reimbursement, and Related Issues; Identifying Benefits and Radiation Risks from Radiological Examinations; Information Given to Patients and the Public, and Consent Issues; Special Concerns Related to Pregnancy; and The Research Agenda. Examples of topics identified include the observation that guideline development is a global task and there is no case for continuing it as the project of the few professional organizations that have been brave enough to make the long-term commitment required. Advocacy for guidelines should include the expectations that they will facilitate: (1) better health care delivery; (2) lower cost of that delivery; with (3) reduced radiation dose and associated health risks. Radiation protection issues should not be isolated; rather, they should be integrated with the overall health care picture. The type of dose/radiation risk information to be provided with guidelines should include the uncertainty involved and advice on application of the precautionary principle with patients. This principle may be taken as an extension of the well-established medical principle of first do no harm.

Gedeon M.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center | Wemaere I.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center | Wemaere I.,Federal Agency for Nuclear Control | Labat S.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth | Year: 2011

Since 1975, the possibility to dispose of high-level radioactive waste in the Boom Clay formation has been investigated in Belgium at the test site in Mol. This research involves detailed studies of the hydrogeological system at various scales, observations of groundwater levels in the regional and local piezometric networks, several site investigations including geophysics and core-drilled boreholes. The knowledge gained during the long-term hydrogeological research is integrated in groundwater models. Major differences in the groundwater regimes above and below the Boom Clay gave rise to two models simulating these two sub-systems separately. The Neogene aquifer model is used to simulate the groundwater flow above the Boom Clay and the Deep aquifer pumping model to simulate the groundwater flow below the Boom Clay. The regional groundwater research improved the understanding of the regional flow system, since it has enabled to explain the behaviour of the aquifer system using a combination of a steady-state model for the Neogene aquifers and a transient model for the deep aquifers. This combination of modelling tools can offer a representative set of boundary conditions for the consecutive models that will depend on the scenarios required for the performance assessment of the integrated repository system. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Jacops E.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center | Volckaert G.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center | Volckaert G.,Federal Agency for Nuclear Control | Maes N.,Belgian Nuclear Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Applied Clay Science | Year: 2013

Boom Clay is presently studied as the reference host formation for the disposal of high-level and long-lived radioactive waste in Belgium. In a geological repository, the production of gas is unavoidable. Gas is produced by different mechanisms: anaerobic corrosion of metals in waste and packaging, radiolysis of water and organic materials in the packages and microbial degradation of various organic wastes. Corrosion and radiolysis yield mainly hydrogen while microbial degradation leads to methane and carbon dioxide. The generated gas will dissolve in the ground water. As transport in Boom Clay is dominated by diffusion, the dissolved gas is transported away from the repository by diffusion as dissolved species. If the rate of gas generation is larger than the diffusive flux into Boom Clay, the pore water within the disposal gallery will become oversaturated and a free gas phase might form. If the gas pressure keeps increasing, free gas ingress into Boom Clay will occur, most likely through creation of new pathways. In order to make a good evaluation of the balance between gas generation and gas dissipation through engineered barriers and host formation, good estimates for the gas diffusion coefficients of the gases are needed. The currently available gas diffusion parameters for hydrogen in Boom Clay suffer from a large uncertainty, and by application of conservative values for both the source term and the gas migration term the formation of a free gas phase can presently not be excluded for some waste types.In this study a versatile method was developed to determine more precisely the gas diffusion coefficient for dissolved gases in Boom Clay. For the development of the technique, He and CH4 were used.The proposed method is based on a through diffusion methodology and allows for two dissolved gases to diffuse through a clay sample at the same time. From the evolution of the diffusant concentration in both compartments, the apparent diffusion coefficients of dissolved He and CH4 were obtained: 12.2×10-10 and 2.42×10-10m2/s, with uncertainties of 10%, respectively. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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