ASIA & EUROPE

During its first series of international visits, the Royal Commission team visited six countries (Taiwan, Japan, Finland, Austria, France and the United Kingdom), met with over 150 representatives from 40 separate international organisations.

The Commission was fortunate to have visited a range of sites involved in the nuclear fuel cycle – including the processing and manufacturing of radioactive and nuclear substances, research reactors, new nuclear power plant construction and the management, storage and disposal of waste.

These visits proved to be informative and assisted the Royal Commission’s understand of the challenges, successes and lessons learnt by countries that are active in the nuclear fuel cycle.

The series of visits also increased the Commission’s understanding of current technology and advancements in nuclear energy, and highlighted both good and bad practices within the nuclear industry.

The Royal Commission departed Australia on Monday 25 May 2015 and commenced their series of international meetings and site visits.

 

  • TAIWAN – TUESDAY 26 MAY

    Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) company visit

    • Explanation of Taiwan’s present and future energy demands and fuel supply mix, and the present status of nuclear energy supply and storage of waste.

    Atomic Energy Council (AEC)

    • Explanation of regulatory framework in Taiwan for nuclear energy generation (including safety responses following the Fukushima Daiichi plant accident) and the storage of waste.
  • JAPAN – WEDNESDAY 27 MAY

    Meeting with representatives from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).

    • Explanation of the new regulatory framework following the Fukushima Daiichi plant accident, regulatory process for restart of nuclear reactors and communication of that process.

    Meeting with representatives from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Inc. (JAIF)

    • Explanation of the role of JAIF, historical and current circumstances of nuclear activities in Japan and recent decisions by Japanese government concerning fuel cycle activities.

    Meet with representatives from the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. (CNIC)

    • Explanation of the formation and role of CNIC, the policy of CNIC regarding the nuclear restart, reprocessing and storage of waste, and health issues arising from the Fukushima Daiichi plant accident.

    Meeting with Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO) representatives

    • Explanation of the changes implemented at TEPCO following the accident at its Fukushima Daiichi plant and the compensation program, and discussion of de-commissioning actions and progress.

    Site tour Hitachi – GE Nuclear Energy Rinkai Works for Advanced Boiling Water Reactor equipment.

    • Explanation of Hitachi’s activities as a power systems company and the types of plant and components it manufactures for nuclear power plants (including Advanced Boiling Water Reactors – ABWR) and nuclear fuel cycles activities.

    Workshop tour of Rinkai’s Heavy Component Manufacturing Shop where components for nuclear reactors and storage are manufactured.

    Meeting at Australian Embassy.

    • Explanation of the current status of the Japanese energy market and policy.
  • JAPAN - THURSDAY 28 MAY

    Site visits to Oarai and Tokai (below) Research & Development Centers with members of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) 

    ITTR JAPAN

    • Explanation of JAEA’s functions and technological development of fast reactors and safety technologies.
    • Tour and explanation of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR).
    • Tour and explanation of Helium Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (HTTR) and associated hydrogen production plant.
    • Tour and explanation of the Nuclear Science Research Institute and its Nuclear Human Resource Development training centre.
  • JAPAN - FRIDAY 29 MAY

    Site visit to the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station and surrounding exclusion zone

    Meeting with Nuclear Free Mayor (former Mayor of Tokai Village)

    • Discussion concerning a previous nuclear accident in the Tokai prefecture.

    Meeting with Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan

    • Explanation addressing current status of the Japanese energy market, government policy for current and future energy generation, effects of closure on Japanese economy and electricity market and issues relating to the export of nuclear energy technologies.

    Meeting with Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI), Japan

    • Explanation of the formation and role of JANSI, how it recommends safety improvement measures for plant operators, and its peer review operations at nuclear facilities.

    Meeting with Citizen’s Commission on Nuclear Energy (CCNE), Japan

    • Discussion of safety issues arising from the operation of nuclear reactors, the ability to manage safety risks and recommendations of the Diet Commission report into the Fukushima Daiichi plant accident.

    Meeting concerning current non-proliferation and security issues in Japan and internationally

    Meeting concerning Diet Commission report into accident at Fukushima Daiichi plant and implementation of recommendations

  • FINLAND – MONDAY 1 JUNE

    Visit to Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant.

    Visit to Olkiluoto 3 Project – explanation of process for establishment and design of Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor project and tour of site. Tour of Olkiluoto intermediate and low level disposal facility (VLJ facility).

    Bus tour of ONKALO spent nuclear fuel repository construction site.

    Visit the “Electricity from Uranium” scientific exhibition.

  • FINLAND – TUESDAY 2 JUNE

    Meeting with the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland

    • Discussion concerning Finnish energy policy generally; historical, current and future role of nuclear energy in Finland; current waste policy and funding model; Finland’s regulatory framework and decision making processes for nuclear facilities including role of parliament, government and local communities.

    Meeting with FinNuclear ry, Finland

    • Discussion of role and expertise of private entities in operation, maintenance, design and management of nuclear facilities in Finland and internationally.

    Meeting with STUK (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority), Finland

    • Discussion of role of STUK (Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority) and its areas of responsibility, the regulatory framework applying under Finnish law and examples of application of that framework to approval of waste storage facilities and nuclear energy plants in Finland, and the public communication of its activities.
  • AUSTRIA – WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE

    Meetings with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna.

    • Discussion of role of IAEA and assistance and activities it performs including requested advisory missions and peer reviews;
    • Explanation of key IAEA branch areas;
    • Discussion of key nuclear security framework documents for all aspects of the fuel cycle and current issues being addressed by IAEA in nuclear security;
    • Discussion of physical protection requirements and guidelines;
    • Discussion of approaches to waste management and key guideline materials and tools for analysis of fuel cycle activities; Safety in transportation of nuclear materials and key materials and guidelines; Implications for safety and analysis following Fukushima Daiichi accident.

    Meeting with United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), Vienna.

    • Discussion of role of UNSCEAR, key information and findings of UNSCEAR concerning radiation safety, sources, exposures and risks, explanation of key findings of UNSCEAR report (2013) on radiation exposures from Fukushima Daiichi accident.
  • FRANCE – THURSDAY 4 JUNE

    Visit to AREVA Tricastin, France.

    • Explanation of AREVA’s conversion plant and the development of the project;
    • Tour of conversion plant construction site;
    • Explanation of AREVA’s Georges Besse II operating enrichment plant;
    • Tour of GB II enrichment plant facilities.

    Visit to AREVA Melox, France.

    • Explanation of AREVA’s operating mixed oxide fuel fabrication plant and the use of mixed oxide fuels;
    • Tour of mixed oxide fuel fabrication facilities.
  • FRANCE – FRIDAY 5 JUNE

    Visit to AREVA La Hague, France.

    Visit to EDF Flamanville, France.

  • FRANCE – MONDAY 8 JUNE

    Meeting with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.

    • Discussion of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s work on economic modelling its role in the forum on stakeholder confidence.

    Meeting with AREVA.

    • Discussion of future nuclear energy demand, barriers to investment in the nuclear fuel cycle and the economics of investment.

    Meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the French national radioactive waste management agency (ANDRA); and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

    • Discussion of the legislative framework for nuclear activities in France, the status of nuclear waste disposal and information transparency initiatives.
  • UNITED KINGDOM – TUESDAY 9 JUNE

    Meeting with World Nuclear Association (WNA), London.

    • Explanation of its view of role of nuclear power to meet projected greenhouse gas targets and projections for construction of nuclear power plants; role of developing technologies in nuclear cost and construction schedules.

    Meeting with the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), London.

    • Discussion concerning current state of nuclear developments in the UK including new construction of nuclear power plants.

    Meeting with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), London.

    • Discussion concerning history and structure of the NDA, its principal activities and the civil nuclear industry in the UK, skill sets, arrangements and financing for decommission of nuclear sites, strategies for decommissioning, role of the subsidiary Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM Ltd), previous proposals for waste storage and the current geological waste disposal program in the UK, human resource capability for nuclear activities in the UK.

    Meeting with UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London.

    • Discussion concerning UK nuclear supply chain and requirements and programs for the development of skills.
  • UNITED KINGDOM - WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE

    Meeting to discuss emergency systems response testing and communication of scientific information to the community.

    Meeting with Nuclear Risk Insurance (NRI), London.

    • Discussion concerning risk pools operating for insurance for nuclear facilities and regulation and requirements for nuclear insurance arrangements under UK law.

    Meeting with E3G, London.

    • Discussion concerning European and British energy policy, considerations relevant to developing a future energy policy and systems choice faced by UK.

    Meeting to discuss UK geological disposal siting program, its history and current UK program to identify suitable sites and volunteer communities.

    Meeting to discuss current state of economics of nuclear activities including new nuclear power generation and other developments.

  • UNITED KINGDOM - THURSDAY 11 JUNE

    Meeting with Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield.

    • Discussion concerning transportation of nuclear materials within the UK and insurance held by nuclear sites and arrangements for nuclear operators.

    Meeting to discuss geological waste disposal in the United Kingdom and Canada.

  • UNITED KINGDOM - FRIDAY 12 JUNE

    Visit to Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield.

    Visit and tour of facilities at Sellafield site, tour of THORP storage facilities, packaged storage facilities and waste processing (WEP plant).

    Visit to LLW Repository Ltd, Sellafield.

    • Explanation and tour of LLW Repository Ltd low level radioactive waste storage facility including loading, packaging and storage bunkers.

    Meeting with Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE), Cumbria.

    • Discussion concerning history of re-processing activities in UK at Sellafield including environmental and social impacts and proposals to construct a geological waste disposal facility in the UK.