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					    From national nuclear fuel cycles to
        an international fuel bank
                        Klaas van der Meer

                 Belgian Nuclear Research
                          Centre SCK•CEN

Nuclear energy and proliferation in the M-E, Amman, Jordan
                                               1             22-24 June, 2007
                        Summary

• Historical development of the Belgian fuel
  cycle
• Present situation of the Belgian fuel cycle
• International obligations
• Multinational approaches
   International fuel bank
     Technical aspects
     Political aspects
• Conclusions
                              2
             Historical development of the
                   Belgian fuel cycle

• Start 1913: discovery large quantities
  of uranium in Belgian colony Congo
   production of radium
• Start WW II: uranium stocks from
  Belgium to US
   Congo provided uranium for Manhattan project
• After WW II: US-Belgian agreement for
  access to peaceful nuclear technology


                           3
              Historical development of the
              Belgian fuel cycle (research)

• 1952: foundation of SCK•CEN, Mol
   Research centre for the applications of nuclear
   energy
• 1956: building BR1 reactor
   4 MW graphite reactor with natural uranium
• 1961: building BR2 reactor
   100 MW Material Testing Reactor with HEU
   first operation 1963
• 1964: building and operation VENUS
  critical facility
                            4
              Historical development of the
                Belgian fuel cycle (power
                         reactors)
• 1962: building BR3
   first PWR on European continent (10 MWe)
• 1967: Chooz-A reactor
   240 MWe PWR, 50-50 French-Belgian
• 1968: Kalkar project
   German/Dutch/Belgian cooperation
   Fast Breeder Reactor
   project finished in 1985, never in operation
• 1964: building and operation VENUS
  critical facility
                            5
              Historical development of the
                Belgian fuel cycle (power
                         reactors)
• 1974: Doel 1
   400 MWe
• 1975: Doel 2, Tihange 1
   450 MWe, 950 MWe
• 1982: Doel 3, Tihange 2
   Both 1000 MWe
• 1985: Doel 4, Tihange 3
   Both 1000 MWe
• Total installed power 5800 MWe
   54% of electricity production is nuclear
                            6
             Historical development of the
                Belgian fuel cycle (fuel
                      fabrication)
• 1958: fuel fabrication in Dessel, near Mol
   research reactor fuel, BR3
• 1972: FF plant taken over by FBFC
   Société Franco-Belge Fabrication de Combustible
   500 tU per year
• 1957: MOX fuel fabrication
  Belgonucléaire
   technology developed by SCK•CEN
   closed down 2006

                           7
            Historical development of the
           Belgian fuel cycle (reprocessing)

• 1959: foundation Eurochemic
   OECD project, 13 countries
• 1966: building reprocessing pilot plant
   closed down 1974




                          8
                          History of the Belgian nuclear fuel
                                          cycle




    1950          1960           1970         1980         1990         2000         2010



    R&D, regulation, power production & industry, E&T
  R&D      1956 research reactors, hot cells 80-90 waste & disposal 2002 BNEN nuclear engineer

Industry         1957/58 MOX, UO2 fuel 1966 reprocessing 1972 FBFC, production medical isotopes

nuclear power            1962 BR3 1974 Doel 1, D2, Tih 1 1982 D3, T2 1958 D4, T3

  Regulation         1958 first legislation 1980 NIRAS91994 FANC 2001 real start FANC
                                                                    Design phase
             Present situation of the Belgian
                        fuel cycle
• Power production
    7 PWRs, 5800 MWe installed power
    previously Electrabel, public and private shareholders
    now owned by French GDF-Suez
• Fuel production FBFC
    previously Belgian-French
    now owned by AREVA, 100% French
• Fuel supply Synatom
    previously part of Electrabel
    now owned by French GDF-Suez
    Belgian government has golden share
    participation in Eurodif and future George-Besse II
     enrichment plant

                                 10
            Present situation of the Belgian
                       fuel cycle

• Research & Development
   SCK•CEN
      630 employees, 1/3 academic degree
      research reactors BR1, BR2, VENUS
      Hot cell laboratories, measurement laboratories
      underground research facility
   Institute for Reference Materials and Methods IRMM
      European research centre
      350 employees
      previously 100% nuclear, now 2/3 non-nuclear
   Universities



                               11
            Present situation of the Belgian
                       fuel cycle

• Nuclear Regulatory Authorities
   Federal Agency of Nuclear Control
      independent
      protection public, workers and environment against
       ionising radiation
      inspects nuclear installations, but also accelerators,
       hospitals and industry
      safety, security, safeguards
   National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched
    Fissile Materials
       responsible for safe storage and final disposal of
        nuclear waste
       technical research and societal interactions
       owns operational division Belgoprocess
                                 12
          Present situation of the Belgian
                     fuel cycle

• Engineering
   Tractebel
     (inter)national projects in nuclear engineering
     fuel operation
     development core loading
     fuel monitoring
     enrichment definition
     waste management
   Institut des Radio-Eléments IRE
     production of medical isotopes
     irradiated in BR2, SCK•CEN

                            13
                 The present nuclear scene in
                          Belgium
                                CONTROL
           Cyclotrons                   AVN
                             FANC BelV
                 IBA
                                           Waste
Radioisotopes     Research and services      Niras-Ondraf
Nordion                                     EIG
                                             EIG
                                            Euridice
                                            Euridice
          IRE
                                                         Belgoprocess



 Power and engineering                            Fuel
          Tractebel                     Belgonucleaire
          Electrabel
                                                               FBFC
                       Belgatom   Synatom
                                  14
                   International obligations

• Safeguards
    Non proliferation Treaty
    Additional Protocol
    Euratom Treaty

• Safety
    National responsibility
       based on international recommendations, IAEA or OECD (NEA)
       previously based on US NRC regulations
    Early notification, Assistance in case of nuclear accident

• Security
    Also national responsibility
    Convention of Physical Protection
• Liability
    Paris, Vienna Convention      15
                     Multinational approaches
                        (Belgian example)
• History Belgium
    investigate and develop significant parts of fuel cycle
    pioneer period of nuclear age
• Present situation
    most nuclear industry in foreign ownership
    No hampering of nuclear activities
        54% nuclear electricity production
        very stable and secure production with very few outages
        fuel production plant
        all other nuclear services from international market
            enrichment
            conversion
            uranium



                                     16
            Multinational approaches

• Situation similar in the rest of Europe,
  except France
   no nation has complete nuclear fuel cycle
   often only nuclear power plants
   no problem in well-functioning market with
    adult, competitive industry
     eager to sell services…
     …but under international control



                         17
              Multinational approaches

• 2006 IAEA Special Event
   discuss different proposals to increase
    assurance of supply
   assurance based on three different levels
     free market
         functions well at present
     additional, paper guarantees nuclear fuel
      or enrichment services will be provided in
      case of shortage
     international fuel bank with real stock of
      enriched uranium
                              18
               International fuel bank
                    technical aspects

• provide full load of 1000 MWe nuclear
  power plant
   30 tonnes of fuel
   between 3-5% enriched uranium
• No fuel elements …
   too many different designs
• … but as close as possible to end
  product
   sintered fuel pellets in fuel elements
Enriched UO2              19
                       International fuel bank
                             technical aspects
• provide full load of 1000 MWe nuclear power plant
    30 tonnes of fuel
    between 3-5% enriched uranium
• No fuel elements …
    too many different designs
• … but as close as possible to end product
    sintered fuel pellets in fuel elements
 Enriched UO2 storage

• close to fuel fabrication facility
    prevent international transports
    common practice to mix different enrichments to obtain
      specifications

                                        20
                      International fuel bank
                           political aspects
• falls under auspices of IAEA
    politically neutral
    nuclear experience
• Located in more or less neutral country
    preferably not aligned with one of major powers
• Credible assurance
    host country should have adequate infrastructure
    nuclear safety and security should be warranted
• For more assurance
    host country preferably does not have enrichment facility
    in case bank is activated, boycott of enrichment providers is
     plausible
• Geographical spread
                                   21
                       Conclusions

• Nuclear industry mature and well-
  developed
  • able and willing to provide services to "novices"
  • no economic need to develop indigenous fuel
   cycle
• Additional assurances may be provided
  by international fuel bank
• Some technical and political aspects of
  an international fuel bank have been
  discussed
                            22

				
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