ICAPP 2005 Rekindles Keen Concern for Nuclear Power
Prominent experts present latest research outcomes

The 2005 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 2005) that ended its five-day run on May 19 in Seoul has awakened government policymakers and nuclear experts to the significance of nuclear power as an option for fossil fuels and gas.
About 650 people from academia, research institutes and businesses in the nuclear sector from 29 countries participated in ICAPP 2005 that coincided with the 20th KAIF/KNS Annual Conference at the Grand InterContinental Hotel in Korea on May 15-19.
Lee Joong-jae, president-CEO of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), said in his speech during the opening session that experts in the nuclear power industry got together to discuss nuclear power's increased role - the theme timely in consideration of the current energy situation and future global climate change. " The nuclear power industry has emerged as an energy source taking the global limelight in the wake of continuous oil price hikes and the entry into force of Kyoto Protocol, and countries across the globe are pushing for increased roles of nuclear power to secure energy security of each country and achieve environmental targets,"he said.
KHNP CEO Lee stressed that development and operation of nuclear power units with higher safety and economical standards through continuous technological innovations are imperative to make nuclear power a sustainable power generation source in the 21st century.
He expressed hope that ICAPP 2005 would serve as an opportunity to find practical action plans for non-proliferation nuclear technology development, ensuring the safety of reactors, solving nuclear waste treatment issues and a dramatic curtailment in construction time.
Korea, which ranks sixth in terms of nuclear power units, depends on nuclear power for 40 percent of its power supply, but the country has yet to break a stalemate in a plan to create a waste treatment site.
ICAPP 2005, the most prestigious international conference in the nuclear power sector, marking the fifth year since its inception, was the first one held in Asia. ICAPP is an annual conference, jointly organized by nuclear power research associations of such countries as the United States, Japan, France, Korea, Spain, and supported by IAEA, OECE-NEA and nuclear power research bodies of Canada, Germany and China. ICAPP is held along with the American Nuclear Society Meeting in the United States in an even year, while it is held outside the United States in an odd year, alternatively in Europe or Asia.
ICAPP was established by American Nuclear Society in 2002 in a bid to share information among business, school and research sectors technologies related to development of advanced reaction systems and lessons learned from operating nuclear power plants ranging from safety to reliability. ICAPP 2003 was held in Spain and ICAPP 2004, in Pittsburgh, the United States. A total of 460 theses were made public during 10 technical sessions, while 30 others were announced during five plenary sessions.
Lee Won-gul, deputy minister of energy and resources policy at the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Juhid Kazimi, professor, of Nuclear Engineering MIT (USA), John Ritch, director general of World Nuclear Association, Shunsuke Kondo, chairman of the Japanese nuclear power committee, Tomihiro Taniguchi, deputy director general of safety & security at IAEA, and Luis Echavarri, director general of OECD/NEA, delivered keynote speeches during the opening plenary session on May 16.
An exhibition was also held in conjunction with ICAPP 2005 and the 20th Korea Atomic Industry Forum (KAIF) Annual Conference between May 15 and May 18. The exhibition was designed to offer an excellent opportunity to assess new technologies and exchange the most up-to-date information. The participating exhibitors included KHNP, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Korea Power Engineering Co., Korea Nuclear Fuel Co., Westinghouse, AREVA Korea, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, and others.
The following are the excerpts of a few tutorials and speeches made by nuclear power experts.

Nuclear Energy Renaissance and Beyond

By Mujid S. Kazimi,
Director, Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems and also Professor of Mechanical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A fundamental advantage of nuclear energy is the low cost of its fuel. Since 1 kg of uranium in the reactor (which requires about 10 kg of uranium ore to produce), is capable of production of half a million kWhr of electricity, while I kg of oil can produce only 5kWhr at most, a lot more expense is needed for the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels. In fact, if multiple recycling of uranium becomes part of the fuel cycle, the 10 kg of ore can produce 5 million kWhr. Thus, the available uranium ore, with recycling, can serve humanity for centuries to come. Then we can use thorium, which is even more plentiful.
There is another reason to pursue suitable technology for recycling nuclear fuels. The recycling of actinides has the potential for reducing the amount of very long-lived radioactivity in the eventual waste by orders of magnitude. Reduction of the actinide content of the waste as well as the ability to select appropriate waste forms will greatly simplify the design and licensing of any geologic repository. Therefore, there is a need to develop improved technology for separation of fissile materials from spent fuel, and for incorporating the fissile actinide isotopes in appropriate host materials to facilitate their recycling as fuel in thermal or fast reactors. This is a key ingredient in the US-DOE program: the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative.
A recent study at our Center concluded that whether recycling of actinides is done in LWRs or in dedicated advanced fast reactors, by 2050 the needed worldwide capacity for processing of actinide fuel in non-fertile host materials would be on the order of 250 tons per year, while the capacity needed for separation of the actinides from LWR spent fuel would be about 20,000 tons per year.?The sooner actinide recycling in LWRs is introduced the lower is the accumulation of actinides in the spent fuel storage areas around the world. However, in order to prevent wide spread of a technology that can also be diverted for production of weapons materials, it will be necessary to concentrate the fuel cycle technology in a few countries that would furnish the other countries, within an internationally agreeable framework, with their fresh enriched fuel as well as accept the responsibility for handling the spent fuel, including its treatment in ways that maximize its potential utilization as fuel for future reactors. The potential for serving mankind for many centuries can only be transformed into reality if the environmental burden of handling the waste of nuclear energy is seen as manageable.

Near-term deployment of new plants:
Multidisciplinary Issues & Engineering Challenges.

By Sami Tulonen
After briefly recalling the constraints facing all new electricity production units, this paper focuses on the answers provided by the nuclear industry worldwide. It then sketches the situation facing European reactors (ageing fleet, future needs as outlined in Green Paper on security of supply, etc.) and the political context in the EU.
In the very long-term, the hopes of the EU are pinned on promising solutions such as fusion and so-called generation IV reactors. However, the time span involved makes it necessary, in the short and medium term (i.e. between 2005 and 2040/2050), to rely on generation III reactors.
The characteristics of the EPR are summarized and shown to meet all the strictest requirements with regard to safety, competitiveness and environmental protection.
Finally, the paper then proceeds to examine how the challenge for researchers, engineers and builders address the urgent needs of today while ensuring a smooth technological transition to the Generation IV systems of tomorrow; to bridge the generation gap.

Current Status of R&D, and Utilization of Nuclear Energy in Japan

By Shunsuke Kondo, chairman, Japan Atomic Energy Commission
The Japan Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) believes that we are at the break of dawning for nuclear power to become a major player in the energy supply sector of the world. Therefore the AEC is asking relevant government organizations and industries to pursue coordinated strategic efforts in cooperation with international community, sharing a vision that safe, economical, and reliable nuclear energy technology will contribute as a mainstay of electricity and heat generation technology, fostering economic growth, providing security and fuel diversity, and enhancing environmental quality in many parts of the world.
The AEC believes it effective and efficient for this purpose to pursue these efforts as a set of actions across three different time frames; short term, mid-term and long-term.
The short-term actions are those aiming at using existing assets as efficiently as possible. Actions in this time frame are categorized into three in the case of Japan: the first is those to improve the performance of existing plans,: the second is those to utilize the plutonium recovered from the spent fuel by reprocessing, securing adequate interim storage capacity for spent fuel waiting for the reprocessing: the third is to search the site for geological disposal of vitrified high-level radioactive waste generated from reprocessing.
Mid-term actions are those to pursue the improvement of the performance of current designs of nuclear facilities incessantly in order that nuclear power plants will be adopted at the occasion of replacing existing facilities or adding new capacity. These actions should continue for 20-40 years or so.
Long-term actions are those aiming at the development of innovative nuclear energy supply systems which can compete in emerging markets with radically new energy technologies and make the nuclear energy technology sustainable in terms of social acceptability as well as safety, economy and environmental protection.
The AEC believes that, as the growing universality of technology now makes successful innovation much more frequently driven by the pull of technology which is basically the pull of the basic human needs than it is technological push, it is important to make the process of these R&D activities transparent to the public and get its feedback on their direction to assure the public acceptance of the products when implemented.

21century Global Regimes for Safety and Security of Nuke Power Plants
By Tomihiro Taniguchi, head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security at IAEA
Nuclear technology is vital for sustainable development. Safety and security are the precondition for using nuclear technology.
Asia and the Pacific, showing dynamic nuclear development, should lead the global effort to establish and strengthen the global regime for nuclear safety and security.
IAEA works on these issues and challenges proactively, and invites all states to jointly establish and strengthen global nuclear safety and security regime for our common interests and sustainable development.

Lee Joong-jae, president-CEO of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), delivers an opening speech during ICAPP 2005 in Seoul.

The 2005 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 2005) gets under way.

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