Skip to content

New reactors symposium provides opportunity to learn and collaborate

ONR recently hosted an international conference examining the safety assessment of innovative new reactor designs.

The joint Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) symposium brought together experts from around the world to consider the Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) of ‘Reactors of Singular Designs.’

Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) is an integrated analysis technique used to determine the contributing factors to nuclear safety risk, and to evaluate the extent to which the overall design is well balanced and meets numerical safety targets.

The event continued ONR’s active contribution to NEA and IAEA activities related to PSA, and came as ONR moves forward with the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) of the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor.

The symposium provided a forum to discuss the potential benefits and application areas, challenges and solutions in the field of PSA for reactors of singular designs. Regulators, reactor vendors and technical experts from around the world were able to listen, learn and build their knowledge related to developing and assessing PSAs for unique designs.

Reactors discussed included small modular reactors, advanced modular reactors, research reactors and first of a kind or demonstration reactors.

Josh Gordon, ONR Inspector and Deputy Professional Lead responsible for PSA, said: “Sharing experience and harmonising international expectations for PSA is important to ONR.

“Reactors without significant operating experience or pre-existing analysis, such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs), are likely to become bigger players in the UK nuclear industry in the near future. The Government’s commitment to new reactors and the development of the Rolls-Royce SMR – the first GDA of its kind – is putting these reactors of singular designs at the forefront of new nuclear.

“We were delighted to host this event on behalf of NEA and IAEA. Understanding more about the challenges related to developing and assessing the Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) for these unique reactors is vital as regulatory assessment of SMRs and AMRs is expected to be a key part of our work in the future.”