Multinational Design Evaluation Programme
Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service represents Russia in the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP). The MDEP members are nuclear safety regulatory bodies of the countries, which have nuclear plants in operation, under construction or embarking on their nuclear power programmes. Apart from Rostechnadzor, the MDEP includes regulators from Canada, China, Finland, France, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. The International Atomic Energy Agency participates in key portions of MDEP activities. The Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (NEA/OECD) performs the functions of the MDEP Technical Secretariat. The OECD NEA performs similar functions also in implementing activities within the International Forum Generation IV.
The MDEP declared its objective as analyzing the approaches of the regulatory bodies to review of documents that justify nuclear and radiation safety, finding mutually acceptable regulatory practices to be further used in reviewing new designs, including those being developed by the International Forum Generation IV.
Presently, there are two areas of MDEP activity:
· design specific working groups;
· issue specific working groups.
An EPR working group has been established to cover the activities being carried out by the United States, Finland and France to share information on the EPR safety review and includes the United Kingdom and China as new members. An AP1000 working group, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom and China, has been formed to share information on the AP1000 safety review. In 2012, an APR1400 working group was founded with the contribution from South Korea, the USA, Finland and United Arab Emirates.
In the latter half of 2013, two new working groups were established:
· ABWR working group with the participation of the United Kingdom, the USA, Finland and Japan;
· WWER working group led by Russia and with the participation of India, Finland and Turkey.
When appropriate, other designs including Generation IV designs may be added on as working groups.
The criterion for establishing a design specific working group is the availability of at least three countries the regulatory bodies of which have received applications for construction of an NPP of the design in question. As a rule, no representatives of the other countries are admitted to the activities of the design specific working groups.
There are three working groups for the second area of activity:
· Digital I&C Working Group,
· Codes and Standards Working Group,
· Vendor Inspection Cooperation Working Group.
MDEP member-countries agreed that if they reach a common position for principal issues of safety assessment, such position will be presented as a good practice to licensing and supervisory bodies in non-member-countries, and will be forwarded to the IAEA for further application in the preparation of IAEA safety standards and guides.
The three working groups are of interest to Rostechnadzor.
The participation of Rostechnadzor in each issue specific working group stems from the fact that Russian NPPs are fitted with some equipment of foreign make, including MDEP member-countries. Hence, duplication of efforts already undertaken by vending-county in regard to a certain piece of equipment may be avoided by using their work products.
Application of accumulated experience from other countries as regards safety review or other regulatory aspects can contribute significantly to the efficiency of Rostechnadzor’s activities and help reduce time for licensing and supervisory functions.
In June 2015, MDEP members made a decision to discontinue issue specific working groups important to safety and form new ones of limited term, if new tasks arise.
The initiation of MDEP stimulates the development of the industry realizing that everyone is to comply with a unified set of technology-independent criteria and requirements. It is a big step forward towards global standardization of both the design and the framework of the regulatory bodies' licensing activities.