Owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic this conference has been postponed from the original dates and will be held at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna. The conference will allow for both in person and remote participation and the new dates are 28 November - 2 December 2022. All existing paper submissions and registration applications submitted for the original dates of 16-19 May 2022 remain valid.
The capacity weighted age of the world’s operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) is, on average, more than 30 years old. Even though the design life of an NPP is typically 30–40 years, the operational lifetime of many plants is, following a comprehensive review, extended. To enable this, NPP engineers have demonstrated — through analysis, testing and ageing management for equipment and system upgrades — that the plants can continue to operate safely and reliably. Plant operators and regulators must ensure safety is maintained and, where possible, enhanced during a plant’s operating lifetime. Reliability and performance are becoming increasingly important, especially for ageing NPPs. Low electricity prices in many markets and investment requirements to maintain, replace or modernize ageing components threaten the economic viability of operating plants, in some cases with many years remaining on approved licenses.
In most Member States, the task of ageing management is assigned to an engineering discipline called plant life management (PLiM), which has gained increased attention over the past two decades. The effective ageing management of structures, systems and components (SSCs) is a key element in PLiM for the safe and reliable long-term operation (LTO) of NPPs. Plant life management can be defined as the integration of ageing and economic planning for the purpose of maintaining a high level of safety and optimizing plant performance by addressing extended life ageing issues, maintenance prioritization, periodic safety reviews, education and training.
A PLiM programme is an effective tool that allows an operator to manage ageing effects in SSCs for LTO in a safe and cost‑effective manner. Such a programme helps facilitate decisions regarding when and how to repair, replace or modify SSCs in an economically optimized manner, while maintaining a high level of safety.
The IAEA previously organized International Conferences on Nuclear Power Plant Life Management from 4 to 8 November 2002 in Budapest, Hungary, from 15 to 18 October 2007 in Shanghai, China, from 14 to 18 May 2012 in Salt Lake City, United States of America and from 23 to 27 October 2017 in Lyon, France. Participants in these earlier conferences greatly appreciated the opportunities for information exchange and recommended that the IAEA continue to organize conferences every four to five years. Accordingly, the IAEA is organizing the fifth conference in the series from 28 November to 2 December in Vienna, Austria.
Themes, Topics and Structure
To facilitate the achievement of the conference objectives, each topical session will have the following format:
- A keynote speaker, who will present a paper by invitation;
- A set of presentations that supplement specific areas within the session topic and stimulate discussion among conference participants; and
- A set of detailed technical papers that present the state of the art in the subject area.
Opening Session: Opening, Plenary and Keynote Presentations
Opening addresses will be made by a senior representative of the IAEA, a representative of the Government of Japan and the Chairperson of the Conference. The session will set the conference objectives and provide background information on the status and trends in the field of PLiM. Keynote interventions will provide information about the development of PLiM technology that will emphasize the increasing reliance on a systematic and more effective approach to enhance the safe and economical operation of existing plants.
Session 1: Approaches to Plant Life Management
The aim of this session is to share information on, and best practices in, the application of PLiM for LTO from the safety and economic point of view. Topics to be addressed in the presentations include:
- Implementation of the lessons learned from the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP and their implications for LTO;
- Methodology and scope, terms and definitions for the development of PLiM and LTO programmes and their implementation;
- Methodology for integrated plant assessments, including the condition of SSCs;
- Selection criteria for NPPs for LTO; and
- New NPP design features that consider PLiM experiences and feedback.
Session 2: Economics of Plant Life Management
The aim of this session is to discuss how to improve the economic performance of NPPs through PLiM. Topics to be addressed in the presentations include:
- Potential business opportunities and risks, including power uprating issues related to PLiM;
- Cost-effective strategies for modernization and replacement/refurbishment of SSCs;
- Economic analysis for decision making on LTO;
- Cost-effective technologies/practices for maintenance, inspection and surveillance;
- Supply chain health, equipment obsolescence and commercial grade dedication
- Premature shutdown preparation strategy and procedures, including technical aspects;
- Long term strategies for spent fuel storage (on-site) and waste management;
- Replacement of large components (e.g. steam generators, reactor vessel heads and turbine generators);
- Flexible operation in response to increased grid variability;
- Innovative solutions that address LTO challenges and help ensure operational sustainability; and
- NPP PLiM and the dawn of Integrated Energy Systems.
Session 3: Ageing Management and Preparation of Long-Term Operation
The aim of this session is to share technical updates on ageing management issues for mechanical, electrical/instrumentation and control (I&C) components and civil structures, as well as to discuss challenges related to the preparation of safe LTO. Topics to be addressed in the presentations include:
- Safety standards to support LTO;
- Scoping and screening of SSCs for LTO;
- Ageing management review;
- Use of the experience gained from implementation of the International Generic Ageing Lessons Learned (IGALL) programme;
- Development, implementation and improvement of effective ageing management programmes;
- Revalidation of time-limited ageing analysis;
- Technological obsolescence;
- Research to support LTO and ageing management;
- Inspection methodologies and strategies for significant components; and
- In-service inspection and non-destructive examination.
Session 4: Configuration and Modification Management for Safety Enhancement and improved reliability
The aim of this session is to share information on safety enhancement, design modernization, refurbishment and replacement programmes for ageing SSCs, obsolescence and additional safety requirements. Topics to be addressed in the presentations include:
- Aspects of SSC design modification, modernization, innovation, refurbishment and replacement;
- Maintenance optimization through predictive maintenance, preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance;
- Risk and reliability evaluation of components and piping;
- Modification and configuration management, including design basis reconstitution;
- Accident tolerant fuel assemblies;
- Safety analysis for design modification considering internal/external hazards;
- Effective management of I&C, including modernization, methods and tools; and
- Lessons learned from the planning and implementation of advanced I&C systems.
Session 5: Stakeholder Engagement, Human Factors and Managerial Aspects
The aim of this session is to share experiences and lessons learned in relation to system management and the successful resolution of the technical issues and challenges presented in the previous sessions, and to identify human factors and managerial aspects of the field. Presentations will cover:
- Stakeholder engagement and public understanding, especially in the context of NPP LTO role in sustainable development and climate change mitigation;
- Human resource development and workforce planning for LTO;
- Knowledge management methods/processes to preserve plant history and experiences; and
- Innovative NPP operational and business models.
Session 6: Regulatory Approaches to Ageing Management and Long-Term Operation
Exchange information about regulatory requirements in different Member States is essential. The aim of this session is to discuss the distribution of roles and responsibilities among the parties involved and to address regulatory policy considerations. Presentations will cover:
- Regulatory approaches to ageing management and LTO;
- Use of IAEA safety standards for the development of national regulations;
- Requirements for the LTO licensing process;
- Second licence renewal and approaches in the USA;
- Insights from periodic safety reviews;
- Use of operational experience in the regulations; and
- Lessons learned from SALTO (‘Safety Aspects of Long-Term Operation’) missions
To discuss technical challenges and experiences, three panel discussions will be organized for technical sessions 1–6 in parallel. The panellists and audiences will have a chance to discuss in depth their experiences and lessons learned with regard to the implementation of PLiM and LTO.
In addition to the parallel panel discussions, a panel discussion on current challenges for LTO of NPPs is planned to take place during the plenary session. The panel discussion by high level technical experts will consider:
- Technological issues;
- Regulatory issues;
- Policy issues;
- Human resources;
- Economic issues; and
- Engagement of the public and other stakeholders.
To conclude the conference, the session chairs will summarize the presentations and discussions of each technical session, and the Chairperson of the conference will present their conclusions and recommendations to the IAEA.
Key Deadlines and Dates
Submission of synopses through IAEA-INDICO
1 August 2022
Submission of Form B (together with Form A) through the InTouch+ platform
1 August 2022
Submission of Form C (together with Form A) through the InTouch+ platform
1 August 2022
Notification of acceptance of synopses for oral or poster presentation
3 September 2022
Deadline for submission of revised full papers submitted through IAEA-INDICO
17 October 2022
Submission of Form A only (no paper submission, no grant request) through the InTouch+ platform