International Conference on Nuclear Engineering

ICONE-18, May 17 to 21, 2010 in Xi’an, China

Since the ICONE-1 in 1991, the Nuclear Engineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has been organizing, with the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME), ICONE meetings held in the U.S.A., France, Belgium, Japan, and China. The 18th meeting on nuclear engineering, the ICONE-18, was held from May 17 to 21, 2010 in Xi’an, China and was organized by the ASME and JSME, in cooperation with the Chinese Nuclear Society (CNS). General conference chairs were Professor Kenichiro Sugiyama, from Hokkaido University, and Aris Candris, from Westinghouse Electric Company. Technical program chair was Professor Guanhhui Su from Xi’an Jiaotong University.

The ICONE-18 keynote theme was “Back to the Future: Nuclear Energy for Global Sustainability”. Over 800 papers in 13 Technical Tracks attended the conference, and a Nuclear Industry Forum was held, including five invited panels featuring senior leader and technical experts from government, industry and academia. The Panel Session was held on Tuesday, 18th of May, and five topics were discussed:

1. Regulation, Codes and Standards
The panelists addressed the codes and standards which are used in the nuclear industry, with an emphasis on what are codes and standards and how they are developed, how codes and standards impact design and construction, etc.

2. Training, education and workforce for nuclear power development
With the countries expanding nuclear energy's role and new countries expected to develop it, the question is what the various institutions are doing to the personnel shortage, training and education issues to emphasize on promoting the levels of skill, motivation and ethics for nuclear power development.

3. Sharing of best plant's operation and maintenance experiences
Several panelists from world-wide utilities dedicated their lectures in order to explain why some NPP are running better than others. Especially, they discussed and explained the most effective and important measures for best performance of NPPs.

4. Newly designed plants: Issues and challenges during construction
With continuous increasing of energy consumption, more and more countries are placing importance on nuclear energy. Many of them are promoting the newly designed plants with advanced technology. These new designs are also bringing new challenges and in this session, panelists discussed the important issues during the NPP construction, and exchanged the ideas and experiences of new projects.

5. Gen-IV Program
Requirements for Generation IV programs, research and demonstration reactors, safety, economics, sustainability, calculational tools and techniques, advanced instrumentation and control systems, advanced construction and project management techniques, fuel cycle integrated system were discussed in this panel.

Finally, a workshop on Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) was held the day before official start of the conference (on 17th of May) with international experts providing in-depth discussions but also explaining the basic ideas on CFD to young professionals and students participating in the ICONE-18 Student Session. The papers and discussions of the overall technical program focused on 13 areas including:

- TRK 1 Plant Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Modifications, Life Cycle and Balance of Plant
- TRK 2 Component Reliability and Materials Issues
- TRK 3 Structural Integrity
- TRK 4 Nuclear Technology Applications and Innovations
- TRK 5 Advanced Reactors
- TRK 6 Safety And Security
- TRK 7 Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues
- TRK 8 Fuel Cycle and Decommissioning
- TRK 9 Thermal Hydraulics
- TRK 10 Reactor Physics and Transport Theory
- TRK 11 Nuclear Education, Public Acceptance and Related Issues
- TRK 12 Instrumentation & Controls (I&C)
- TRK 13 Fusion Engineering

Exhibits by leading companies such as AECL, AREVA, GE-Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Westinghouse, Toshiba and many more were at ICONE-18. Between the strong nuclear engineering exhibition and record number of technical presentations, conference participation by people from the nuclear community provided an excellent opportunity to promote nuclear power and to network with the world leaders in the field in a nation where more nuclear plants are being built than anywhere else in the world.

Considering the technical tours at ICONE-18, attendees could choose between two tours:

1. China Experimental Fast Reactor, China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE)
CIAE is equipped with 3 research reactors (15kMW heavy water reactor, 3.5 MW light water swimming pool reactor, 27kW neutron source reactor), 4 zero-power facilities, 11 accelerators, hot cells and associated various instruments and compoters. The 65 ?W(th), i.e., 25 ?W(e) China experimental fast reactor (CEFR) is sodium cooled reactor with UO2 fuel (enriched 64%) and should start operation in June 2010. Later, in the CEFR also MOX fuel assembles are to be tested.

2. Sanmen NPP AP1000, Zhejiang Province
Sanmen Nuclear Power Project will adopt AP1000 technology for its construction by Westinghouse Electric Co. & Shaw Group Inc. Consortium. It is planning to build 6 AP1000 nuclear power units at the total power of 7500 MW, constructed by three phases. Phase I started constraction on April 19, 2009, and the 2 units of it will be completed and begin to generate electricity in 2013 and 2014 successively. Thereinto, unit 1 is the first AP1000 nuclear power unit all over the world.

After my great experience in China and meeting many senior professionals and students from the nuclear industry, I would advice and invite all students to register for ICONE-19, which will be held in Japan in May 2011 (
http://www.icone19.org).

Marija Miletić, členka sekce mladých ČNS

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