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MINUTES OF THE 13th TECHNICAL STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE IAEA INTERNATIONAL KNOWLEDGE BASE ON NUCLEAR GRAPHITE

31st January – 1st February 2011

IAEA, Vienna

Present:

Mr. A.J. Wickham, United Kingdom (Chairman)

Mr. B.M. Tyobeka, IAEA (Scientific Secretary)

Other Members:

Mr. T. Shibata, JAEA

Mr. G. Haag, Germany

Mr. A. Vreeling, The Netherlands

Mr. S. Chi, Republic of Korea

Mr. T. Burchell, USA

Mr. X. Fang, representing Mr. S. Yu, Peoples Republic of China (membership application in process)

Observers:

Mr. M. Odeychuk, Ukraine

Mr. P. Homerin, Graftech International Inc., France

Mr. M. Melin, SGL Carbon GmbH, Germany

Mr. M. Srinivasan, NRC, USA

Mr. M. Lamb, HSE ND, UK

Mr. L. Lanzel, Mersen USA

Mr. A. Potier, Mersen France

Mr. M. Gladyshev, IAEA, (part time)

Apologies for Absence:

Mr. A. Smaizys, Lithuania

Welcome and Opening Remarks

The meeting was welcomed to the IAEA by Mr. Tyobeka on behalf of the Nuclear Energy Division.

The Chairman then welcomed delegates and observers, inviting the latter to take a full role in the meeting. Mr. Fang explained that the process of making a formal application from PR China was taking much longer than hoped, but remained in progress. The Chairman said that the meeting already regarded PRC as a full member of the project. Mr. Odeychuk stated that a formal application from the Ukraine would be made before the end of the year.

The Chairman again stressed the need for the fullest commitment from all Members, stressing that, valued though voluntary contributions from sponsoring organisations are, the level of work planned by Members to populate the Knowledge Base and to expand the Database would require inputs of effort or funding from all. He also expressed appreciation for Mr Maxim Gladyshev’s commitment to the role of IT Coordinator for the Knowledge Base. He then took the opportunity to thank the sponsor representatives for their financial contributions to the project. He noted the existence now of an annual financial obligation for the hosting of the SharePoint site. At the end of the TSC, it was agreed that Ms. Andrea Scharf of IAEA would in future be the direct point of contact for all sponsor payments and for meeting the hosting charge by credit card from the available project funding.

Minutes and Actions

Following the adoption of the Agenda, the Minutes of the November 2009 meeting, published as INDC-(NDS)-0566, were approved and the Actions therein reviewed:

Action 1 (Nov 2009), to follow up membership from the Republic of South Africa, had been compromised by the termination of the PBMR project. The Chairman noted that the University of Pretoria has just started a Graphite Group which is staffed with former PBMR employees. He had invited NECSA representatives to consider joining the project, but had not received any reply although they had been invited to be present at this meeting.

Action 2 (Nov 2009), to consider invitation to France and Russia: it had been decided to wait until the Knowledge Base was fully ‘up and running’, and the Chairman would now draft invitation letters for the IAEA to send to appropriate persons. It was suggested that Mr. Sukharev of OKBM was the most suitable contact for Russia, and he may be present at the forthcoming TWGGCR in which case the question can be discussed directly. Mr. D. Hittner (AREVA) and Mr. J-P Bonal (CEA Saclay) were considered as the suitable points of contact for France.

Regarding Ukraine, it was noted that Ukraine will continue to participate in the Knowledge Base activities, pending finalization of paperwork between the IAEA and the Ukrainian authorities. Mr Odychuk requested help with completion of all the formalities of membership to the Knowledge Base. The Chairman agreed to assist with this. Mr Odeychuk mentioned that 40 reports have already been prepared for contribution into the knowledge base by Ukraine

Action 1 (new): Mr. Wickham to draft invitations for the IAEA to send to France and Russia.

Nothing more had been heard from India, and this would not be followed up.

Action 3 (Nov 2009): All Members to review the proposed Data Strings on recent data on the 2009 DVD and to notify any disagreement to the Chairman by the end of January 2010. All members had accepted the proposed QA gradings.

Action 4 (Nov 2009): Mr. Eto to request the urgent cooperation of JAEA in providing both a copy of the so-called ‘Final Report’ from which a majority of Japanese data were taken, together with proposed QA data strings relevant to those data. Mr. Shibata could identify the report and would forward it to Mr. Haag if possible.

Action 2 (new): Mr. Shibata to forward a copy of the Japanese ‘Final Report’ to Mr. Haag so that the Database can be fully updated, and to propose appropriate data strings for the cited data.

Action 5 (Nov 2009): Messrs. Haag, Vreeling and Wickham to prepare simple ‘dummy’ material for the draft Knowledge Base installation and to forward this to Mr. Ralph as quickly as possible: this had been completed.

Action 6 (Nov 2009): All Members to review the content of Appendix 2 on an urgent basis and to pass their comments and suggestions to the Chairman for forwarding to Mr. Ralph: no new categories were proposed, except for the inclusion of Minutes, Agendas and the Working arrangement: following this meeting, the Chairman intended to meet with Mr. Ralph to set up appropriate folders and to organise the removal of all irrelevant test material.

Action 3 (new): The Chairman to organise with Mr. Ralph of KorteQ Ltd the establishment of folders for each principal topic area, together with administrative material.

Action 7 (November 2009): The Chairman to request information from each participating Member State on the areas of the Work Programme in which it will contribute (both Knowledge-Base ‘population’ and other Phase-2 proposals, with a clear statement to be provided to him by the end of April 2010: there had been little response to this Action apart from Mr. Haag, and the matter would be progressed further within the present meeting.

Action 8 (November 2009): IAEA Division of Nuclear Energy, through the project Scientific Secretary Mr. Tyobeka, to review the proposed ‘Working Arrangement’ which will define the management of the Knowledge-Base project: there had been no further comments to be made. The formal endorsement would follow later in the meeting subject to some small additional changes.

Noting the generally limited response to actions on the part of participating Member States, the Chairman again requested that liaison officers should ensure that effort is put into the project from all participating Member States.

Review of the Status of the Project

The Chairman reported that a presentation on the establishment and status of the Knowledge Base had been made by Mr. Ralph and himself at the ‘Nuclear 2010’ conference at the Institute for Nuclear Research Piteşti, Mioveni, Romania, in May 2010 and had been very well received. Subsequently, the project had been launched ‘live’ at the opening of the Eleventh International Nuclear Graphite Specialists’ Meeting in Eastbourne, UK, in September 2010. Although there had been a minor glitch resulting from the local IT ‘firewall’, the meeting gave the project an excellent reception.

The Chairman had also arranged for the upload of all available INGSM presentations. Some items were missing for early meetings and a request was made for any additional presentations which delegates might have access to be forwarded to Mr. Wickham.

Action 4 (new): Anyone with INGSM papers from early meetings which are not already in the INGSM section of the Knowledge Base, please send them to Mr. Wickham.

There were two negative things to report. Firstly, the financial management from the hosting company, Cobweb, left much to be desired, and a plan was under consideration to move the hosting to a section of the same server which would be managed by KorteQ Ltd directly. The Chairman confirmed an Action to investigate this possibility further.

Action 5 (new): The Chairman to discuss further with KorteQ their plan to lease hosting space from Cobweb directly and to install our project thereon.

Secondly, the transfer of the project finances to Nuclear Energy Division had not gone smoothly. Sponsor payments had not been requested at the appropriate time and, in consequence, a delayed contract for Mr. Haag had not been put in place. During the meeting, the sponsor representatives were able to discuss these issues directly and establish direct lines of contact with Ms. Andrea Scharf of IAEA, who would now accept full responsibility for administration of the project income. A contract would be made available to Mr. Haag. The Chairman expressed his thanks to Ms. Scharf (who had not hitherto been involved in the issue) for taking on this important task on behalf of Members.

In the Minutes of the previous meeting, it had been decided that the Phase 2 project would be known as the IAEA International Knowledge Base on Irradiated Nuclear Graphite Properties. As limited population of the Knowledge Base had commenced, it became clear that the words ‘Irradiated’ and ‘Properties’ were too exclusive, not least because information on unirradiated material was extremely valuable and because the keynote paper ‘What is Graphite’ did not exclusively dwell on properties. Accordingly, the meeting agreed to a revision: IAEA International Knowledge Base on Nuclear Graphite.

Database Status

Mr. Haag reported that around 2000 data entries on matrix material had been processed, and were now ready to be added to the Database. Proposed QA data strings would be added, and the enlarged Database would be uploaded by Mr. Gladyshev. Members were then asked to review to the data strings and to give their approval.

Action 6 (new): Mr. Haag to complete the extended Database and to pass it to Mr. Wickham along with the proposed Data strings.

Action 7 (new): Mr. Wickham to validate the 2009 data-string entries and to forward the revised Database package to Mr. Gladyshev to upload.

Action 8 (new): All Members to confirm their agreement to the newly-entered QA data strings when advised that the updated version of the Database has been uploaded.

Mr. Haag went on to discuss the separate Database he is creating to support the IAEA CRP on Irradiation Creep in Graphite. This would include some data which is not at present in the full Database, and has been tailored to the interests of the CRP. In the fullness of time, the new data can be incorporated into the full Database.

Action 9 (new): Mr. Haag to place additional creep data into the full Database.

At the subsequent 2nd Research Coordination Meeting of the CRP on Irradiation Creep in Graphite, it was agreed to create a specific ‘Topic Folder’ for the CRP documents in the Knowledge Base, into which the creep database would also be inserted as discrete packages relating to particular sources or models.

Action 10 (new): (shared action with Irradiation Creep RCM): Mr. Wickham to create a topic folder within the Knowledge Base into which Mr. Haag can place the supporting Creep database, inter alia.

It had previous been agreed that a further, separate Database would be created for carbon-carbon composite materials when time and funding permitted. There were disparate views on the focus of this topic, with some delegates opting for HTR uses only and others, from Member states with no HTR intentions, for support for fusion work. Mr. Burchell pointed out that a Database for fusion materials already exists to support the ITER programme.

After seeking the views of the manufacturers represented in the meeting, it was finally decided that we should seek to collect the ‘common materials data’. Mr. Burchell undertook to provide a glossary and hyperlinks to existing data sources (included issued IAEA TECDOCs) and to review the extent of existing data.

Action 11 (new): Mr. Burchell to investigate data sources for carbon-carbon composite materials in accordance with the discussion.

A concern was raised by Mr Shibata regarding access to historic data by new sponsors. This stemmed from the fact that since the Database was ‘restricted’, the Knowledge Base seems to be open to all sponsors. The Chairman responded by pointing out that access to both Database and Knowledge Base is equivalent, with sponsor representatives and users authorised by Member States’ Liaison Officers having access to both. He pointed out also that most of the data is already declassified and the only classified data set is the one from the British Magnox reactors (due to restrictions imposed by the NDA in the UK) and the Japanese data. The Chairman further reminded the meeting that the level of data security for the Knowledge Base has improved tremendously, with two passwords instead of one. It would therefore be unfair to deny access to new sponsors to data that was contributed before they joined. Such a move, the Chairman argued, would limit sponsorship and would be very difficult to manage. Mr Shibata agreed that they will live with the current situation, in line with the Working Arrangement, especially noting that a provider of data has the right to withdraw its previously-contributed data if and when they feel choose.

The Chairman committed to approaching the NDA to request them to declassify the classified Magnox data.

Action 12 (new): Mr. Wickham to discuss the status of Magnox-reactor data with the UK NDA

Finally, the ‘terminology clarification’ task was discussed. Mr. Srinivasan commented specifically about the confusion of ‘perpendicular’ and ‘parallel’, along with the need to harmonise terminology to assist data sorting – e.g. ‘H-451’ and ‘H451’. This task will only be undertaken when appropriate funding and resources are available, whereupon Mr. Haag will take the lead.

Action 13 (new): Mr. Haag to proceed with the ‘clarification’ of the Database terminology, to aid sorting, as and when funding and resources become available.

Review of Knowledge-Base Status

The chairman opened this section of the meeting by indicating that the Knowledge Base software and installation had now been proven, and the task ahead was to populate it according to the interests of the members. There had been considerable enthusiasm at the previous meeting on the part of the participants, but only one new document had been added (very recently) by Mr. Vreeling. the chairman indicated that, immediately after the meeting, steps would be taken to remove all test material and thus to make the product look more professional. Folders would be established for each agreed topic area.

The chairman emphasised once again that the responsibility to populate the Knowledge Base was a collective one, and asked for cooperation and a significant effort to be made now on the part of participants.

Mr. Lamb suggested said that members should encourage their own and other organizations to supply information but recognized that this would not always be enough and, in some cases, additional funding might be necessary.

The chairman drew attention to the individual ‘member state’ buttons on the home page, where appropriate information (and links) could be added to amplify the particular interests of each member state.

Action 14 (new): Liaison officers to arrange appropriate input to the ‘Member State’ areas on the home page by the end of April 2011.

During the course of the discussion, a number of additional potential topic areas (for additional folders) were suggested. Mr. Srinivasan suggested topics on Matrix Material, Codes, and Definitions.

There was a lengthy discussion about the value of posting ‘classic’ texts such as Nightingale’s book, but with updates included. Mr. Haag demonstrated this possibility with a chapter of the book in which he had added hyperlinks. This raised an important discussion about copyright issues. It was decided that the Nightingale book would be used as a worked example in order to explore the possibilities: the chairman agreed to draft a letter to the publishers of the book for the IAEA to send, requesting permission to carry out the activity.

Action 15 (new): Mr. Wickham to draft a letter to the publishers of the Nightingale book, for the IAEA to send, requesting permission to post the ‘commented’ text on the Knowledge Base site.

In continuing the discussion, it was suggested that the ‘original’ version of this and similar documents would be placed (with permission) in the ‘open knowledge wiki’; the commented versions should reside in the ‘restricted’ (members) area.

In order to illustrate the importance of obtaining the appropriate ‘populating’ documents, a number of the key topic areas were discussed, with the Chairman attempting to solicit contributions from those present. For the first topic, ‘Graphite in the Nuclear Industry’, several actions were agreed as follows:

Action 16 (new): In order to populate the ‘Graphite in the Nuclear Industry’ topic area:

Mr. Burchell agreed to coordinate this topic area, with a view to identifying some appropriate input by the end of June 2011;

Mr. Burchell to identify several recent publications of his own, subject to copyright resolution, along with some lectures which he had delivered to meetings other than INGSM;

Mr. Haag to provide documentation on the history of AVR/THTR, again subject to a copyright investigation which he would undertake;

Mr. Fang agreed to put the request to his colleagues at Tsinghua University;

Mr. Vreeling indicated that some small items would be forthcoming from NRG;

Mr. Shibata would contact companies in Japan for input, and also provide a reactor description;

Mr. Wickham would provide material relating to the use of graphite reactors in the UK.

In a similar exercise for the ‘Manufacturing’ topic, the following actions were agreed:

Action 17 (new): In order to populate the ‘Manufacturing’ topic area:

Mr. Burchell would coordinate this area provided that the manufactures would closely review what he wrote;

Mr. Haag would ‘update’ the appropriate Chapter of the Nightingale book, subject to the outcome of Action 14;

Mr. Homerin would provide an edited/updated version of the UCAR graphite handbook (by end 2011);

Mr. Lanzel and Mr. Potier offered a similar contribution from Mersen, also by end 2011.

Two further topics were covered by a detailed discussion, more focussed on what should be present than on who should provide it. Under ‘Nuclear Properties’, various writings by Brian Kelly were suggested, along with Volume 8 of the former UK CEGB’s ‘Modern Power Station Practice’ series, on ‘Nuclear Physics’. A publication by Gilbert Melese entitled ‘Physics of Gas-Cooled Reactors’ was thought to be available. Mr. Haag was also asked to consider the potential input from Prof. Kügeler of KFA. Under ‘Structure’, it was agreed that what needed to appear was definitions, e.g. of ‘pore’, ‘grain’, ‘particle’, ‘electrographite’, ‘crystal structure’. Mr. Srinivasan observed that such inputs would help regulators and designers in ‘understanding the margins’ under operational conditions – the question of when (if) to replace an HTR reflector was one example. Mr. Lamb concurred and added the UK interests of ‘inspection’, cracking’ and ‘safety benefits’ [Note added by secretary: such aspects which are unique to the operation of UK AGRs may be better placed in the independent knowledge base supported by EdF Energy (British Energy).].

Mr. Burchell observed that a really important function would be to guide future users to key references (not necessary the articles themselves, for copyright reasons) which the TSC feels have merit. This was agreed.

Action 18 (new): Mr. Burchell agreed to coordinate the ‘Structure’ and ‘Graphite in the Nuclear Industry’ topic areas, with the aim to identify specific inputs by the end of June 2011: this to include key references.

Mr. Vreeling then introduced his recently uploaded article on ‘Test Reactors’, referring to the installation at NRG Petten. It was agreed the specifics of how it had been used for graphite irradiations (Dragon, EU projects, EdF Energy etc.) would form a valuable article. Mr. Haag opined that it was valuable to record how fluences had been measured. Mr. Wickham said that similar information should be recorded for DIDO/PLUTO in the UK, mentioning that the history of irradiation experiments was far from smooth, that many lessons had been learned (for example about capsule design), and that future experimental programmes should be aware of this history. Mr. Burchell concurred that appropriate information about the two MTRs in the USA should appear. He felt that INL could be asked for assistance. It was also agreed that reference should be made to MTRs in Member States which were not represented, such as Russia, possible through links to websites. Japan could contribute on JMTR. Mr. Chi asked also for information on planned irradiation experiments to be listed. Mr. Vreeling agreed to continue the coordination of this topic area.

Action 19 (new): Mr. Vreeling to coordinate and develop inputs to the ‘Test Reactors’ topic area, assisted by inputs from other Members on an appropriate timescale.

In the ‘Chemical Properties’ topic area, Mr. Wickham agreed to update and extend the present ‘holding’ documents, and would be contacting Mr. Contescu at ORNL in regard to covering thermal graphite oxidation.

Action 20 (new): Mr. Wickham to update the Chemical Properties area and to consult Mr. Contescu, with a target completion date of the end of June 2011.

The chairman stated that he would circulate a revised (and more easily readable) breakdown structure for the Knowledge Base shortly.

Action 21 (new): Mr. Wickham to circulate an updated breakdown structure for the Knowledge Base.

There followed a general discussion about how work on the Knowledge Base should be funded. The incidental use of students was mentioned (this had worked extremely well in the context of the Database input coordinated by Mr Haag). Where assistance in understand the software was needed, the Chairman reminded everyone of the existing ‘Training Videos’ which were present via the home page, and mentioned that Mr. Ralph had advised him that KorteQ was willing to assist any user. A small ‘call-off’ contract for this purpose remains in place, courtesy of UK HSE, but this is not appropriate for significant use, and Members were of course free to contract directly with KorteQ for their own particular purposes (at their own expense).

Another discussion sought to explore the fundamental purpose and nature of the information to be placed in the Knowledge Base (developing a discussion at the previous meeting). There were diverse opinions: Mr. Chi, representing a Member state which is developing HTR designs, indicated that he would like to see comprehensive records of experience and analysis of information. Mr. Haag considered that the Knowledge Base should be ‘neutral’ but, when required to support a specific project, then those interested could move ahead to obtain and input more specific information. Mr. Srinivasan reminded the meeting that different specialists have different points of view, and that a wide range of opinion should be sought out and recorded. Mr. Lamb, noting the limited resources available to support the programme, suggested that potential users should ask the TSC members for appropriate commentary and criticism, indicating that recording ‘expert commentary’ on papers in the Knowledge Base was easily achievable. Mr. Shibata, on the other hand, suggested that the Knowledge Base was basically a means to collect and to preserve information. In a summing up, Mr Wickham said that archiving of information in the Knowledge Base was within the scope of the project but interpretation of the information for specific end users was outside the scope.

The chairman asked Mr. Lamb to comment upon the success of the UK Knowledge Base on Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels, which had been used a ‘model’ for the present project and with which some delegates might recall being presented to them at an earlier meeting. Mr Lamb said that the project had been under way for more than ten years and was largely successful; its informed commentaries on technical papers were particularly helpful. However, some of its modules were thinly populated and the project had encountered difficulties in dealing with copyright material.

Mr. Srinivasan commented that conducting analysis of information was an arduous task, and rightly would be the preserve of the information users. Mr. Shibata and Mr. Burchell concurred that appropriate sub-groups drawn from the expanding number of Knowledge-Base users should be the focus of such analyses, and would (should) be funded externally to the present TSC activity. Mr. Burchell cited the Gen IV graphite activity as an appropriate example. Mr. Haag suggested that future INGSMs should include a great deal more discussion, and a record of that discussion should be included in the Knowledge Base.

In regard to security of information, it was agreed that all articles and items would initially be uploaded as drafts in the restricted (members) area: the TSC at future meetings would review what could be duplicated in the open-access area.

Timescale of the Project

Mr. Shibata requested that a timescale (end date) for the Knowledge Base project should be identified. The chairman observed that a Knowledge Base was always a ‘living’ project and would never ‘close’. However, the meeting agreed that a target of March 2012, the next projected meeting of the TSC) should be set for significant population of the first four key topics. Overall, it was decided to set a target of five years (January 2016) for effective ‘completion’ of key materials in all topic areas.

Mr. Tyobeka confirmed that no ‘time limit’ was set by the IAEA.

Working Arrangement

Draft 3 of the Working Arrangement had been circulated with the previous Minutes. Subject to a change of title and changing the reference to The Working Group on Gas-Cooled Reactors, this was approved as the final version. This will be uploaded to the Knowledge Base open area so that prospective new participants can review the requirements for membership.

ASTM Graphite Standards

Mr. Burchell advised the meeting of recent activities in this area.

INGSM Meetings

The chairman reported on the very successful INGSM-11 held in Eastbourne, UK. All presentations were now available through the Knowledge Base.

Mr. Chi presented updated information on INGSM-12 to be held on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Planning for this event was felt to be somewhat behind schedule, and there had been a change of venue for the accommodation since the announcements at INGSM-11. All accommodation reserved was in multi-occupation ‘condos’, and delegates felt this to be rather inappropriate. Mr. Chi was advised to get a website up and running very fast, and to plan on the basis that 95% of delegates would be individuals desiring single bedroom accommodation.

Mr. Melin confirmed that INGSM-13 in 2012 would be held in the SGL conference centre at Meitingen, Germany. This offer had been made somewhat earlier and agreed by delegates by e-mail correspondence.

Mr. Burchell advised that an offer for 2013 was available from TTU (Toyo Tanso USA), to be held either in Portland Oregon (TTU HQ) or Seattle area.

All of these proposals were gratefully accepted by the meeting. The chairman also advised, and Mr. Fang concurred, that INET was interested to host an INGSM meeting in 2014, at a venue to be confirmed.

Report to TWGGCR

The chairman reported that the next meeting of the TWGGCR would be held from 28th March 2011 at IAEA HQ. He would be attending as the UK representative and would also be provided a report on the establishment of the Knowledge Base and the updated Database, together with an outline of plans for the future.

Date of Next Meeting of the TSC

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Technical Steering Committee would take place at IAEA Vienna on 28th and 29th March, 2012.

Additional Information

Knowledge Base URL: http://www.iaea.org/NuclearPower/Graphite

Note added by Secretary: Authorised users should log in (bottom right on the landing page) using the coordinates supplied to them individually. Training videos can then be found on the menu on the Authorised Users page; access to the numerical Database and the INGSM archive is via direct buttons on that page using the dedicated log-in parameters also supplied. The format of folders relating to individual topic areas within the Knowledge Base is currently being revised to make navigation easier, with all preliminary test material to be removed.

Registered users of the Knowledge Base: breakdown by Member State, as at 17.02.2011:

UK: 37

USA: 14

Germany: 5

Japan: 4

France: 3 (not a Member State of the project, but includes sponsors)

Rep. Korea: 2

Lithuania: 2

Ukraine: 2

China: 1

RSA: 1

 

List of Actions from the 13th Meeting

Action 1: Mr. Wickham to draft invitations for the IAEA to send to France and Russia.

 

Action 2: Mr. Shibata to forward a copy of the Japanese ‘Final Report’ to Mr. Haag so that the Database can be fully updated, and to propose appropriate data strings for the cited data.

 

Action 3: The Chairman to organise with Mr. Ralph of KorteQ Ltd the establishment of folders for each principal topic area, together with administrative material.

 

Action 4: Anyone with INGSM papers from early meetings which are not already in the INGSM section of the Knowledge Base, please send them to Mr. Wickham.

 

Action 5: The Chairman to discuss further with KorteQ their plan to lease hosting space from Cobweb directly and to install our project thereon.

 

Action 6: Mr. Haag to complete the extended Database and to pass it to Mr. Wickham along with the proposed Data strings.

 

Action 7: Mr. Wickham to validate the 2009 data-string entries and to forward the revised Database package to Mr. Gladyshev to upload.

 

Action 8: All Members to confirm their agreement to the newly-entered QA data strings when advised that the updated version of the Database has been uploaded.

 

Action 9: Mr. Haag to place additional creep data into the full Database.

 

Action 10: (shared action with Irradiation Creep RCM): Mr. Wickham to create a topic folder within the Knowledge Base into which Mr. Haag can place the supporting Creep database, inter alia.

 

Action 11: Mr. Burchell to investigate data sources for carbon-carbon composite materials in accordance with the discussion.

 

Action 12: Mr. Wickham to discuss the status of Magnox-reactor data with the UK NDA.

 

Action 13: Mr. Haag to proceed with the ‘clarification’ of the Database terminology, to aid sorting, as and when funding and resources become available.

 

Action 14: Liaison officers to arrange appropriate input to the ‘Member State’ areas on the home page by the end of April 2011.

 

Action 15: Mr. Wickham to draft a letter to the publishers of the Nightingale book, for the IAEA to send, requesting permission to post the ‘commented’ text on the Knowledge Base site.

 

Action 16: In order to populate the ‘Graphite in the Nuclear Industry’ topic area:

Mr. Burchell agreed to coordinate this topic area, with a view to identifying some appropriate input by the end of June 2011;

Mr. Burchell to identify several recent publications of his own, subject to copyright resolution, along with some lectures which he had delivered to meetings other than INGSM;

Mr. Haag to provide documentation on the history of AVR/THTR, again subject to a copyright investigation which he would undertake;

Mr. Fang agreed to put the request to his colleagues at Tsinghua University;

Mr. Vreeling indicated that some small items would be forthcoming from NRG;

Mr. Shibata would contact companies in Japan for input, and also provide a reactor description;

Mr. Wickham would provide material relating to the use of graphite reactors in the UK.

 

Action 17: In order to populate the ‘Manufacturing’ topic area:

Mr. Burchell would coordinate this area provided that the manufactures would closely review what he wrote;

Mr. Haag would ‘update’ the appropriate Chapter of the Nightingale book, subject to the outcome of Action 14;

Mr. Homerin would provide an edited/updated version of the UCAR graphite handbook (by end 2011);

Mr. Lanzel and Mr. Potier offered a similar contribution from Mersen, also by end 2011.

 

Action 18: Mr. Burchell agreed to coordinate the ‘Structure’ and ‘Graphite in the Nuclear Industry’ topic areas, with the aim to identify specific inputs by the end of June 2011: this to include key references.

 

Action 19: Mr. Vreeling to coordinate and develop inputs to the ‘Test Reactors’ topic area, assisted by inputs from other Members on an appropriate timescale.

 

Action 20: Mr. Wickham to update the Chemical Properties area and to consult Mr. Contescu, with a target completion date of the end of June 2011.

 

Action 21: Mr. Wickham to circulate an updated breakdown structure for the Knowledge Base.

 

05/March/2011 (revision 1)

A.J. Wickham

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

MINUTES OF THE 12th COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE IAEA INTERNATIONAL DATABASE ON  IRRADIATED NUCLEAR GRAPHITE PROPERTIES

12th and 13th November 2009

IAEA, Vienna

 

Present:

 

Mr. A.J. Wickham, United Kingdom (Chairman)

Ms. H. Chung, IAEA (Scientific Secretary)

 

Other Members:

 

Mr. M. Eto, Japan (representing Mr. T. Shibata, JAEA, and Toyo Tanso Co. Ltd)

Mr. G. Haag, Germany

Mr. E. Kim, Republic of Korea

Mr. W. Windes, USA (representing Mr. T. Burchell, Part Time)

Mr. S. Yu, Peoples Republic of China (membership application in process)

Mr. B. Braams, IAEA (part time)

 

Observers:

 

Mr. M. Odeychuk, Ukraine

Mr. P. Homerin, Graftech International Inc. (France)

Mr. M. Meicl, SGL Carbon Ltd (Germany)

Mr. S. Fazluddin, PBMR (Pty) Ltd, Republic of South Africa

Mr. L. Ralph, KorteQ Ltd, United Kingdom (part time)

Mr. P. Adler, KorteQ Ltd, United Kingdom (part time)

Mr. M. Srinivasan, NRC, USA

Mr. G. DeCombarieu, Le Carbone Lorraine, France

Mr. A. Potier, Le Carbone Lorraine, France

Mr. M. Gladyshev, IAEA, (part time)

 

Apologies for Absence:

 

Mr. T.D. Burchell, USA

Mr. T. Shibata, Japan

Mr. A. Smaizys, Lithuania

Mr. J.A. Vreeling, The Netherlands

 

 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

The meeting was welcomed to the IAEA by Mr. Braams on behalf of the Nuclear Data Section, and he introduced the new Scientific Secretary, Ms. Chung. Although both were new appointees, they had familiarised themselves with the work of the Technical Steering Committee and recognised the value of the project to the Agency, especially with the renewed commitment to a second phase of activity which had been reached in March 2009. Recognising that the project would shortly move to the Division of Nuclear Energy, Mr. Braams felt certain that the project would be seen to be of great value in supporting activities internationally in the field of nuclear graphite, particularly with the expansion of the activity to include a new Knowledge Base.

The Chairman then welcomed delegates and observers, inviting the latter to take a full role in the meeting. In view of the forthcoming change of Division, he invited the meeting to recognise the singular contribution of Mr. Khalid Sheikh in supporting the meetings over the years: an opportunity was taken when Mr. Sheikh later visited the meeting to offer those thanks in person.

The Chairman also informed the meeting that Mr. Burchell had had to return to the USA in the early hours to address a family emergency. The meeting expressed their support for the family, and Mr. Windes agreed to represent the USA formally although he could not attend on the second day.

The Chairman commented that the purpose of holding a second meeting in the same year was to move forward the installation of Knowledge-Base software and to define the initial work programme. He explained that the United Kingdom had elected to fund the software installation using the services of KorteQ Ltd, and Mr. Ralph would provide an extensive presentation of the structure for comment.

The Chairman again stressed the need for the fullest commitment from all Members, stressing that, valued though voluntary contributions from sponsoring organisations are, the level of work planned by Members would require inputs of effort or funding from all. He then took the opportunity to thank the sponsors present who had renewed their commitments for Phase 2, and also welcomed Le Carbone Lorraine as a potential future sponsor if they felt that the work of the project was likely to be of value to the Company. He identified shortfalls in some promised contributions from a sponsor, and also intimated that there would be an ongoing annual financial commitment associated with the Knowledge Base which Mr. Ralph would later explain.

Next, he advised that the People’s Republic of China had prepared all necessary procedures to join the project as a Full Member, but there had been a last-minute hitch arising from change of personnel in Beijing which meant that the final approved letter had not yet reached the Agency. The Chairman invited the meeting to regard Mr. Yu as representing a Full Member, and this was willingly agreed. The Chairman also noted that the Republic of South Africa had intended to seek full membership, and now that a clear separation between the project and the work of the Gen IV International Forum had been demonstrated, he was hopeful that this membership application would soon be forthcoming. The Chairman asked Mr. Fazluddin to follow up this proposed Membership application.

Action 1: Mr. Fazluddin to follow up the proposed Membership application from the Republic of South Africa.

Ukraine was also considering membership, and Mr. Odeychuk was encouraged to follow this up with his government.

The meeting also took the view that it would be sensible to offer invitations once again to France and Russia. In the preceding Research Coordination Meeting on Irradiation Creep in Graphite, Mr. Tyobeka had mentioned interest from India in developing HTR for hydrogen production.

Action 2: IAEA Division of Nuclear Energy (after 1st January 2010) to invite France and Russia, and possibly India, to become Members of the Knowledge Base: Chairman to draft suitable letters for Mr. Tyobeka.

 

 

Minutes and Actions

The Chairman moved the adoption of the Agenda for the meeting and this was carried nem con.

The Minutes of the previous Technical Committee Meeting (March 2008, IAEA Vienna), published as INDC-(NDS)-0556, were accepted without amendment. All actions had been completed, except for Actions 3 and 4, and would be addressed at appropriate points in the meeting Agenda. Action 3, relating to the establishment of specific targets and timescales, had proven challenging for some Members and would be further addressed through this meeting. Some responses to Action 4, relating to the specific future contributions of Member States, were also outstanding. The Chairman expressed again the need for a full commitment on the part of participating Members.

 

Presentation on the Status of the Project

The Chairman made a short presentation on the status of the project, highlighting the issues facing the committee as he now saw them. A clear separation of the activity from GIF activities had been demonstrated. This project essentially addressed existing information whereas GIF activities related to data arising from new investigations, and there was no duplication. This explanation had satisfied those members who worked also within the GIF framework. Mr. Windes remarked that data arising through GIF projects could certainly be released to the project in the longer term, although it was a condition of GIF agreements that it should be made available first to GIF members only through a separate database established for the purpose at ORNL. All present appeared happy with this position.

The ‘Phase 2 Mission Statement’, appearing as an Annex to the previous Minutes, was reviewed and deemed acceptable to all. This now therefore becomes the formal ‘Knowledge-Base Mission Statement’ and is re-printed here as Appendix 1. It was agreed that the Project would henceforth be identified as the IAEA International Knowledge Base on Irradiated Nuclear Graphite Properties, within which the existing Database, constantly under review, would be a major feature.

In completion of Phase 1, the Chairman recorded that with the assistance of Mr. Haag, the ‘final’ DVD had been issued to Members and Sponsors. With much improved internet security, he invited Members to contemplate future access to the Database through the Knowledge-Base ‘parent page’, allowing the Database to be a constant ‘live’ and ‘up-to-date’ version. Mr. Ralph would amplify this point subsequently.

 

QA Grading of New Entries on 2009 DVD

The Chairman presented the proposed QA gradings to the meeting, drawing attention to the hyperlinking now introduced between Data Strings and the relevant explanation of them. As not everyone present had taken the opportunity to check these proposals, the Chairman reminded the meeting of the collective responsibility for their accuracy and proposed that they would be adopted nem con unless adverse comments were received within two months of the meeting.

Action 3: All Members to review the proposed Data Strings on recent data on the 2009 DVD and to notify any disagreement to the Chairman by the end of January 2010.

The Chairman also drew attention to an outstanding issue with the Japanese data which had now been re-inserted into the Database. Without a linked copy of the source report(s), it was impossible to apply any QA grading to these data. Mr. Wickham requested Mr. Eto to convey to JAEA the need both to provide a copy of the relevant report(s) and also to propose QA gradings for this information.

Action 4: Mr. Eto to request the urgent cooperation of JAEA in providing both a copy of the so-called ‘Final Report’ from which a majority of Japanese data were taken, together with proposed QA data strings relevant to those data.

 

Irradiation-Creep Database to support the CRP

Mr. Haag provided a brief description of the specific Database that he was developing from the main Database in order to facilitate the work of the Collaborative Research Programme on Irradiation Creep in Nuclear Graphites recently established under the Division of Nuclear Energy.

 

Establishment of the Knowledge-Base Software

Mr. Wickham advised the meeting that the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (Nuclear Directorate) was generously sponsoring the installation of Knowledge-Base software in association with the IAEA webpage for the project: this page, becoming the ‘parent page’ for the Knowledge Base, would be held on a Nuclear Energy Division server after migration from the present site within Nuclear Data Section. He introduced Mr. Adler and Mr. Ralph from KorteQ Ltd, the company which had been commissioned by UK HSE to undertake this task. This company had been responsible for the installation within British Energy which had been shown to members at the previous meeting, and had been selected by competitive tender. Mr. Ralph then gave a comprehensive presentation of the proposals, for discussion and approval by the committee.

Presented with a list option or a graphics option for displaying the Knowledge-Base top-level content, the meeting unanimously preferred the graphic option, modelled on the British Energy installation which they had previously seen. It was agreed that the Database (Excel spreadsheet) would in future be accessed through the same ‘parent page’, with appropriate security provision if it continued to include Restricted Data. The Chairman commented that, with the exception of small amounts of Japanese data, only UK Magnox-reactor data now remained restricted, and he was taking steps to encourage a de-restriction with the Company.

Mr. Gladyshev explained that he was responsible for IT within the new section into which the project would be moving, and he was rapidly facilitating the necessary changes in the webpage and working closely with Mr. Ralph. One problem which had been identified was that the preferred platform, Microsoft SharePoint, was not supported by the IAEA, whilst their chosen alternative, ‘Open Text’, did not offer the full functionality required. After some further discussion, it was agreed to pursue the option of third-party hosting (as used in the British Energy site), which was acceptable to the Agency and which would be accessed automatically (and ‘invisibly’) by users of the ‘parent page’. The drawback of this decision is that it will incur an annual cost, although the sum involved is well covered by the existing offers of Sponsorship (voluntary contributions). Mr. Wickham explained that the UK was not willing to shoulder this on-going fee, and again stressed the need for all participating Member States to take an active role in either finding additional funding or conducting work within their own organisations, to keep the programme moving forward.

There was a lengthy discussion on the relative merits of the formal ‘Reports’ content and the ‘Wiki’ content, both of which would be moderated. The meeting generally favoured concentrating effort on the formal reports, but the dual facilities will be incorporated in the finished product.

Following a lengthy discussion, the meeting pronounced itself very satisfied with the KorteQ proposals, and looks forward to the installation being completed by 31st March 2010.

The meeting also developed a provisional top-level structure for the Knowledge Base (topic headings and sub-headings) in order to enable the installation to be completed. Mr. Ralph requested that three key users be nominated to prepare draft or ‘dummy’ material on a rapid timescale which could be placed within the Knowledge Base to test the system before it went fully ‘live’. Mr. Wickham and Mr. Haag agreed to contribute on ‘Radiation Induced Structural and Dimensional Changes’ and ‘Chemical Properties’ respectively, and Mr. Wickham suggested that the absent Mr. Vreeling should be invited to contribute similarly on ‘Test Reactor Experiments’ (a request to which he subsequently agreed).

Action 5: Messrs. Haag, Vreeling and Wickham to prepare simple ‘dummy’ material for the draft Knowledge Base installation and to forward this to Mr. Ralph as quickly as possible.

A graphical representation of the draft two levels of the Knowledge Base and a suggested Index of Knowledge Topics are attached as Appendix 2. (This structure is now superseded, and the adopted structure is self-evident to Knowledge-Baase users, so this interim structure is not included here). All Members are asked to review this and to offer any suggestions for additions or changes on an urgent basis.

Action 6: All Members to review the content of Appendix 2 on an urgent basis and to pass their comments and suggestions to the Chairman for forwarding to Mr. Ralph.

Members agreed in principal that provision of very specialised information (e.g. related to a specific reactor design or graphite type used only in one Member State) and that the relevant Member States would in due time provide such information, which they may prefer to do in the form of URL links to Knowledge Bases on their own servers. Provision for this would be included in the KorteQ ‘package’.

 

Other Elements of Phase 2

The Chairman reminded the meeting that it had been agreed in the previous meeting that work should continue on three other topics:

1.      Maintaining, developing and rationalising the existing numerical Database;

2.      Adding data on Matrix Material to the existing Database; and

3.      Acquiring data on Carbon Composites for a parallel Database.

On the last of these, there was a long discussion about the importance of the inclusion of SiC-containing composite materials as well as just carbon/carbon composites. Mr. Windes pointed out that including this information would be of considerable value for NGNP and the fusion programmes, and this was generally agreed. Mr. Eto commented that three companies were involved with JAEA upon production and irradiation of carbon-carbon composite materials, and that there was no obvious reason why this work could not be contributed.

Mr. Yu confirmed that China would offer graphite data. They were also making their own carbon wall material, and this kind of material should not be overlooked in the future. A large internal meeting was due to take place in China in mid-April 2010 which would determine the future shape of the graphite programme and related work.

Mr. Haag confirmed that data on matrix material was available from former KFA reports.

Mr. Odeychuk confirmed that, upon joining the project, his laboratory could contribute a quantity of irradiation data on their unique ‘GSP’ graphite formed from natural gas, and also on carbon-carbon composites and on SiC matrix material. He was concerned however that the accompanying reports would be in Russian, but indicated that there was a possibility to organise translations. It was pointed out that Russian is an official language of the Agency, and that reports in that language would be acceptable, although translation into English would be beneficial.

In response to a comment from the Chairman about the extremely useful Graftech electronic publication (‘Graphite Handbook’), Mr. Homerin replied that his Company may be willing to offer contributions to the Knowledge Base utilising the content of this publication.

The Chairman reminded the meeting that he had been unable to complete an Action from the previous meeting requiring the preparation of a detailed Work Breakdown Structure covering these items, because the anticipated offers of assistance and contributions from Member States’ representatives had not been forthcoming. He therefore intended to issue a formal message (by e-mail) requesting a clear statement from each participating Member State by the end of April 2010 on which areas of the work programme it would be willing to contribute, and in what manner (providing manpower or funding). This was agreed.

Action 7: The Chairman to request information from each participating Member State on the areas of the Work Programme in which it will contribute (both Knowledge-Base ‘population’ and other Phase-2 proposals, with a clear statement to be provided to him by the end of April 2010.

 

Revised ‘Working Arrangement’

It had been necessary to review and expand the original ‘Working Arrangement’ in order to accommodate the additional kinds of activity now envisaged, along with the changed arrangements for accessing the original Database electronically via the Knowledge-Base ‘parent page’. The document now defines the project as a ‘Knowledge Base’ which incorporates the original ‘Database’. This draft document required the approval of the meeting (given, after a thorough review and discussion), the IAEA IT representatives (agreed subsequently with only minor amendments) and the Division of Nuclear Energy, into which the project would move on 1st January 2010.

The version agreed by the meeting (and subsequently by Nuclear Energy Division’s IT representative, Mr. Gladyshev) is attached as Appendix 3. (Not included here since  the current version appeears in a separate section of the Open-Knowledge WiKi). The Division of Nuclear Energy is now invited to review this document formally and to signify agreement or to identify any necessary changes.

Action 8: IAEA Division of Nuclear Energy, through the project Scientific Secretary Mr. Tyobeka, to review the proposed ‘Working Arrangement’ which will define the management of the Knowledge-Base project.

 

INGSM (International Nuclear Graphite Specialists Meetings)

These meetings were initiated by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) but are not formal IAEA activities.

In the absence on the second day of the TSC of Mr. Windes (INGSM-10 organiser), the Chairman expressed thanks on behalf of the TSC for an excellent meeting hosted at West Yellowstone which had seen nearly 100 delegates present over 60 papers and posters. It was becoming clear that this meeting was gaining in popularity, and that more time was required at future meetings both for presentations and discussions. It was agreed that the experimental poster session could be a permanent feature of future meetings.

Mr. Wickham then reminded the meeting that it had already been agreed to host INGSM-11 in the United Kingdom, at the South Coast town of Eastbourne which was easily accessible from London Gatwick airport and present little travel difficulty for those arriving elsewhere such as London Heathrow. This meeting would commence on Sunday September 12th 2010 and would finish late in the day on Wednesday 15th September, with delegates being encouraged to plan their return travel for the following day and not to cut short the meeting. A conference banquet would be held at Leeds castle in Kent. Sponsorship is already available from nine organisations to support the meeting. The managing organisation, as for the previous UK meeting held at Plas Tan-Y-Bwlch, will be The British Carbon Group. A website for this meeting will be available from early 2010 at www.britishcarbon.org/ingsm.

Mr. Kim then offered a proposal for INGSM-12 in 2011, to be held from 5th – 7th September 2011 on Jeju Island, Republic of South Korea. Whilst this offer was enthusiastically accepted, concern was expressed that the reserved period was too short for a meeting which would probably see a large representation from Korea, Japan and China in addition to delegates from the west. Mr. Kim agreed to give this further consideration within KAERI, which would be the host.

 

Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next Technical Steering Committee meeting would take place at IAEA Vienna on 24th and 25th January 2011, in the same week as the next planned Research Coordination Meeting of the Irradiation-Creep CRP in which several representatives were also involved.

 

Closed Session (Administration)

The formal Membership convened a short session at the conclusion of the meeting to discuss the financial situation. A default of USD 10,000 in the expected income from 2007/2008 meant that completion of Phase 1 of the project had almost been compromised: Mr. Haag had however funded the work of his students on an interim basis but was now owed a larger sum than the funding currently available. Consequently he had not yet applied to the Agency for a contract to cover this work.

Separately, the TSC was embarking on an annual commitment to support the hosting of the SharePoint facility. It was agreed that the promised annual sponsorship income would easily cover this amount, and that this commitment would take precedence over other expenditure.

Under the terms of the (former) Working Arrangement, the tenure of the Chairman was due to come to an end in March 2010. Mr. Wickham suggested that the cycle should commence on 1st January 2010, coincident with the move to the Division of Nuclear Energy.

The Members present unanimously requested that Mr. Wickham continue as Chairman, subject to the approval of the Agency, and he accepted.

 


List of Actions

Action 1: Mr. Fazluddin to follow up the proposed Membership application from the Republic of South Africa.

Action 2: IAEA Division of Nuclear Energy (after 1st January 2010) to invite France and Russia, and possibly India, to become Members of the Knowledge Base: Chairman to draft suitable letters for Mr. Tyobeka.

Action 3: All Members to review the proposed Data Strings on recent data on the 2009 DVD and to notify any disagreement to the Chairman by the end of January 2010.

Action 4: Mr. Eto to request the urgent cooperation of JAEA in providing both a copy of the so-called ‘Final Report’ from which a majority of Japanese data were taken, together with proposed QA data strings relevant to those data.

Action 5: Messrs. Haag, Vreeling and Wickham to prepare simple ‘dummy’ material for the draft Knowledge Base installation and to forward this to Mr. Ralph as quickly as possible.

Action 6: All Members to review the content of Appendix 2 on an urgent basis and to pass their comments and suggestions to the Chairman for forwarding to Mr. Ralph.

Action 7: The Chairman to request information from each participating Member State on the areas of the Work Programme in which it will contribute (both Knowledge-Base ‘population’ and other Phase-2 proposals, with a clear statement to be provided to him by the end of April 2010.

Action 8: IAEA Division of Nuclear Energy, through the project Scientific Secretary Mr. Tyobeka, to review the proposed ‘Working Arrangement’ which will define the management of the Knowledge-Base project.


 

APPENDIX 1:            Knowledge-Base Mission Statement

 

OBJECTIVE

 

It is necessary to have a comprehensive knowledge of graphite behaviour in order to assess the integrity of components in graphite-moderated reactor design throughout the entire life cycle. The principal issue is the irradiation response of the material, and the existing IAEA TSC has presently compiled an extensive collection of historical data in this respect. The TSC is an appropriate international forum to evaluate the body of accumulated knowledge for the collective benefit of current and future users.

 

The TSC now proposes to generate and to maintain a Nuclear-Graphite Knowledge Base, building upon the IAEA International Database on Irradiated Nuclear Graphite Properties. The value of the present comprehensive Database, which will be maintained and updated, will thereby be greatly enhanced.

 

For the Knowledge Base:

 

·         to capture, organise and structure key knowledge from the Graphite Database and graphite specialists

·         to develop a single source of comprehensive information on the  ‘state-of-the-art’ of nuclear graphite for the benefit of present and successor generations by adding readily accessible ‘intelligence’ and background information to the basic data provided in the Database  

·         to evaluate  the relevant body of knowledge to support technical programmes (e.g. graphite irradiation creep CRP) utilising the best-available data and methods

For the Database:

 

·         to maintain and to improve the quality of the present input;

·         to incorporate additional historical data as it becomes available

 

This programme will concentrate on data already available, complementing any associated international programmes (e.g. Generation IV International Forum, EU FP7 CARBOWASTE etc.).

 

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

 

  1. Develop a structure for the Knowledge Base by defining the logistics best suited to assisting the needs of present and future users.
  2. Identify and prioritise technical areas for inclusion in the Knowledge Base.
  3. Provide commentaries upon technical areas relevant to ongoing and developing programmes, including specialist evaluation of historical data against current user requirements. The initial technical area for development will be graphite irradiation creep.
  4. Clarify elements of terminology within the Database, and review specific issues relating to fluence units: add additional as available
  5. Include information on HTR Fuel matrix material and upon carbon-based composites in the Database