International Reactor Physics Experiment Evaluation Project (IRPhEP)
Since the beginning of the Nuclear Power Industry, numerous experiments concerned with nuclear energy and technology have been performed at different research laboratories, worldwide. These measurements required a large investment in terms of infrastructure, expertise and cost; however, many were performed without a high degree of attention to permanent archival of results for future use. The results and techniques developed from these measurements remain of great value today and in the future. They provide the basis for recording, development, and validation of methods, and represent a significant collection of data for present and future research. This valuable national asset is in jeopardy of being lost. If the data are compromised, it is unlikely that any of these measurements will be repeated in the future.
At present, there is an urgent need to preserve integral reactor physics experimental data including separate or special effects data for nuclear energy and technology applications and the knowledge and competence contained therein. The International Reactor Physics Evaluation Project (IRPhEP) was initiated as a pilot activity in 1999 by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Nuclear Science Committee (NSC). The project was endorsed as an official activity of the NSC in June of 2003. While coordination and administration of the IRPhEP takes place at an international level, each participating country is responsible for the administration, technical direction, and priorities of the project within their respective countries. The information and data included in this Handbook are available to OECD member countries, to all contributing countries and to others on a case by case basis.
Contributors to the International Reactor Physics Experiments Evaluation Project (IRPhEP) include: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Russian Federation, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Much of the work so far realized by the IRPhEP, in particular, the evaluation and review of selected benchmark experiments, was possible thanks to substantial funding provided by the Government of Japan. Other countries have contributed evaluations, reviews, and data at their own expense. Overall technical coordination of the IRPhEP is directly supported by the United States Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy with significant in-kind contributions from the parallel OECD NEA International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP), supported in the United States by the Department of Energy's Office of Facility Management and ES&H Support. United States participation on the IRPhEP is coordinated by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).