Back to the 2023 AFCEN congress

Back to the 2023 AFCEN congress

The 7th edition of the AFCEN international congress took place in Paris, from March 29 to 30, 2023. It was attended by 250 participants from 80 different companies, its main topics were: "AFCEN and its stakeholders", and "International use of AFCEN codes, harmonisation initiatives in Europe".

The congress was organised in plenary sessions with stakeholders (manufacturers, safety authorities, major contractors) but also in subcommittee with technical presentations.

During the plenary session of the first day, the main messages from the stakeholders were:

  • The AFCEN codes allow a better control of industrial risks while securing compliance with nuclear regulations, such as those for nuclear pressure equipment.
  • Within the framework of a project, one of the key points is the stability of the technical referential, its good assimilation by the personnel, and the assurance that its application makes it possible to meet the regulatory requirements.
  • The AFCEN codes must propose methods that can be used in the design of new projects and in the re-evaluation of existing installations.
  • AFCEN's choice to rely on European industrial standards will strengthen the acceptance and deployment capacity of its codes outside of France.

During the afternoon of the first day, the Subcommittees presented the new editions and technical publications published in 2022 for five codes (RCC-M, RCC-MRx, RCC-C, RCC-E and RSE-M, whose 2022 editions are available on the AFCEN website), as well as technical subjects in development or in perspective for all the codes.

The second day focused on harmonisation initiatives in Europe and the Workshop 64:

  •  AFCEN supports the efforts of comparison between mechanical codes through its contributions to the SDO Convergence Board, WNA-CORDEL, and the IAEA NHSI initiative but also in other disciplines (Electricity Control, Civil Engineering, Fire).
  •  AFCEN encourages discussion forums such as CEN-WS64, to allow the use of AFCEN codes as a reference (for operators, manufacturers, and safety authorities), or even their adoption in European countries that decide to do so (considering the regulatory specificities of the country concerned, in dedicated annexes).
  • The vision and expectations of European stakeholders (industry, safety authorities) were expressed during round tables, and through the example of the Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C projects in England.
  • The development of the AFCEN codes in China and the development of Chinese nuclear standards were also discussed.

During the afternoon of the second day, the outcome of the Workshop 64 was presented and, in the electrical field, a round table discussion was held on the different approaches in several fields of industry (nuclear, rail, aeronautics) to guarantee the expected quality of equipment.

Laurent Thieffry, President of AFCEN, concluded at the end of these two days on the major concerns of AFCEN:

  • Code users: AFCEN will do its utmost to make available an accessible pedagogy in terms of training and support on code evolutions.
  • The satisfaction of the stakeholders: operators, projects, manufacturers, certification bodies, safety authorities
  • The objectives to be further considered by AFCEN Executive Board:
    • In the context of the life extension of the nuclear operating fleet: the provision of optimised solutions in the codes
    • SMR projects: AFCEN's ambition to support these numerous projects to make progress on the codification of new technologies, in support of the major challenges of the nuclear industry

 He called on all AFCEN members to participate in this dynamics.

AFCEN warmly thanks all the speakers of the plenary sessions as well as those of the various technical sessions: your contribution made this congress a success.

The whole AFCEN team also thanks all the participants who came to attend this 7th edition and looks forward to seeing you all at the next congress which will take place in March 2025: save the date!