NEA Mandates and Structures

Technical Review Group for the International Criticality Safety Benchmarks Evaluation Project

Chair(s): John BESS, United States
Secretary:  Ian HILL
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
Date of creation:30 September 2000
End of mandate:30 June 2019

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extract from document NEA/NSC/WPNCS/DOC(2018)1



Under the direction of the Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety (WPNCS) the Technical Review Group will coordinate the programme of the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP) and the development of the ICSBEP handbook and database. These comprise an evaluated set of benchmark specifications derived from experiments performed at various nuclear critical facilities around the world. The benchmark specifications are intended for use by criticality safety engineers to validate calculational techniques used to establish minimum subcritical margins for safe operations with fissile material.

The Technical Review Group will also develop a database tool (DICE) to facilitate user access to the ICSBEP benchmarks.


To provide the nuclear industry with an evaluated set of benchmark specifications by collecting criticality experiment data from the nuclear criticality laboratories, world-wide. More specifically the objectives are as follows:

The Expert Group will closely coordinate its work with other NSC groups developing databases of integral experiments. In particular there will be close links with the Working Party on Scientific Issues of Reactor Systems (WPRS) Expert Group on Reactor Physics and Advanced Nuclear Systems (WPRS-EGRPANS). This group is responsible for coordinating the development of the International Reactor Physics Experiments (IRPhE) database.

A key element of the evaluation process is a rigorous analysis of the uncertainties, including quantification of correlations between experiments. There will be strong linkage between the ICSBEP Technical Review Group and the WPNCS Expert Group on Uncertainty Analysis for Criticality Safety Assessment (EGUACSA).