Jun 08, 2011
International summit urges stronger nuclear agencies and safety cooperationBack
© Reuse this
The meeting, an initiative of French President Nicholas Sarkozy and co-organised by the French presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) countries and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), was attended by representatives of 33 countries, members of the G8 and/or the OECD.
“It appears necessary to reinforce the global role and missions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and in particular the review mechanisms (of the national safety frameworks, of the nuclear facilities) for which it is responsible,” stated the co-chairpersons of the meeting, French Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and NEA director general Luis Echávarri in a release to the media, summing up the conclusions of the participants.
“It is also necessary to reinforce the safety activities of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, working towards greater harmonisation of safety practices,” they added.
Most of the participants agreed that all countries with nuclear facilities should subject them to safety audits or stress tests, which would be based on the preliminary feedback from the Fukushima accident. The aim is to assess their safety and test their ability to handle major incidents.
It was also agreed that it was important for all countries to carry out periodic safety reviews of their nuclear facilities, at each stage of operation, and incorporating all elements of the facility, to ensure that they are functioning properly.
Koscuisko-Morizet asked the IAEA to both look again at its safety standards, taking into consideration the Fukushima accident, and make certain they were correctly implemented.
Furthermore, the G8 requested that the IAEA reconsider its standards for the building and operation of nuclear power plants in seismic zones and take into consideration the effects of climatological events.
In addition, the participating countries gave attention to improving international cooperation in responding to nuclear accidents and incidents, such as creating emergency intervention teams and setting up shared safety and assistance systems.
Crisis management training should be international, to bring together the greatest possible experience, and crisis management procedures should be harmonised, at least at a regional level. It was also suggested that the relevant international conventions be modified.
“We cannot continue to think the way we did before Fukushima,” affirmed Kosciusko-Morizet.
“What we have learned from this disaster, and what we must remember, is that one accident at a nuclear power plant is enough to create grave and irreversible consequences for man and the environment. It is essential to improve cooperation on nuclear safety in the civil sector, on the international level, as it is not yet at the best possible level.”
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The World Bank, the European Union, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Sweden have agreed to provide Zimbabwe and Zambia with $294-million for the repair of structural deformations on the Kariba dam wall and avert the possible collapse of the...
Executive chairperson of the Global Electricity Initiative (GEI) Philippe Joubert says energy utilities globally, together with the business community more generally, have come to terms with the science of climate change, particularly as extreme weather events begin...
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund reported distribution growth per participatory interest (PI) of 9% for the six months ended December 31, 2014.
Sub-Saharan Africa is still faced with the challenge of providing citizens access to electricity and an additional $450-billion will need to be invested to ensure that people in urban areas have access to electricity by 2040.
Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) last month said it was dismayed that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was seconding 35 Cuban engineers on a two-year contract to share their expertise with South African engineers in the water sector.