Russia’s national atomic energy group Rosatom and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have concluded a Contribution Agreement, under which the group will help fund IAEA nuclear infrastructure development programmes, Rosatom announced on Tuesday. These programmes assist countries seeking to adopt nuclear power or expand existing nuclear power infrastructures.
The agreement is particularly meant to reinforce the IAEA’s facilitation of nuclear energy capacity building in these countries. Areas covered include development of national nuclear policies, the promotion of nuclear safety and the involvement of stakeholders in the various programmes.
The Russian group will provide $1.8-million in cash and the equivalent of 109.5-million roubles in kind to the abovementioned IAEA programmes, over the next three years. “This includes, in particular, nuclear training, development of the industry regulations, analysis of every safety facilities [sic] that is to be made under the auspice [sic] of the IAEA,” stated Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachev in his company’s press release.
The IAEA Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section, by means of its Technical Cooperation Programme, assists member countries which are seeking to adopt, or expand their use of, nuclear energy. The number of countries considering, planning or starting nuclear energy programmes currently stands at around 30.
To develop a nuclear power programme is a large-scale project which would take between ten and 15 years to implement. The IAEA can, through its “milestones” system, provide a guidance framework and checklists which give countries new to nuclear energy a clearer comprehension of what is involved in adopting nuclear power. Everything is covered, from establishing a regulatory system to building a nuclear power plant to decommissioning it, and managing of the nuclear waste.
“We ensure succession [sic] with the aim to boost joint projects, we keep on increasing financing,” stated Likhachev, after he signed the agreement. “Considering this, we take upon ourselves certain tasks while also determining these tasks for our cooperation with the IAEA. The point of the tasks is active work with newcomer countries, those that join the nuclear power club.”