IAEA exhorts nuke energy countries to ensure safety
Vienna (Austria) [World] May 31 (ANI): The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has exhorted the countries with nuclear energy capabilities to ensure nuclear safety to avoid Fukushima like accidents.
Greg Rzentkowski, IAEA Director of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, told fourth international meeting on the Application of the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors that "each State is responsible to ensure nuclear safety".
"The key factor for the safety of research reactors is national commitment to apply the Code of Conduct and IAEA safety standards," he highlighted, adding that international cooperation and exchange of information, such as that fostered by the meeting, were also vital.
Even so, challenges remain, said Amgad Shokr, Head of the IAEA Research Reactors Safety Section: "More work is required in establishing and maintaining a strong culture for safety, and in implementing safety upgrades identified in the analysis of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident."
Experts from 40 Member States participated in one-week meeting here.
Research reactors are small in size compared to nuclear power plants. For more than 60 years, these reactors have been centres of innovation and productivity for nuclear science and technology programmes around the world. They are used for education and training, to produce medical and industrial radioisotopes, to test material, and to improve agriculture and more. They also contribute to building expertise to support national nuclear power programmes.
The member states called on the IAEA to continue supporting the application of the Code, which was adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors in 2004.
Meeting Chairman Alexander Adams Jr., Chief of the Research and Test Reactors Licensing Branch at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the Code's guidance was widely implemented by the some 55 countries that operate research reactors.
Participants discussed their experience in establishing regulatory inspection programmes and periodic safety reviews similar to those conducted at nuclear power plants. They also shared experiences of implementing operational radiation protection programmes and emergency plans.
The next meeting on the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors is planned for 2020. (ANI)