Establishing Networks for Countries Introducing Nuclear Power
(Photo: D. Simittchieva/IAEA)
2013-12-02│ In numerous technical meetings, Member States embarking on new nuclear programmes have expressed a need for greater networking opportunities. While each country may address each issue in a unique manner, many issues present common challenges to all 'newcomer' countries, and therefore create opportunities for sharing experiences and lessons learned.
The IAEA convened a technical meeting at the end of November 2013 to provide a platform for discussing networking opportunities for countries introducing new nuclear power programmes, as an important aspect of promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Experts from 20 Member States participated, representing both embarking countries and those with operating nuclear power plants.
"We cannot underestimate the value of networking, of bringing together people and ideas to discuss common problems and identify practical solutions," said Jong Kyun Park, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power. "The development of strong networks is essential to our goal of building safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programmes."
"Networks may also have a role in facilitating 'soft' coordination between newcomer countries and those countries providing support," said Anne Starz, who leads the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Group (INIG) in the Division of Nuclear Power. "Such a network will highlight opportunities for cooperation, and it may also help to avoid duplication of efforts."
While the IAEA has developed several networks to support the development of nuclear energy, many meeting participants noted the need to increase communication among Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organizations (NEPIOs). These national organizations are responsible for the initial planning and development of a new nuclear power programme in their countries.
As a result of the meeting, the IAEA will establish a user group on the social media platform 'LinkedIn' to help facilitate interaction among NEPIOs. It will provide an additional means and forum to disseminate useful information about existing resources and gather questions and resources from Member States that may serve as good examples.
"The participating experts agreed that this networking activity will support creating knowledgeable customers and promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," said Matthew Van Sickle from INIG, who served as Scientific Secretary of the meeting.
The Technical Meeting on Establishing Networks for Countries Introducing Nuclear Power, held at the IAEA on 27-28 November 2013, was supported by an extrabudgetary contribution from the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative.