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Nuclear for Newcomers

Workshop Looks at Managing Development of National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power

Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant, Czech Republic

Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant, Czech Republic. (Photo: IAEA)

More than 60 countries are examining how to include nuclear power into their energy plans. During a meeting of approximately 100 representatives from 47 countries opening today in Vienna, Austria, some of the 60 countries will explain just how they plan to accomplish this.

The workshop includes representatives from almost 35 Member States which are considering or already launching a nuclear power programme. Six of the major vendor countries - Canada, France, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the USA - are also in attendance.

Participants are also set to discuss ways to integrate security and safeguards considerations into the design and planning for nuclear power.

No Mean Feat

Building a national nuclear power infrastructure is complex, requiring more than 10 years of planning.

"When we talk about infrastructure for a nuclear power programme we mean a system that provides legal, regulatory, technological, human and industrial support to ensure the effectiveness of the nuclear power programme and ensure that obligations for safety, security and safeguards are met," says Yury Sokolov, the IAEA´s Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy.

This is the fourth workshop since 2006 which has been organized by the IAEA to provide a platform for sharing experiences and lessons learned; and identify the main infrastructure issues that will need to be considered in the introduction of nuclear power.

"It is the IAEA´s role to offer assistance to newcomer countries, and identify what we all have to do to ensure a beneficial, responsible and sustainable use of nuclear power," says Jong Kyun Park, Director of the IAEA´s Division of Nuclear Power.

Key Issues

Fora such as this one provide the opportunity for newcomer countries to articulate their needs, and for the IAEA and the nuclear power plant vendor community to listen and conceptualise ways to meet those needs.

National strategies for the development of infrastructure and challenges and opportunities linked to such a development will be discussed. Also, participants will explore the expectations for spin-offs of the nuclear power programme for a country´s socio-economical development.

Another key subject to be addressed during this meeting is the national strategies for human resources development; this prior to the International Conference on Human Resources Development for Introducing and Expanding Nuclear Power Programs, which is organized by the IAEA and will be held in Abu Dhabi from 14 to 18 March 2010.

The Topical Issues on Infrastructure Development Managing the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power Workshop is being held in Vienna, Austria from 9 to 12 February 2010.

Background

Recognizing the right of each country to use nuclear technology, as well as its duty to do it right, the IAEA will continue to guarantee its independent and objective assessment and support to newcomers.

The IAEA therefore intends to improve the services offered to Member States considering or launching nuclear power programs. This additional support, which will be presented during this workshop, will be based on the needs of newcomer countries.

See Story Resources for more information.

By Giovanni Verlini, IAEA Division of Public Information