Clear Progress in Nuclear Safety Worldwide: Review Meeting of International Convention Concludes

2002/07

"Significant progress has been observed in a number of key areas, such as strengthened legislation, regulatory independence, the availability of financial resources, enhanced emergency preparedness and safety improvements at nuclear power plants built to earlier standards," said Mr. Miroslav Gregoric, President of the Review Meeting (center, in photo). "Most importantly, the commitment of states to all aspects of nuclear safety is higher than ever. There is a real dedication to international information sharing, learning from the lessons of others and to constant vigilance and improvement, focusing more on human and organizational aspects and safety management - the key ingredients of nuclear safety culture."

The objective of the Convention is to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety worldwide. During the two week Review Meeting, parties engaged in a "peer review" process in which the National Reports from individual States were collectively examined and discussed, with written replies provided to all the questions raised. Clear improvement was noted in the quality of the National Reports, the number of questions and the openness and quality of discussion and answers.

"We also identified certain trends which require our special attention, particularly with regard to safety management and safety culture, plant aging, and upgrading and effectiveness of regulatory practices, as well as maintaining competence and knowledge in the industry, regulatory bodies and research institutions," said Mr. Gregoric.

The Contracting Parties praised the IAEA's various safety review missions and services, which they use widely to help enhance the effectiveness of their national safety arrangements.

Forty-six contracting parties participated at the Review Meeting with over 400 delegates attending, including many heads and senior officers from regulatory bodies and experts from industry. To date, the Convention has been signed by sixty-five States and ratified by fifty-four, representing 428 of the 448 nuclear power reactors worldwide.

A summary report of the meeting will be issued separately. For background information on the Convention, see /ns/nusafe/safeconv.htm

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