High Interest in GC Side Event on INIR Missions

INIR Side Event on 18 September 2013.
(Photo: D. Simittchieva/IAEA)

2013-09-19│ A side event to the IAEA General Conference, organized by the Department of Nuclear Energy on Wednesday, highlighted five years of experience with Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Missions and Agency assistance. Over 80 GC participants attended the event, representing 25 Member States including newcomers and operating countries, vendors, regulators, operators, technical support organisations and media.

INIR Missions have become a good and useful service for helping IAEA Member States assess the status of their national infrastructure when introducing or expanding nuclear power. Eleven INIR Missions in 9 Member States have been carried out so far, and several more, to Turkey, Nigeria, Morocco and Jordan, are planned for this and next year. During an INIR Mission, an international expert team reviews all 19 nuclear infrastructure issues of the Agency’s Milestones approach.

Belarus, Poland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam as embarking countries, and South Africa, as a country that is already generating nuclear power, shared their views on how they used the results of this peer review service in developing national nuclear infrastructure.

The event was chaired by Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the IAEA. Member State panellists also included Mr Alexei Raiman, Senior Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belarus; Mr Zbigniew Kubacki, Director, Nuclear Energy Department, Ministry of Economy, Poland; Ms Ditebogo Kgomo, Chief Director, Energy Department, South Africa; and Mr Hoang Anh Tuan, Executive Director General, Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency.

"The Agency's support to Member States developing or expanding a national nuclear power programme remains a high priority," said Mr Alexander Bychkov, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, in opening the event. "We commend all countries that have hosted an INIR Mission for their cooperation, openness and transparency."

Each panellist discussed the value of the INIR Mission, specifically noting how the self-evaluation process brought together various organizations within the country in a constructive manner to prepare for the Mission.  Panellists pointed out how the INIR Missions have helped identify gaps, while also highlighting good practices.  They also stressed the importance of the Integrated Work Plan as an effective mechanism for coordinating cooperation with the IAEA. 

South Africa noted that the INIR report has been an important independent review and has identified areas for further engagement with the IAEA. Also, the INIR Mission helped foster teamwork and created an integrated platform for increased coordination within the country. 

Mr JK Park, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power, who served as team leader for most of the INIR Missions, then provided an overview of the Milestones approach and past INIR Missions, and discussed common challenges observed during INIR Missions.

These included: 1) the legal framework and effective independence of the regulatory body; 2) coordination between the regulatory body and the promotional body; 3) project management and management systems; 4) human resource development; and 5) how the infrastructure for the nuclear power programme tended to evolve at a slower pace than the nuclear power plant project. 

Ms Anne Starz, Head of the IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Group, concluded the event by providing an update on the INIR Mission for Phase 3 of the Milestones Approach.  This Mission will draw on past INIR Reports, as well as various other IAEA Review Missions, to provide a comprehensive review of the nuclear infrastructure in Phase 3 of the Milestones Approach, i.e. activities to implement a first nuclear power plant.

Related Resources

Opening Address by Mr Alexander Bychkov, Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy


South Africa: Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR),  Ditebogo Kgomo, Chief Director, Energy Department
Belarus: INIR and NESA, Alexei Raiman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vietnam: Vietnam’s Experience with INIR Missions, Hoang Anh Tuan, Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency
Poland: INIR and IRRS Missions, Zbigniew Kubacki, Nuclear Energy Department, Ministry of Economy
IAEA: Five Years of INIR Experience, Jong Kyun Park, Director, Division of Nuclear Power
  INIR Phase 3, Anne Starz, Head, Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Group, Division of Nuclear Power