Becoming a Knowledgeable Customer in a Nuclear Power Programme

Participants from 10 Member States are discussing aspects of becoming a knowledgeable customer.

2014-04-08│How future owners/operators of nuclear power plants can become 'knowledgeable customers' is the focus of an IAEA Technical Meeting, which opened at the ROSATOM Central Institute for Continuing Education and Training (CICE&T) in Obninsk, Russian Federation, yesterday.  

The meeting provides an opportunity for exchange of information among countries which are developing their nuclear power programmes as well as learning lessons from case studies and from existing nuclear power programmes. Participants from 10 IAEA Member States are attending the meeting: Belarus, China, Egypt, France, Jordan, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, UK, USA and Viet Nam.

After a policy decision has been taken to launch or expand a Member State's nuclear power programme, an appropriate organization, preferably the future owner/operator of the nuclear power plant (NPP), should be charged with the responsibility to realize the completion of the NPP project.

"During this process, it is important for the future owner/operator to become a 'knowledgeable customer,' especially when dealing with the 19 nuclear infrastructure issues outlined in the IAEA Milestones Approach," said Benoît Lepouzé from the IAEA's Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section and Scientific Secretary of the meeting. "Knowledgeable customers know what to ask for, how to ask for it, and know that they received what they asked for."

The concept of a 'knowledgeable customer' was first presented at a workshop in Paris in 2012. The Technical Meeting in Obninsk will further develop the concept, based on feedback from Member States, and cover detailed and practical steps that should be taken by an organization. This includes main features of a knowledgeable customer; clarifying roles and responsibilities of owner, operator, vendor, advisor, owner engineer, etc.; being a knowledgeable customer under different ownership and contracting options; how to develop the capability to become a knowledgeable customer; case studies and strategic partnerships; and expectations and key attributes of a knowledgeable customer, including legal aspects.

The meeting schedule also includes a technical visit to the Novovoronezh NPP, which has both operating units and units under construction.

The Technical Meeting on Becoming a Knowledgeable Customer for a Nuclear Power Programme is held from 7 to 11 April 2014 at Obninsk and Novovoronezh, Russian Federation. It is hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation through the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM.