Building a National Position on a New Nuclear Power Programme

IAEA Technical Meeting on Building a National Position on a New Nuclear Power Programme, IAEA,
24–26 June 2014. (Photo: M. Yagi/IAEA)

2014-07-03│Developing a strong and sustainable justification for a new nuclear power programme is central to ensuring its success. Last week, 33 experts from 25 IAEA Member States met in Vienna to discuss what constitutes a national decision for nuclear power and the importance of this process during the initial consideration of a new nuclear power programme.

They also discussed how countries develop and implement the institutions and policies needed to support the development of a new nuclear power programme, as well as the roles and responsibilities necessary to ensure continued governmental support.

Launching a nuclear power programme is a major undertaking that requires careful planning, preparation and investment. The development of a national policy on nuclear power, involves a broad range of stakeholders, including, politicians, policy makers, technical experts and the public.

“We recognize that decision making mechanisms may differ greatly in Member States,” said Matthew Van Sickle of the IAEA Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section and Scientific Secretary of the meeting. “But there are some common elements and processes that, when shared, can help countries in developing a national nuclear policy”.

As a result, the IAEA is developing a guidance document for governments seeking to establish a strong national position on the introduction of nuclear power. It will inform Member States about the process for establishing a national position as embarking countries prepare their national nuclear energy strategies. It should also help them build a sustainable position on nuclear energy with greater public acceptance in order to maintain the long-term commitment required by nuclear power. It is planned to issue the document in the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series by the end of the year.