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Building a National Position for a Nuclear Power Programme

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Building a National Position for a New Nuclear Power Programme (IAEA NE Series NG-T-3.14).

National position is the first infrastructure issue identified in the IAEA Milestones approach and represents the government support necessary to embark on a nuclear power programme. A new IAEA publication provides further information on the definition and process for establishing a national position for a new nuclear power programme.

Establishing a nuclear power programme requires large amounts of preparation, planning, and strong national support. The ’Building a National Positions for Nuclear Power Programme’ publication provides the essentials for establishing a national position for either the introduction or re-establishment of a nuclear power programme.

"Embarking on a nuclear power programme is the sovereign decision of each country and requires long term commitment," said Milko Kovachev, Head of the IAEA Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section. "Developing a well justified and informed national position will allow Member States to put in place the necessary framework for building a safe and sustainable nuclear power programme."

Given the many differences between a nuclear power plant and a conventional power plant, a Member State should be prepared to answer key questions related to the development of a nuclear power programme, such as public concerns about safety, and spent fuel and radioactive waste management. If the State decides to proceed with the introduction of nuclear power, it should also be prepared to communicate this national decision in a clear and transparent manner.

Drawing from several Member States' experience in developing national positons for nuclear power programmes, this publication outlines the steps of this process and includes guidance on the roles of the key institutions and the technical studies that are needed to inform the government so it can make a knowledgeable decision on introducing nuclear power.

National position is frequently cited as one of the most challenging issues for States embarking on nuclear power programme during Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review Missions, as it requires coordination across a number of institutions and long-term government attention.

Building a National Position for a New Nuclear Power Programme is published in the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series, No. NG-T-3.14. It supports the IAEA Milestones Approach and is a resource for political decision makers, energy experts, and other relevant stakeholders as Member States prepare their national nuclear policies.

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