Experts from 15 countries have joined to form the newly constituted International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) to provide authoritative advice and guidance on safety approaches, policies and principles at nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities. Dr. Richard Meserve, Chairman of the Group, announced the group's formation today at a press briefing in Vienna.
"The evolution of nuclear safety is increasingly international," said Dr. Meserve. "This newly formed group of experts will work to identify major safety issues and recommend ways and means to resolve them. We will be serving the IAEA, the nuclear community, and the public." Dr. Meserve, from the United States, is the former head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and presently President of the Carnegie Institution. He said the group includes experts with high professional competence in fields of safety working in regulatory organizations, research and academic institutions, and the nuclear industry. They are drawn from 15 countries, as well as the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The IAEA will serve as the group's secretariat, under the office of Ken Brockman, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Installation Safety.
INSAG's scope of work includes examining - and sharing experience and information about - fundamental safety issues, and current and emerging important matters relevant to the safety of nuclear power plants, research reactors, and other nuclear fuel cycle facilities. Issues of nuclear security will be addressed insofar as they relate to safety at these installations.
The group - which was newly formed at the request of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei - held its inaugural meeting at the IAEA in late October 2003, and held additional meetings this week. Meetings are planned twice a year, with the next scheduled in Vienna this November. Members of the group are from Canada, France, Finland, Russian Federation, Spain, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Japan, Hungary, India, China, and the NEA/OECD.