• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

IAEA and European Commission Expand Cooperation on Nuclear Safety, including on Innovative Reactors and Small Modular Reactor Technology


Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director General together with Kadri Simpson, Commissioner for Energy, European Union, signs the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the European at the IAEA 66th General Conference held at the Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria. 27 September 2022. (Photo: D. Calma / IAEA)

The IAEA and the European Union (EU) today agreed to broaden the scope of their longstanding cooperation in the area of nuclear safety. The Memorandum of Understanding between the IAEA and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) which was signed today on the margins of the 66th IAEA General Conference by the IAEA Director General, Mr Rafael Mariano Grossi, and the European Commissioner for Energy, Ms Kadri Simson, builds on a decade of successful cooperation in the field of nuclear safety.

“This MoU is a fantastic opportunity to expand our long-standing cooperation with the European Union in the field of nuclear safety. I welcome the fact that the MoU covers new areas of cooperation between our two organizations, particularly in relation to innovative reactors and SMR technology,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

Financial and political support from the EU has been instrumental in enabling the IAEA to implement its nuclear safety mandate. Over the years the EU has helped the IAEA deliver many projects around the world addressing its Member States’ development needs in areas such as establishing and reinforcing the competence of nuclear and radiation safety authorities, safe management of radioactive waste, support to and cooperation with regulatory authorities with regard to training services, safety reviews and assessments and emergency preparedness and response exercises, providing support with environmental remediation and assessment, and the development and application of the IAEA Safety Standards.

The EU also continues to support the IAEA’s peer review services, particularly the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) and the Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS). These review services have enabled EU Member States to comply with their obligations under the EU Nuclear Safety and Waste Directives. At a meeting in March 2022, EU officials noted that all EU Member States have now received an initial IRRS peer review mission.

The partnership agreement will also allow the IAEA to continue, with EU support, to assist countries to maintain and further develop expertise and competence in the field of nuclear safety, including strengthening the capacity of regulators and TSOs of embarking countries in reviewing site safety documents and external events design of new nuclear installations; enhancing countries’ understanding of the seismic  performance of structure systems and components installed in nuclear installations; and addressing African Member States’ needs for building national competence in radiation safety, in line with IAEA safety standards.

Countries in the Mediterranean that are not EU Member States have received IAEA’s support, through EU funding, to strengthen their coastal emergency preparedness and response arrangements in case of radiological emergencies as well as the full control of radioactive sources during and after their operations, under what is known as the “cradle to grave” approach. In the same vein, in Central Asia, the IAEA has provided expert advice in environmental remediation to countries affected by the legacy of uranium mining.

Through EU co-funding, the IAEA has also successfully implemented the International School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety. Courses were held in France, Mexico, India, Turkey, Brazil, Pakistan, Morocco and Japan, training future leaders in nuclear safety throughout the world.

Last update: 28 Sep 2022

Stay in touch