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IAEA and UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory to Cooperate on Sustainability of Nuclear Power


Robots at the National Nuclear Laboratory's facility in Workington, Cumbria, UK. (Photo: NNL)

The IAEA and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) of the United Kingdom have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in support of a sustainable future for nuclear power, including activities on existing and emerging nuclear reactor technologies as well as decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

The two organizations have signed a Practical Arrangement, building on a long-standing relationship that already included tangible outcomes, such as the NNL’s contribution to the planning and implementation of the IAEA 2019 International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power.

“The Practical Arrangement will be of particular value for those countries currently relying on nuclear power or that foresee a role for nuclear power in sustainable energy systems of the future,” said Dohee Hahn, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power. “I look forward to more results still to come.”

The agreement identified several activities in which cooperation may be pursued, including:

  • Increasing the efficiency of operating nuclear power plants;
  • Good practices in stakeholder involvement;
  • Good practices in innovation for existing and future nuclear power reactor designs;
  • Advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors and innovative nuclear energy systems;
  • Decommissioning and radioactive waste management and disposal.

“It’s great to see this successful relationship being broadened and strengthened in this way, and this in turn represents an exciting opportunity for NNL and IAEA to work together to jointly tackle some of the greatest challenges facing all aspects of our sector,” said James Murphy, NNL’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Only through important collaborations of this kind will we ensure nuclear can continue to play its vital role in the global low carbon economy.”

Together with other organizations, the IAEA and NNL last year cooperated in organizing the Global Forum on Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy. Held in Gyeojong, Republic of Korea, the event resulted in a 'Call to Action' for accelerating innovative solutions to sustain and advance the current operational fleet of nuclear power plants around the world.

The next edition of the Global Nuclear Innovation Forum, jointly organized by the IAEA, NNL, the US Electric Power Research Institute, Electricite de France and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is scheduled to be held in London, UK, in late 2020.

Only through important collaborations of this kind will we ensure nuclear can continue to play its vital role in the global low carbon economy.”
James Murphy, Chief Strategy Officer, National Nuclear Laboratory, UK

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