About 100 nuclear policymakers and senior managers met at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, 11-14 February, to discuss nuclear power infrastructure development, with a particular focus on countries starting nuclear programmes and their specific needs.
The four-day Technical Meeting on Topical Issues of Infrastructure Development: Nuclear Power Project Development in Emerging Nuclear Power States served as a forum for sharing experiences especially regarding the management of nuclear power projects.
"The Agency is committed to supporting Member States with both existing and new nuclear power programmes," said Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, in his opening speech on 11 February 2013. "We offer a set of integrated services."
"The Agency has been focused on helping new owner-operators become knowledgeable customers. This is important since these organizations will have the primary responsibility for safety," he added. "Interesting themes have emerged about the partnership that forms between the vendor and the new owner. An effective cooperation between the regulatory bodies is equally important."
Participants discussed siting, feasibility studies, licensing, contracting, construction and stakeholder involvement. The meeting was also aimed at supporting the development of knowledgeable owner-operator organizations, as well as independent, competent regulatory bodies. Many of the sessions addressed the needs of countries introducing nuclear power in this particular area, as they move into Phase 2 of the Agency's Milestones approach, which ends with inviting bids for the first nuclear power plant.
In addition, experiences with using IAEA review services such as the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS), Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV), International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS), International State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material Advisory Service (ISSAS) were shared.
The Technical Meeting also covered nuclear safety. Participants examined case studies, good practices and lessons learned during the process of implementing a nuclear power programme, and heard panel discussions on future trends.
Attendees, mostly from countries preparing to build their first nuclear power plants, were policymakers and senior managers engaged in the implementation of national nuclear power programmes and projects, senior managers developing national strategies, future owner/operator organizations and nuclear regulators.
Since 2006, the IAEA has organized an annual Technical Meeting (TM) on Topical Issues of Infrastructure Development aimed at providing a platform for exchanging best practices in developing the required infrastructure and identifying the main issues that need to be considered when introducing nuclear power.
Previous meetings focused on knowledgeable decision-making and awareness building, infrastructure development and the implications of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.