IAEA-led International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) marked today its tenth anniversary with a ceremony held on the opening day of the IAEA´s annual General Conference. INPRO was established in 2000 to ensure that sustainable nuclear energy is available to meet the energy needs of the twenty-first century.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano led the celebrations for INPRO, thanking the 31 Member States participating to the project for their support.
"I wish to acknowledge the contributions of the Member States who have joined INPRO and to thank donor countries for their financial, human resource, and technical contributions," he said.
"Participation in INPRO´s collaborative activities offers Member States an opportunity to ´learn by doing´ as they investigate issues of sustainable nuclear energy deployment. This includes incorporating technical and institutional innovations into future nuclear energy systems."
Representatives from leading INPRO member states and partners expressed their support for the project. Sergey Kirienko, Director General, of Russia´s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), delivered a congratulatory message from Dimitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, in which he renewed his country´s support for INPRO.
"Russia is committed to take further steps and make significant contributions to the project development," read the message.
Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy at the US Department of Energy, stressed the importance of INPRO´s role in the future of nuclear power.
"As the world moves towards a clean, low-carbon future, nuclear power will play an increasing role in our energy mix," he said.
"We need to make sure nuclear energy is used in a safe, secure and responsible and sustainable way. INPRO is one part of achieving this goal."
Norma Boero, President of the National Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina (CNEA), said that Argentina is fully participating in the INPRO project.
"Argentina feels that INPRO plays and important role in understanding the future development of nuclear energy systems from a national, regional and global perspective," she stated.
Frederic Mondoloni, Governor of France to the IAEA Board of Governors, also expressed his country´s continuing support to the programme.
"France considers INPRO to be the right forum to enhance information exchanges and discussion between member states and to allow the transmission of knowledge on nuclear energy," he said.
Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, reminded the audience that India has been a member of INPRO since its inception.
"It´s been extremely beneficial for the Indian [nuclear] programme to be associated with INPRO," he said.
Shunsuke Kondo, Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), also renewed his country´s support for INPRO.
"Japan will continue to cooperate to the project," he said.
Yutaka Sagayama, Chairman of the Generation IV International Forum, spoke of the importance of cooperation between INPRO and the Forum for the development of next generation nuclear reactor systems.
During the ceremony, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, Yuri Sokolov, was recognised for his contribution to the development of INPRO.
"Under his leadership and guidance, INPRO has become a well-organised and successful multilateral project," said IAEA Director General Amano.
Mr. Sokolov has been INPRO project manager since 2003.