The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organized its first forum with representatives of entities dealing with the industrial aspects of nuclear energy in Vienna, January 25-26, 2000.
Some 35 participants from 20 such groups with broad geographical distribution participated in the discussions, attended by senior staff of the Agency's secretariat.
A special guest speaker was Dr. Shirley Jackson, formerly Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and currently President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Moderator was Mr. Joe F. Colvin, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C.
Among the issues debated were Innovative Technical Developments, Safety and Regulation, Economic Competitiveness and Back-end of the Fuel Cycle.
The meeting was designed to canvas views of trends in the nuclear and regulatory fields against the background of changing economic and decision-making processes. It reflects the IAEA - desire to reach out more actively to a range of interlocutors including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.
The IAEA Director General, Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei, who participated in the forum, said the privatization and deregulation of nuclear technologies and the enhanced role of civil society in the decision making process has had, and would continue to have, an important effect on the future of nuclear activities. In this context, the Agency had increased its effort to reach out to all relevant players in the nuclear field - not least representatives from the private sector -- with a view to working together to enable Governments to make more informed choices about nuclear activities. Against this background he looked forward to sharing the insights gained from the Forum with the Agency's Member States.