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Opening Remarks at International Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety: Safety Demonstration of Advanced Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants

Vienna, Austria
Yukiya Amano

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

(As prepared for delivery) 

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Tiippana, Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to welcome you to the sixth IAEA International Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety: Safety Demonstration of Advanced Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants. This Conference is part of a series on nuclear safety which the IAEA has organized since 1998.

Nuclear installation safety is of global importance as nuclear accidents can have effects across borders. This makes licensing and supervision of nuclear power plants a concern not only for operating nations, but also for countries near and far.

This Conference provides a platform for discussions on issues such as safety assessment and licensing of advanced reactor designs, design safety principles, and safety reinforcement of existing installations.

Nuclear power plants are designed with the goal of minimising the likelihood of accidents and ensuring that – if an accident should occur – its consequences can be mitigated. A comprehensive safety assessment is essential to ensure the protection of workers, the public and the environment.

Over the coming days, you will consider the latest advances and challenges in demonstrating the safety of nuclear power plants that are expected to be licensed and built in the near future

There will be a particular focus on plants using water cooled reactors, including small and medium sized or modular reactors. Another important topic will be the implications of the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety for operating nuclear power plants.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nuclear power makes a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy security, while delivering energy in the growing quantities needed for development.

Global use of nuclear power continues to grow, despite the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011. At present, 30 countries are using nuclear power. About 30 others are considering building their first nuclear power plant, or have started doing so. Most of these possible newcomers are developing nations.

IAEA Safety Standards establish fundamental principles, requirements and recommendations for ensuring nuclear safety. They serve as a global reference for protecting people and the environment.

We have revised requirements on safety assessment and design safety, and a revision of associated safety guides is underway.

I encourage all countries to make full use of the many services offered by the IAEA in nuclear safety.

Our education and training programmes help to strengthen Member States’ capacities in nuclear safety, including in design safety.

We offer expert peer reviews on topics such as generic and plant-specific designs, national design requirements, safety assessments and periodic safety review programmes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to see so many participants here today.

We look forward to your insights and recommendations, which will help to shape our future work on nuclear installation safety.

I wish you every success with your discussions and I look forward to learning about the outcome.

Thank you.

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