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Statement at TM/Workshop on Evaluation Methodology for National Nuclear Infrastructure Development

Vienna, Austria

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to welcome you to this workshop on evaluation methodology for nuclear power infrastructure development. This is the third Agency workshop on the development of a national infrastructure for nuclear power. I would like to thank the co-sponsors of this workshop - the Governments of Canada, China, France, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America - for their continued support. I would also like to thank the Nuclear Power Engineering Section for its dedication and hard work to implement this workshop and other tasks in support of newcomers.

I am very pleased to see such wide and diverse participation. Growing interest in nuclear power, particularly among countries considering their first nuclear power plants, is confirmed by your attendance, as well as by the significant increase in TC projects on the introduction of nuclear power starting in 2009.

The evaluation methodology that is the main subject of this workshop is a component of building infrastructure for the implementation of cost-effective, safe and secure nuclear power programme. Here I include in word "secure" assurance of non-proliferation, and I would like to stress here the essential need of all these three elements, because absent any one of them a nuclear power programme cannot be successful and even should not be implemented.

The evaluation of the status of national nuclear infrastructure development is not meant to give a country a grade or mark on its infrastructure status, but rather it aims to provide a tool for effective planning. The IAEA evaluation approach can be used either by a Member State wishing to review its own progress (self-assessment) or as a basis for an external review through which a Member State wishes to reassure others that its nuclear programme is effective. The IAEA can, upon a request from the Member State, provide Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review missions, INIR, conducted by international experts. These INIR missions provide a means for countries to work with the IAEA in an open and transparent way to ensure they are taking a comprehensive and integrated approach to nuclear power as promoted in the Milestones document. National self-assessments supported by INIR missions will help Member States to identify gaps and areas that need increased attention, and will help the Agency to focus the assistance on the Member States needs.

Another theme of the workshop is the role of the Nuclear Energy Programme Implementing Organization (NEPIO), in studying the nuclear power option and coordinating planning among various stakeholders. The role of this organisation deserves special attention. The mentioned trinity of elements for the successful nuclear power programme has to be the guiding principle for the work of this organisation. The IAEA will be publishing a Nuclear Energy Series report on the responsibilities and capabilities of the NEPIO early in 2009.

There will also be presentations during this workshop on additional publications in preparation. They include a publication on responsibilities and capabilities of owner-operator organizations, the organisation carrying out the main responsibility and being the focus of efforts of other organisations in practical implementation of a successful nuclear power programme. Another publication on workforce planning will also be presented during the workshop.

I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight some events from the past year that may be of interest to you, especially the workshops on Vendor Responsibilities conducted in July, and on Technology Assessment conducted a couple of weeks ago. Summaries of these events are available on the website for this workshop. These events as well as documents being developed contribute to practical understanding of all issues of nuclear infrastructure described in the Milestone document.

I am pleased to note that other Departments of the IAEA are represented here today. You will hear from the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security regarding recent developments in support of newcomers in the safety area.

This workshop, as well as previous ones, provides an opportunity for experienced nuclear power countries to share their lessons learned with countries that are planning to introduce nuclear power. Among them, especially the Republic of Korea and Finland will share with us their experiences in the early stages of their nuclear power programmes. In addition, we are planning to hold a workshop in 2009 to further explore the mutual responsibilities and expectations of supplier and consumer countries of nuclear power technology.

The responsibility that experienced nuclear power countries feel toward newcomers also takes the form of government-to-government bilateral assistance or multilateral initiatives. This kind of transfer of experience contributes to capacity building. We will continue to look for ways to optimize means for providing this assistance. The IAEA encourages the establishment of methods to improve communication and coordination of on-going and planned bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes for newcomers.

Lastly, it is also very helpful for emerging nuclear power countries to share their experiences in introducing nuclear power with each other. I encourage you to participate fully and actively in the workshop, and to take advantage of the opportunities during the breaks to network and learn from each other. As we plan future infrastructure workshops, we will continue to create opportunities for you to talk about your programmes.

I hope you have a productive and successful workshop. I will now hand the meeting over to Mr. Bill Rasin, who we have asked back to serve as chairman this year, as he had in years past. Thank you.

Last update: 16 Feb 2018

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