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Image: Parliamentary Vice-Minister Mr Mamoru Fukuyama visits the NEA to discuss nuclear safety issues arising from the Fukushima Daiichi experiencParliamentary Vice-Minister Mr Mamoru Fukuyama visits the NEA to discuss nuclear safety issues arising from the Fukushima Daiichi experience
On 5 May 2015, Mr Mamoru Fukuyama, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office and of the Environment, Japan, and representatives from Japan's Cabinet Office met with Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV, and staff to discuss nuclear safety issues. Mr Magwood presented the Agency's activities in follow-up to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. NEA Acting Deputy Director‑General and Chief Nuclear Officer, Mr Kazuo Shimomura, provided further details on NEA activities in the emergency and recovery management areas, as well as on lessons learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, before participants exchanged views on international efforts to strengthen nuclear regulation, safety, research and radiological protection in the post-Fukushima context. In this respect, Mr Fukuyama announced that Japan will participate in the NEA's forthcoming International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX-5), which the NEA welcomed. Mr Magwood further noted that the international nuclear community had a responsibility to the people of Fukushima to learn from the events of 11 March 2011 and to support Japan's efforts to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Image: Steering Committee Policy Debate: Health Effects of Low-dose RadiationSteering Committee Policy Debate: Health Effects of Low‑dose Radiation
Health effects of low-dose radiation was the topic of the policy debate on 24 April 2015 at the 130th session of the NEA Steering Committee. Particularly since the Fukushima accident, there has been significant public and government interest concerning the radiological risks of low‑dose radiation. To address this, the NEA invited some of the world's top experts to the Steering Committee meeting to present the state of the art in radiological epidemiology studies (statistical studies of exposed and non-exposed groups to compare health statuses, e.g. the number of cancer cases, and thus to gauge risk), and radiation biology studies (studies of cellular, tissue and organism effects of exposure to ionizing radiation). In addition, a presentation on the international framework for radiological protection, as recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, described the framework in the context of its practical application. Finally, an industry representative provided an overview of the operational view of radiological protection issues. Discussions indicated that, while scientific uncertainty remains, there are small but statistically significant and biologically visible risks at doses of 50 to 100 mSv. The safety of workers and the public remains the first priority of industry and regulators, recognising that public concerns drive protection to be rather conservative in nature. Research continues in many venues to attempt to refine our understanding of the effect of low doses of ionizing radiation.

Stakeholder involvement in public communication by nuclear regulatory organisations
On 1 April 2015, the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA), in collaboration with the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), held a second workshop on public communication by nuclear regulatory organisations (NROs). Some 45 participants from 11 countries attended the workshop in Rockville, Maryland (USA), which was held under the auspices of the NEA Working Group on Public Communication of Nuclear Regulatory Organisations (WGPC). Participants included a wide range of North American stakeholders, including the media, communication experts, government officials, NGOs and industry representatives. Opening remarks were provided by the NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV, and Stephen G. Burns, Chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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New publications and reports

Nuclear Law Bulletin No. 94
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Review of Integral Experiments for Minor Actinide Management
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2015 Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy
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State-of-the-art Report on Innovative Fuels for Advanced Nuclear Systems
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Nuclear Energy Data 2014
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