Press release
Paris, 3 February 2000


NEA to organise an international workshop on the safety of nuclear fuel cycle facilities

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), in co-operation with the Japanese authorities, will organise an international workshop on the safety of nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The workshop will be held on 29-31 May 2000 in Tokyo at the invitation of the Science and Technology Agency and the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.

The main objective of the workshop is to provide a forum for discussing and exchanging information on the technical and regulatory issues relevant to the safety of nuclear fuel cycle installations. Discussions will focus on the three most significant areas identified, namely the safety and regulation of nuclear facilities; criticality safety; and emergency planning, preparedness and management issues.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for international experts to review and discuss with their Japanese colleagues the lessons learned from the criticality accident which took place at the JCO company in Tokai-mura on 30 September 1999, as well as incidents of a similar nature which have taken place in other countries. The possible need for additional international initiatives will be examined. It is hoped that this meeting will make an important contribution to further improving the safety of nuclear fuel cycle facilities world-wide.

The workshop is organised jointly by four NEA standing committees – specifically, those dealing with the technical and regulatory aspects of nuclear safety, with radiation protection and emergency planning, and with the scientific aspects of criticality.

A large number of experts from both national and international organisations are expected to attend. The European Union (EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are also expected to co-sponsor this workshop.

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