Paris, 16 October 2008
An international array of some 250 dignitaries and government experts in the field of nuclear energy are gathering today in Paris to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). In the course of a special anniversary meeting, distinguished guest speakers and government ministers will present their countries' view on the use of nuclear energy and its future prospects as well as comment on the Agency's ongoing contribution to the safe and environmentally friendly use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
The NEA was conceived from the outset as a flexible tool of international co-operation, capable of adjusting to changes in the political, economic, social and energy contexts, and hence to the needs of its members. Its standing as a recognised actor on the intergovernmental nuclear energy co-operation scene reflects its success in fulfilling this mandate over the past five decades.
The NEA has been at the centre of a wide range of international joint projects and overseen the implementation of a number of international recommendations, conventions, and agreements. The Agency produces state-of-the-art reports, policy statements and “collective opinions” reflecting the views and recommendations reached among its member countries. A continuing objective of the NEA has been the framing of common understandings on national practices in such areas as reactor safety, protection against radiation, radioactive waste management, as well as nuclear law and regulatory applications.
The special anniversary meeting is chaired by Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, and Mr. Richard J.K. Stratford (United States), Chairman of the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy. Participants include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and ministers from several countries, chairmen of nuclear regulatory agencies and CEOs from major utilities and vendors.Additional information on the NEA's 50th anniversary celebration is available on the website: www.oecd-nea.org/general/history/50th.
NEA membership consists of 30 OECD countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co-operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The NEA also provides authoritative assessments and forges common understandings on key issues, as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD policy analyses in areas such as energy and sustainable development. The information, data and analyses it provides draw on one of the best international networks of technical experts.