NEA Director-General opens the Northeast Asia Nuclear Safety Symposium
On 26 November 2014, the NEA Director-General opened the Northeast Asia Nuclear Safety Symposium (2nd TRM+) in Seoul, Korea. During his presentation, he stressed the importance of the human dimension in nuclear safety and finding mechanisms to implement safety culture concepts effectively in different national contexts. He noted that the NEA is in a very good position to help facilitate further nuclear safety discussions in the region, and assured participants of the NEA's support for that interaction. In closing, he recalled that "All problems have solutions, and working together we can overcome any challenge."
NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy elects next Chair
Mrs Marie‑Elise Hoedemakers, Senior Policy Advisor for International Nuclear Affairs at the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, has been elected as the next Chair of the NEA Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy, replacing Mr Richard Stratford of the US Department of State. Since 2011, she has been serving as a Vice‑Chair in the Steering Committee Bureau. Mrs Hoedemakers, who will become Chair on 1 January 2015, is the first woman to do so in the history of the Committee.
"I am very pleased with the Steering Committee decision and am looking forward to working with Mrs Hoedemakers," said NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV. "Her professional and personal qualities, combined with her extensive knowledge of NEA Steering Committee affairs, will be a great asset as we pursue future developments at the Agency."
Poland joins the NEA Data Bank
The NEA is pleased to announce that Poland has become the 25th country to join the NEA Data Bank, effective as of 24 October 2014. As Poland pursues the development of its nuclear power programme, access to the NEA Data Bank, an internationally recognised centre of reference for nuclear data tools and services, becomes increasingly important. NEA Director‑General Mr William D. Magwood, IV greatly welcomes Poland's membership, and notes that "this is another important step in Poland's efforts to build a robust infrastructure for the safe use of nuclear power in the future."
NEA Steering Committee Policy Debate on the Thorium Fuel Cycle
On 31 October 2014, the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy held a policy debate on the thorium fuel cycle to discuss whether the introduction of a thorium fuel cycle could become a practical option, as well as the technical challenges associated with the various approaches to the use of thorium fuel. Speakers included Mr Kevin Hesketh of the UK National Nuclear Laboratory, Dr Richard Didsbury of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Dr Frank Carré of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and Dr Victor Ignatiev of the Kurchatov Institute, Russian Federation. The NEA is in the final stages of publishing a report which will provide a clear, objective assessment of the thorium fuel cycle and its prospects.
Former NEA Director-General honoured with conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun
Mr. Luis E. Echávarri, former Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), was conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, an imperial decoration of Japan at a ceremony hosted by H.E. Ambassador Kazuo Kodama in Paris on 6 October 2014. The honour was awarded in recognition of the significant contributions Mr. Echávarri has made through his work at the NEA, promoting nuclear safety in Japan and mutual understanding between Japan and the international community.
Radioactive Waste Management and "Constructing Memory" for Future Generations
The nearly 200 participants at the International Conference and Debate on the Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory of Radioactive Waste across Generations have agreed that future generations should be provided with knowledge and understanding of the environmental heritage they inherit from the past. The conference was held on 15‑17 September 2014 in Verdun, France by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), with the support of the French National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ANDRA). It provided a forum for both specialists and stakeholders interested in records, knowledge and memory preservation in general, and radioactive waste management in particular, to exchange views and the latest information in the field. Press release
NEA's Stephen G. Burns nominated to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Mr. Stephen G. Burns, NEA Head of Legal Affairs and former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) General Counsel, has been nominated to become one of the five NRC Commissioners. The hearing before the full US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will take place on Tuesday, 9 September 2014 at 10:00 am EDT (GMT -4) in Washington D.C. Further details and the link to the live webcast are available here.
William D. Magwood, IV: New Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is pleased to announce that as of today, 1 September 2014, Mr. William D. Magwood, IV has taken up his duties as the new NEA Director-General. Mr. Magwood brings to the NEA extensive experience in both the regulatory and developmental aspects of nuclear energy, including at the international level. Since 2010, he had been serving as one of the five Commissioners appointed by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Press release
MOU Strengthens Co-operation between the OECD/NEA and the National Nuclear Safety Administration of China
A Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Regulation of Nuclear and Radiation Safety has been signed by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) of China, strengthening co-operation between both parties. Press release
OECD/NEA Director-General recognised by the Governments of Spain and Japan
Mr. Luis E. Echávarri, Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), has received official recognition from the Governments of Spain and Japan for his contributions to international service and co-operation in the field of nuclear energy. On 22 April 2014, the Government of Spain awarded him introduction into the Order of Isabella the Catholic. On 29 April 2014, the Government of Japan conferred the Order of the Rising Sun. Further details on the latter are available in the press releases issued by the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD and the NEA.
These awards have been bestowed on the eve of Mr. Echávarri's retirement from the NEA on 30 April 2014. Mr. William Magwood has been appointed as the next Director-General of the NEA. Pending his arrival on 1 September 2014, Dr. Thierry Dujardin will be Acting NEA Director-General.
Enhancing Global Nuclear Safety
Enhancing global nuclear safety was the focus of an international conference held on 8 April 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in co-operation with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan. High‑level experts from nuclear regulatory authorities in France, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States reviewed international developments in nuclear safety since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, as the international community works to strengthen nuclear safety at the global level. Press release
William D. Magwood to succeed Luis E. Echávarri as next Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)
On 19 March 2014, the OECD Secretary-General announced the appointment of Mr. William D. Magwood as the next Director-General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). He will be succeeding Luis E. Echávarri who is retiring at the end of April 2014 after nearly 17 years at the head of the NEA. Mr. Magwood – who is currently one of the five Commissioners of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was previously Director of Nuclear Energy at the US Department of Energy and has served as the Chair of the NEA Steering Committee – will take up his duties on 1 September 2014.
OECD/NEA co-operation with China
On 26-27 February 2014, an OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) delegation led by the NEA Director-General, Luis E. Echávarri, met with several Chinese institutions to discuss co-operation in a number of areas, including nuclear safety and development. On 27 February, the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) organised a co-operation workshop to explore practical implementation of the 2013 Joint Declaration on Co-operation with the OECD/NEA. The workshop was attended by 40 participants from the CAEA, the National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA), the National Energy Administration (NEA), the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and other important actors in China's nuclear power programme.
ROSATOM and OECD/NEA discuss co-operation
On 16 January 2014, Ambassador Nikolay Spasskiy, Deputy Director-General for International Co-operation of the Russian Federation's State Atomic Energy Corporation, ROSATOM, met with OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Director-General Mr. Luis Echávarri and staff to discuss Russian participation since it joined the NEA one year ago and plans for further strengthening co-operation in the future.
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) Establish a Joint Declaration on Co-operation
The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) have signed a Joint Declaration on Co-operation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The agreement foresees co-operation in a number of fields, including nuclear safety, nuclear science, new reactor designs, radiological protection and radioactive waste management. It also provides for collaboration on nuclear energy technology development, economic analyses and the fuel cycle. Press Release
OECD/NEA Steering Committee Policy Debate on Decommissioning
On 25 October 2013, the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy held a policy debate on decommissioning, an issue of growing importance in NEA member countries. Speakers included Commissioner W. C. Ostendorff of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Dr. Adrian Simper, Director of Strategy and Technology at the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Mr. Henry Cordes, Chief Executive Officer of Germany's Energiewerke Nord GmbH (EWN) and Mr. Hironori Nakanishi, Director-General for Energy and Technological Policy at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan.
Members of the House of Representatives of Japan visit the NEA
On 2 October 2013, two members of the House of Representatives of Japan, Mr. Tadamori Oshima and Mr. Eisuke Mori, and representatives from Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) visited the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) for high-level discussions. NEA Director-General Luis Echávarri presented the Agency's activities, its role among international organisations and its work in follow-up to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. He shared his impressions pursuant to his visit to Fukushima Prefecture, and briefed Mssrs. Oshima and Mori on expected future trends in nuclear energy policy. NEA Deputy Director for Safety and Regulation, Mr. Kazuo Shimomura, provided further details on NEA activities on radiological protection and risk communication before participants exchanged views on nuclear energy internationally and in Japan.
New Report on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident: OECD/NEA Response and Lessons Learnt
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has just published a report on the actions taken by the NEA member countries and standing technical committees in response to the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The report entitled The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: OECD/NEA Nuclear Safety Response and Lessons Learnt outlines international efforts to strengthen nuclear regulation, safety, research and radiological protection in the post-Fukushima context. It also highlights key messages and lessons learnt, notably as related to assurance of safety, shared responsibilities, human and organisational factors, defence-in-depth, stakeholder engagement, crisis communication and emergency preparedness. Report: PDF or e-book | Press Release | Webcast
High-level conference on the future of nuclear energy
The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century was organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in co-operation with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), and was hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation through Rosatom in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 27-29 June 2013. The event was attended by some 500 participants representing 89 countries and 7 international organisations. An opening statement by the OECD Secretary-General A. Gurría was delivered by NEA Director-General L. Echávarri, who also moderated one of the conference's four main sessions which focused on Drivers for Deployment of Sustainable and Innovative Technology. Conference participants specifically recognised the significant contribution of the OECD/NEA to safety and economic analyses of nuclear power. At the closing press conference, L. Echávarri stressed inter alia that nuclear safety and transparent communication are fundamental to the continued use of nuclear energy. Read the ministerial conference press release or the closing statement.
Swedish Radiation Safety Authority Joins the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP)
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) is the latest nuclear regulatory body to join the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP). It participated in its first MDEP meeting as a new member on the occasion of the 21‑23 May 2013 meeting of the MDEP Steering Technical Committee which was held in Helsinki, Finland. Read more...
International workshop on challenges and enhancements to nuclear safety defence in depth
An international Workshop on Challenges and Enhancements to Defence in Depth in Light of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident was jointly organised by the NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) and the NEA Committee on the Safety on Nuclear Installations (CSNI), with input from the NEA Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), on 5 June 2013 in Paris. About 100 participants from NEA member countries, India, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and Eurelectric held in-depth discussions on the defence-in-depth concept and its implementation in the post-Fukushima context. They also considered additional steps to be taken at the national and international levels to address the challenges identified and to make further enhancements to nuclear safety, along with future NEA activities in support of these processes.
Generation IV International Forum (GIF) advances on safety design criteria
The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) governing body held its semi-annual meeting on 16-17 May 2013 in Beijing, China. Foremost among the significant outcomes, the GIF Policy Group reviewed and approved Phase I Safety Design Criteria that delineate the safety goals for Generation IV sodium-cooled fast reactors. It also decided on the commencement of Phase II of this effort for developing specific implementation guidelines with quantitative criteria. Of broader interest, the PG reached consensus on a strategic plan that has been under development for a year. It includes an updated technology roadmap and addresses improving internal collaboration and external engagement. Finally, member countries confirmed the PG’s leadership changes. Current leadership includes Chairman John Kelly (United States), Technical Director Dohee Hahn (Republic of Korea), PG Vice Chairs Kazumi Aoto (Japan) and Christophe Behar (France), and Policy Director Pascal Anzieu (France). See the GIF website for updates, publications and information about the GIF’s organisation.
Russia participates for first time in the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy
On 25-26 April 2013, Russia sent its first delegation to the meeting of the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy, the highest decision-making body at the NEA in which all 31 member countries are represented. Meeting highlights included the approval of the text of a joint declaration on co-operation with the China Atomic Energy Authority, the adoption of a statement on the security of supply of medical radioisotopes and a policy debate on NEA actions in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Read more...
New Chairman takes over at the Multinational Design Evaluation Programme
The Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) has appointed Dr. Allison M. Macfarlane of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as its new Chairman. Dr. Macfarlane replaces André-Claude Lacoste, former Chairman of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire, ASN). Read more...
NEA activities in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident
Immediately following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, the NEA offered its direct assistance to the Japanese authorities, notably in the development and implementation of national safety reviews and stress tests, best practices in the remediation of land contaminated with radioactive materials, planning and effective management of decontamination activities, long-term planning for the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and main elements to achieve effective regulatory reform. Read more...
Last reviewed: 26 November 2014