The Czech Republic And Hungary Join
The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency(NEA)
On 27 June 1996, the OECD Council approved the
membership of the Czech Republic and Hungary in the OECD Nuclear Energy
Agency (NEA), and its Data Bank. The Czech Republic and Hungary had previously
become Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) on 21 December 1995, and 7 May 1996, respectively. The membership
of these two countries brings the membership of the OECD Nuclear Energy
Agency (NEA)* to 27.
The enlargement of the NEA takes particular
significance as the Czech Republic and Hungary are the first countries
from the former Soviet Bloc to join the Agency, and the first NEA Members
whose nuclear power programmes involve only Soviet-designed reactors.
Their membership will further enhance international co-operation in the
areas of nuclear safety and regulation, as well as the development of
nuclear power, and also testifies to the extent to which these countries
have adapted their safety standards and legal frameworks in recent years.
The Czech Republicís nuclear power
programme presently provides about 32% of the countryís electricity, and
this figure will soon increase to 45%. In Hungary, nuclear energy provides
42% of the countryís electricity requirements. Both these countries have
set up modern nuclear safety and regulatory authorities. They also have
nuclear research and training facilities, as well as active programmes
in the radioactive waste management field.
The NEA membership now includes the Governments of Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands,
Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and
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The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency was established in 1972, replacing the
former European Nuclear Energy Agency which had been set up by the OECDís
predecessor, the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation. At the
outset, the Agency pioneered research and development on reactor and nuclear
fuel cycle technologies, notably through the setting-up of international
research projects and the creation of joint undertakings, and took the
first steps towards the development of an international nuclear law framework.
Since then, the mission of the Agency
has expanded. The NEAís primary objective is to promote co-operation among
the governments of its participating countries to ensure that nuclear
power is a safe, economically competitive and environmentally acceptable
energy source. In pursuit of its mission, the Agency evaluates the scientific,
technical and economic aspects of nuclear power growth and encourages,
through consultation, the harmonization of safety and regulatory policies
and practices in Member countries. Major co-operation areas include nuclear
safety, radiation protection, and radioactive waste management, as well
as nuclear science, economics and technology of the nuclear fuel cycle,
nuclear information and international nuclear third party liability.