The Nuclear Energy Agency

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is an intergovernmental agency that facilitates co-operation among countries with advanced nuclear technology infrastructures to seek excellence in nuclear safety, technology, science, environment and law. The NEA, which is under the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is headquartered in Paris, France.

The NEA's Mission Statement, as reflected in its Strategic Plan, 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 sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low-carbon economies."

In order to achieve this, the NEA works as a forum for sharing information and experience and promoting international co-operation; a centre of excellence which helps member countries to pool and maintain their technical expertise and a vehicle for facilitating policy analyses and developing consensus based on its technical work.

The NEA's current membership consists of 33 countries in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region:

Argentine flag Argentina Finnish flag Finland Italian flag Italy Polish flag Poland Swedish flag Sweden
Australian flag Australia French flag France Japanese flag Japan Portugese flag Portugal Swiss flag Switzerland
Austrian flag Austria German flag Germany Korean flag Korea Romanian flag Romania Turkish flag Turkey
Belgian flag Belgium Greek flag Greece Luxembourg flag Luxembourg Russian flag Russia UK Flag United Kingdom
Canadian flag Canada Hungarian flag Hungary Mexican flag Mexico Slovak Republic flag Slovak Republic USA flag United States
Czech flag Czech Republic Iceland flag Iceland Dutch flag Netherlands Slovenia
Danish flag Denmark Irish flag Ireland Norwegian flag Norway Spanish flag Spain    

Together they account for approximately 82% of the world's installed nuclear capacity. Nuclear power accounts for about one-fifth of the electricity produced in NEA member countries. The NEA works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna – a specialised agency of the United Nations – and with the European Commission in Brussels. Within the OECD, there is close co-ordination with the International Energy Agency and the Environment Directorate, as well as contacts with other directorates, as appropriate.

NEA areas of work

NEA strengths

The NEA is the only intergovernmental agency which brings together a selection of countries from North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in a non-political forum dedicated to sharing and disseminating state of the art knowledge in the field of nuclear energy.

  • NEA membership represents much of the world's best nuclear expertise and it maintains strategic partnerships with key non-member countries involved in nuclear technology.
  • By pooling this expertise, the NEA provides each member country access to the substantial experience of others and an opportunity to substantially leverage its resources.
  • The NEA establishes a climate of mutual trust and collaboration, enabling the full exchange of experience and a frank assessment of issues.
  • NEA scientific and technical work is in the forefront of knowledge and is known for its depth and quality.
  • The NEA publishes consensus positions on key issues, providing member countries with credible references.
  • The NEA is cost-effective, relying on member country experts to carry out much of its technical work.
  • The NEA's system of standing technical committees enables the Agency to be flexible and responsive.
  • NEA joint projects and information exchange programmes enable interested members and non-members to join forces in carrying out research or scientific exercises on a cost-sharing basis.
  • The NEA, which has close relationships with elements of the OECD including the International Energy Agency (IEA), is uniquely placed to address nuclear energy in the context of broader cross-cutting issues such as environmentally responsible economic growth and security of energy supply.

NEA committee structure

The NEA maintains specialised standing technical committees and subsidiary bodies representing the major areas of the Agency's programme, each of which oversees various specialised working groups and task groups. These groups are comprised of member country experts who are both contributors to the programme of work and beneficiaries of its results. The approach is highly cost-efficient as it enables the Agency to pursue an ambitious programme with a relatively small staff that co-ordinates the work. The substantive value of the standing technical committees arises from the numerous important functions they perform, including:

  • providing a forum for in-depth exchanges of technical and programmatic information;
  • stimulating development of useful information by initiating and carrying out co-operation/research on key problems;
  • developing common positions, including "consensus opinions", on technical and policy issues;
  • identifying areas where further work is needed and ensuring that NEA activities respond to real needs;
  • organising joint projects to enable interested countries to carry out research on particular issues on a cost-sharing basis.

Organigram of the NEA

NEA-serviced bodies

The NEA also provides technical secretariat services for the following initiatives:

Related links

Last updated: 5 March 2018