News release NEA/COM(2017)3
Paris, 13 June 2017

Joint news release: EPRI and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) sign MOU to advance global nuclear research

A Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperative Activities has been signed between the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) and the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI), recognising the value of increased collaboration between both parties.

The purpose of the MOU is to deepen both parties' understanding of the global research needs in the area of nuclear energy, taking into consideration the consolidated perspectives of utilities and the industry, as well as those of regulators and government organisations. The MOU seeks to reduce knowledge gaps by facilitating exchange between EPRI and NEA on global research activities in various fields of nuclear energy, such as safety, radioprotection, scientific and technology developments, operational experience, economic analysis and waste management.

"Our efforts to ensure that NEA member countries have access to state‑of‑the‑art information in nuclear technology and operations will be significantly enhanced thorough this partnership," said NEA Director‑General William D. Magwood, IV. "EPRI understands the existing and emerging challenges of nuclear facility operations. Its collaborative research activities will enhance the scope and relevance of the work of the NEA, and as such, help us to address the technical and strategic interests of our member countries."

The MOU outlines the scope and objectives of a five‑year agreement for NEA and EPRI to establish a formalised dialogue. EPRI and NEA representatives can now be invited to participate in meetings of each party's committees at the discretion of the relevant committee. EPRI and NEA may also develop joint events, seminars, workshops and training activities, and exchange views on draft documents.

"Our mutual interest in improving the connection between research, industry and regulation gives us the unique opportunity to leverage our strengths through co‑operation, develop innovative ideas, and deliver new technology for the benefit of EPRI's global membership and NEA member countries," said EPRI Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Neil Wilmshurst. "EPRI is delighted to utilise its pool of knowledge, expertise and information to exchange with the NEA at the strategical level, and thus to work together to ensure the safe operation of carbon‑free nuclear generation."

Background notes for editors

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, non‑profit organisation, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lenox, Massachusetts.

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is an intergovernmental agency which operates under the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD). It facilitates co‑operation among countries with advanced nuclear technology infrastructures to seek excellence in nuclear safety, technology, science, related environmental and economic matters and law. 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 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 technology policies. NEA membership includes 33 countries that co‑operate through joint research, consensus‑building among experts and development of best practices.

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