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Nuclear Plant Safety Standards on Agenda

Experts At UN Meeting Endorse Harmonizing Nuclear Power Plant Safety Standards

Experts have recommended that countries harmonize global safety standards for everything from the design to the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, the United Nations atomic watchdog said today.

The move comes as the growing diversification and globalization of the industry presents new challenges that must be addressed even though there has been substantial progress in improving the safety of nuclear power plants worldwide, according to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Agency said the recommendations made last month in Beijing by delegates from 37 countries to the IAEA Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Safety outline steps it can take to develop future international cooperation and programmes.

These measures include better analysis of what happens as a result of low-level occurrences in order to prevent worse incidents, encouraging more transparency in nuclear safety issues, and creating international management approaches to the long-term operation of nuclear power facilities.

“We must seek out ways to share lessons learned in as deep and wide a manner as possible,” Tomihiro Taniguchi, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety and Security told the closing session of the conference, held from 18 to 22 October. “Self sustaining networks within and between Member States based on strategic knowledge management are key to achieving this objective.”

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