World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Boost To Nuclear Power Plant Safety Discussed

Experts Gather At UN Atomic Agency To Boost Nuclear Power Plant Safety

As part of an effort to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants and prevent a repeat of a Chernobyl-style disaster, top officials from more than 30 countries are meeting at the Vienna headquarters of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency to share information and upgrade precautions.

Under the Convention on Nuclear Safety, of which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the depositary, parties meet every three years to “peer review” their national nuclear safety programmes. Countries submit reports covering, for example, the construction, operation and regulation of their civilian nuclear power plants.

This is the third review meeting since the Convention entered into force in 1996. The catalyst for the treaty was the 1986 Chernobyl accident, when international implications of nuclear safety were magnified and interest intensified in internationally binding safety standards.

Nearly 8.4 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia were exposed to radiation when the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine blew up. Beyond the cancers and chronic health problems, especially among children, some 150,000 kilometres – an area half the size of Italy – were contaminated, while agricultural areas covering nearly 52,000 square kilometres, more than the size of Denmark, were ruined. During the two-week review meeting, parties will examine and discuss national reports about the safety of commercial nuclear plants in each country, covering the years 2002 to 2004.

“This process allows the Convention’s contracting parties to share information freely, to more effectively improve safety measures within their respective countries and to identify ways in which international cooperation can improve worldwide nuclear power plant safety,” said the head of IAEA Nuclear Installation Safety, Ken Brockman.

The Convention is an incentive-based agreement that does not rely on controls and sanctions but rather on self assessment, information sharing and active peer review. “Neither the IAEA nor the Contracting Parties, therefore, serve in compliance roles,” Mr. Brockman added. “Instead, the interactions of the peer review process serve to entice open communications and corrective actions. To date, this has been quite effective.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news