Paris, 28 April 2011 - The OECD/NEA will co-organise a G8-G20 meeting on nuclear energy issues 7-8 June, as part of international efforts to learn from the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and help prevent similar disasters in the future, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said.
“There are a number of lessons to be drawn from the accident in Fukushima, that apply to the design, construction, operation and maintenance of existing and future nuclear plants, but also apply to waste management or the the backlash against nuclear power,” Mr. Gurría said. “We have an opportunity to learn from this tragic event and take it into account as we go forward.”
Mr Gurría announced the G8-G20 meeting on nuclear energy issues during a joint press conference with Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Luis Echávarri, Director-General of the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency. He said the meeting, organised under the French G8-G20 presidency, will contribute to a wider IAEA ministerial meeting that Mr Amano has convened for later in June.
From left to right: Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, Luis Echávarri, Director-General of the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency.
IAEA will present an initial assessment of the Fukushima accident and a preliminary review of international response to the crisis during its 20-24 June International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety. Participants will also renew discussions on nuclear safety, including a review of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) and other international standards.
"Public confidence in the safety of nuclear power plants has been deeply shaken throughout the world,” Mr Amano said. “We must therefore continue to work hard on improving the safety of nuclear power plants and ensuring transparency about the risks of radiation. Only in this way will we succeed in addressing the concerns that have been raised by Fukushima. More than ever before, our watchword must now be Safety First (Read the full speech)."
Mr Echavarri agreed that it was important to discuss safety standards, but said the NEA also favours strengthening the IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety. “The safety standards are an important element, but what is also needed is an international mechanism for implementation and enforcement of safety requirements around the world,” he said.