3 March 2006 Faced with the threat of nuclear terrorism and the risk of accidents at atomic power stations, senior regulators from some 60 countries wrapped up a week-long United Nations-sponsored meeting in Moscow today aimed at reinforcing nuclear safety and security around the world.
The International Conference On Effective Nuclear Regulatory Systems, organized by the UN International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA), was the first of its kind for senior regulators and nuclear technologists to come together and examine global challenges and solutions in the wider context of nuclear and radiation safety and security.
“For safety to be worthy of its goals it has to be global,” IAEA said in a statement of the development of its improved safety regime stemming from the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl power plant accident when worldwide consensus emerged on the need for effective international cooperation.
Likewise, the development of a global nuclear security regime was triggered by the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States and successive terrorist events in Europe and Asia.
The key challenges regulators face are renewed global interest in the use of nuclear energy, increased threats to the security of nuclear installations and the need to closely link safety and security issues as well.
Issues discussed included the effectiveness of national regulatory systems, further development of regulatory approaches for the use of advanced technologies and innovative designs to enhance nuclear and radiation safety and security; and additional mechanisms for co-operation among regulators.