Russia will become the 31st member of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) following its formal accession to the agency today.
An exchange of letters took place today at the OECD's Paris headquarters between OECD secretary general Angel Gurria, Russia's first deputy minister of foreign affairs Andrey Denisov and Rosatom deputy director general Nikolai Spasskiy. The exchange - overseen by NEA director general Luis Echavarri - formalizes the accession of Russia to the NEA, effective from 1 January 2013.
"It is all the more important in the post-Fukushima context: international cooperation needs to be enhanced to make sure that all the lessons learnt are fully implemented."
Angel Gurria, OECD secretary general
In October 2011, Russia's then-prime minister Vladimir Putin signed a decree directing the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to notify the agency of the country's intention to join, and the Russian finance ministry to include money for membership fees in future budgets. Russia will be represented by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nuclear regulator Rostechnadzor and state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.
The NEA is a specialised agency within the OECD intergovernmental organization which assists its members in maintaining and developing the scientific, technological and legal bases required for the safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy through international co-operation. It conducts research on nuclear safety, regulation, technology and law. Its membership currently stands at 30 industrialised nations from Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
Russia's entry to the body will allow it to draw on these resources, as well as contribute by supplying its own experts. The country has been an observer in several NEA committees for some years.
Gurria commented, "With Russia, the NEA will have additional strength when it comes to nuclear energy, nuclear safety, waste management or economics. It is all the more important in the post-Fukushima context: international cooperation needs to be enhanced to make sure that all the lessons learnt are fully implemented."
Echavarri called Russia's accession to the agency "highly significant." He noted that Russia is "a major player in the nuclear field, with plant construction and operation, fuel fabrication and research institutes of world renown; it is one of the few countries in the world exporting nuclear reactor technology."
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News