EU and IAEA set priorities for cooperation

14 February 2019

The European Union (EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have agreed at their seventh annual meeting of senior officials to further enhance cooperation and strengthen cooperation in training, research and development.

Senior EU and IAEA officials at the Luxembourg meeting (Image: A Perlin/IAEA)

The meeting, held earlier this week in Luxembourg, saw the organisations review their progress in a range of nuclear activities, particularly in cooperation on nuclear safety, security and safeguards. The role of nuclear energy in addressing climate change was also a topic of discussion, as were developments related to small modular reactors, in particular regulatory aspects.

The EU said it would continue to support the IAEA's peer review services to support continuous safety improvements. It also reiterated its support for the IAEA's role in verifying and monitoring the implementation of Iran's nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

IAEA Assistant Director General and Chief Coordinator Cornel Feruta said the meeting had taken stock of important developments in areas of common interest and steered the direction of cooperation for the year ahead. "The EU is one of our most relevant partners and its support for the IAEA's mandate and work is valued," Feruta said.

Gerassimos Thomas, deputy director general in the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, said nuclear safety and security remained a "major priority" in the EU. "In 2018, the EU completed its first ever topical peer review on ageing management of nuclear power plants and research reactors under the amended Nuclear Safety Directive," he said.

Officials commended "long-standing and fruitful cooperation" in both nuclear safety and regulatory areas. Joint efforts to address environmental remediation in Central Asia will continue following the successful donors' conference in 2018, they said.

The next Senior Officials Meeting is expected to take place in Vienna in early 2020.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News