IAEA and ISO reaffirm cooperation on standards

02 September 2021

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have renewed their commitment to continue working together. The organisations have been cooperating for the past 40 years in the development of international standards that ensure nuclear technology is used in a safe and secure manner.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi after the signing of the joint statement (Image: D Calma/IAEA)

IAEA and ISO - an independent, non-governmental international organisation with a membership of 165 national standards bodies - signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 1981 setting out guidelines for their cooperation and regular consultation on matters of common interest, allowing the two organisations to meet their respective statutory objectives. Though both organisations have their own set of standards, in areas of common interest relating to nuclear technology experts from each organisation contribute to the development of the other's standards.

ISO experts who serve on the IAEA's Safety Standards Committees contribute to the development and review of IAEA safety standards on nuclear safety, waste safety, radiation safety, transport safety and emergency preparedness and response. Similarly, IAEA experts participate in ISO technical committees that cover topics such as nuclear energy, quality management, and air and water quality.

Yesterday the organisation signed a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to continue working together.

IAEA and ISO will now build on their existing cooperation to develop standards for emerging technologies and new topics. They will also ensure that the standards developed by each organisation are widely cross-referenced and allow global users to apply them consistently.

"Although the IAEA and ISO are two quite different organisations, the very important work we do in the area of international standards is complementary," said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. "Forty years of successful collaboration is an achievement to celebrate. It is also a chance to look ahead to the work we will do together to ensure international standards remain fit for purpose and nuclear technologies continue to be used safely for everything from curing cancer to using nuclear energy that helps to mitigate and adapt to climate change."

ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica added, "As our understanding of the potential of atomic energy continues to grow, collaboration between our two organisations is needed more than ever. In meeting these demands, and in transitioning away from a hydrocarbon economy, there is a clear case for the benefits of nuclear power in combination with renewable sources of energy. In spreading this technology, the work of the IAEA and the role of international standards remain essential."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News