IAEA identifies key issues at spent nuclear fuel meeting

The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management discussed staffing, holistic management strategies and increasing public involvement during its fifth review meeting last week.

The Joint Convention seeks to achieve and maintain a high level of worldwide safety in spent fuel and radioactive waste management. Contracting parties update the convention on their progress during review meetings every three years. Their efforts are then discussed and debated at the meeting as part of a peer-review process.

The meeting's first-ever topical session focused on the consequences of nuclear accidents and on IAEA activities relative to the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said he hoped the accident report will "help ensure that lessons learned can be acted upon by governments, regulators and nuclear power plant operators throughout the world."

At the meeting held in Vienna, Austria, countries that have not signed the Joint Convention were encouraged to do so.

"The Joint Convention plays an essential role in the establishment of a comprehensive global nuclear safety and security framework," Amano said. "I look forward to the day when all IAEA member states are contracting parties and participate fully in the review process."

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International Atomic Energy Agency

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