News

30.01.2012

OECD Nuclear Energy Agency’s mission finished its visit to Russia

On January 23-26 a mission of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of OECD led by Director General Luis Echavarri held a visit to Russia.

During the visit, the Agency’s delegation studied various aspects of Russia’s nuclear activities in the context of Russia’s application to ascend to this organization submitted in October 2011.

In the course of the stay L. Echavarri visited Rostechnadzor where he was familiarized with oversight and licensing standards applied in the Russian nuclear industry; IBRAE RAS where he was informed on new areas of research and development, including development and application of computer codes for analysis and justification of reactor safety; SPA Radon where he toured to the scientific and production complex; and NRC Kurchatov Institute.

On the last day L. Echavarry had a meeting with ROSATOM Deputy Director General Nikolay Spasskiy where issues of the Russian atomic energy policy, details of nuclear research and activities as well as information on legal and regulatory projects were discussed.

At a press conference held on outcomes of the visit L. Echavarri said he was greatly impressed by how far Russia was engaged in the nuclear power development. According to the NEA DG, an affiliation decision should be made by all member-states but this mission visit demonstrated that many of mandatory conditions of ascension were met. In particular, he was surprised when made aware of about 300,000 people working at ROSATOM’s enterprises. He also noted that the Russian nuclear industry attaches much attention to research.

Answering a question concerning the post-Fukushima nuclear power future, L. Echavarri noted that the accident that had occurred at the plant was not due to deficiencies of nuclear technologies but a natural disaster which tolled about 20,000 Japanese while no one died of radiation after the accident in the country. He also emphasized that in spite of the fact that 3-4 countries have abandoned nuclear, about 20 countries have declared their intent to operate existing plants and build new ones.

After the Agency mission’s visit a record is to be produced on its outcomes for members of the NEA Steering Committee which makes a decision to recommend the OECD Council to affiliate Russia. A final decision on the Russia’s application is expected in April 2012.

 

The NEA Director General believes this decision is likely to be positive. He also noted that Russia’s ascension to the NEA will be mutually beneficial. He said Russian specialists will have access to results of R&D which are carried out in other countries and the Agency will have access to knowledge and expertise which Russia has accumulated over decades of implementation of its nuclear program.

Russia considers the ascension to the Nuclear Energy Agency as a logical continuation of the course towards integration in the world nuclear industry and its key institutions. Owing to ascension to the NEA, Russia will get the right to use all results of intellectual activities of the NEA member-states and its Databank, while the NEA member-states will get access to intellectual resources of the Russian scientists that would facilitate further joint development of advanced technologies in the nuclear sphere.
Source: Communications Department of ROSATOM