The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reflect increased cooperation between the two organisations following the Fukushima Daiichi accident of March 2011. The new agreement enables the two organisations to work more closely together to support the safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants worldwide, and to enhance information exchange on operating experience and other relevant areas.
Through the IAEA's Nuclear Safety Action Plan, IAEA Member States urged the IAEA and WANO to strengthen their MoU to enhance information exchange. WANO member operators also recommended stronger collaboration. Through the new agreement, the two organisations are adopting a more coordinated approach to their respective activities, in order to help prevent further accidents and mitigate the consequences should an accident occur. Plans are now in place to coordinate the timing of IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) missions and WANO peer reviews, and to arrange periodic meetings of WANO and Agency staff to discuss major safety-related activities.
The two organisations will also cooperate and coordinate work on their respective performance indicator programmes and will work towards exchanging information and support in the event of a serious event at a nuclear power plant or fuel cycle facility. In addition to this, the IAEA and WANO will supply staff to each other's review teams when appropriate, and will regularly exchange documents relating to operating experience.
Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA, said: "The IAEA's Action Plan on Nuclear Safety emphasises the importance of working more closely with WANO and other international organisations, so that we can all better address the demands of the future. This agreement is an important step in strengthening that cooperation and enhancing the flow of information on nuclear safety issues."
Laurent Stricker, Chairman of WANO said: "An important lesson we learned from Fukushima was the need for WANO to be better connected to and engaged with the IAEA. Our members tasked us with revising this Memorandum of Understanding and ensuring that it provides practical ways for us to improve information sharing and coordination. I am confident that the new agreement will help us to jointly meet the challenges faced by the nuclear industry post-Fukushima."