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Workshop on Nuclear Infrastructure Development Begins in Vienna

Workshop on Nuclear Infrastructure

IAEA Deputy Director General for the Department of Nuclear Energy, Alexander Bychkov, addresses the opening of the Workshop on Nuclear Infrastructure Development taking place in Vienna, Austria from 24-27 January 2012. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

At an IAEA workshop being held from 24 to 27 January 2011 in Vienna, IAEA Member States that are considering developing nuclear infrastructure are meeting experts to learn best practices and identify the main infrastructure issues that arise when introducing nuclear power.

Gathering more participants than a year ago, the IAEA Meeting on Topical Issues in Infrastructure Development brings together about 100 participants from 45 countries to discuss the needs of Member States that are considering starting - or have already started - a nuclear power programme.

Building a new nuclear infrastructure is a very complex endeavour, and it usually takes 10 to 15 years of multi-disciplinary planning and implementation, involving energy planning, human resource development, legislative framework, nuclear safety, security and safeguards, project management and public communication.

During the four-day workshop, participants discuss national decision making regarding the introduction of nuclear power. Considerations regarding the second phase of a nuclear infrastructure programme, which starts once the decision to build a nuclear power plant has already been made and focuses on the development of the owner/operator and the regulatory body, will also be addressed.

To thoroughly cover the issue, participants examine case studies, good practices and lessons learned during the process of starting a nuclear power programme. This allows nuclear newcomers to improve their knowledge of various aspects of nuclear infrastructure management and discuss the challenges they are facing.

Lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident and its impact on the development of new nuclear power programmes will also be considered.

Other topics to be discussed include public communications, nuclear safety, security and safeguards, with experts highlighting good practices and offering advice to nuclear power plant owners and operators. Finally, the workshop addresses common technology used by nuclear newcomers in developing their new nuclear power infrastructure.

A key role for the IAEA is helping facilitate the exchange of information between international experts and national counterparts developing national nuclear power strategies. The workshop on infrastructure development is an effective channel for this type of knowledge sharing.

-- by Iulia Iliut, IAEA Division of Public Information


(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA).