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Joint Press Release 2013/12

IAEA and EC to Strengthen Cooperation in Nuclear Safety

17 September 2013 | International Atomic Energy Agency-European Commission - Joint Press Release
- Messrs. Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General and Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Energy

The International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Commission today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Nuclear Safety, establishing a framework for cooperation to help improve nuclear safety in Europe.

The Memorandum, signed by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and the European Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, is the first concrete result of an enhanced dialogue between the IAEA and the EU, launched in January 2013 at their first Senior Officials Meeting in Brussels.

Cooperation has been rapidly growing in recent years between the IAEA and the EU, which, together with its Member States, is one of the biggest donors to the IAEA, both in financial terms and in provision of technical expertise.

Cooperation in the field of nuclear safeguards is already well-established and formalised, but in other areas it is less structured.

"The EU is one of our most important partners, providing practical and financial assistance, as well as expertise, in many areas of our work," Mr. Amano said. "This Memorandum of Understanding is further evidence that EU countries take very seriously the need to strengthen nuclear safety in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident."

Mr. Oettinger highlighted that such intensified cooperation is important to ensure that nuclear energy is produced safely all over the world. He added that the EU nuclear stress tests set a global benchmark and contribute to the IAEA's Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was endorsed unanimously by the IAEA's Member States in September 2011.

"Under the new Memorandum, all this experience will be made available to the international community. I hope that the European safety approach leads to a global initiative," said the Commissioner.

The Memorandum creates an enhanced framework for planning and reviewing various forms of cooperation in nuclear safety, such as expert peer reviews and strengthening emergency preparedness and response capabilities. It will allow both organisations to coordinate and avoid duplication of effort, benefit from each other's work, and further contribute to strengthening nuclear safety worldwide, while enhancing IAEA-EU cooperation in general.