AKIPRESS.COM - A new IAEA network will help strengthen nuclear and radiation safety in Europe and Central Asia by facilitating dialogue and knowledge exchange between member states in these regions.
The European and Central Asian Safety Network (EuCAS Network) brings together 20 member states and 22 organizations with a responsibility for nuclear safety.
“The Europe and Central Asia region has a dense concentration of countries […] and the largest number of nuclear power plants,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. “A network focusing specifically on Europe and Central Asia is very interesting in relation to the context of nuclear safety.”
The EuCAS Network seeks to encourage the sharing of experience and know-how among Member States and support capacity building based on IAEA safety standards. It is initially envisaged to address the management of radioactive waste resulting from nuclear power plants and other nuclear applications. This includes sharing practical experience on the classification of waste, its storage and disposal, for example. Preparatory work has also identified environmental remediation and the decommissioning of power and research reactors as very relevant areas for future activities in the framework of EuCAS.
“Nuclear and radiation safety is a concern that all member states share,” said Zoran Tesanovic, Deputy Director of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s State Regulatory Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety. “My government’s expectations for the EuCAS Network are very high because safety organizations in the region can learn from the experience of their peers.”
Countries that have joined so far the EuCAS Network are Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia and Tajikistan.EuCAS’ steering committee will hold its first meeting from 7 to 9 December to formally adopt the network’s terms of reference. It will also designate a chairperson, identify a number of working groups and decide on a work plan for 2017.
The EuCAS network was formally established during an event on the side-lines of IAEA’s 60th General Conference in September. It operates within the framework of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) and its website will be hosted by the GNSSN web platform.