IAEA, UK's national lab strengthen cooperation

14 April 2020

The UK's National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has signed an agreement - known as a Practical Arrangement - with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aimed at enhancing cooperation.

Robots at NNL's Workington laboratory (Image: NNL)

Activities in which cooperation may be pursued include: increasing the efficiency of operating nuclear power plants; good practices in stakeholder involvement; good practices in innovation for existing and future nuclear power reactor designs; advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors and innovative nuclear energy systems; and, decommissioning and radioactive waste management and disposal.

Dohee Hahn, director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Power, said the agreement "recognises and strengthens our longstanding collaboration that continues to serve the interests of our Member States, in particular those currently relying on nuclear power or that foresee a role for nuclear power in sustainable energy systems of the future. I appreciate the tangible outcomes already delivered thorough this partnership; for example, NNL experts contributed to the planning and implementation of the IAEA 2019 International Conference on Climate Change and the Role of Nuclear Power. I look forward to the results still to come."

NNL Chief Strategy Officer James Murphy added, "NNL already has long history of successful collaboration with the IAEA. To give just two examples, we were pleased recently both to mark 40 years of successful input from the UK (much of it led by NNL) to the IAEA's Safeguards Assistance programme and to have NNL's Preston Laboratory accredited as a member of the prestigious IAEA Network of Analytical Laboratories. It's great to see this successful relationship being broadened and strengthened in this way, and this in turn represents an exciting opportunity for NNL and IAEA to work together to jointly tackle some of the greatest challenges facing all aspects of our sector. Only through important collaborations of this kind, will we ensure nuclear can continue to play its vital role in the global low carbon economy."

Together with other organisations, the IAEA and NNL last year cooperated in organising the Global Forum on Innovation for the Future of Nuclear Energy. Held in Gyeojong, South Korea, the event resulted in a 'Call to Action' for accelerating innovative solutions to sustain and advance the current operational fleet of nuclear power plants around the world.

NNL said an early example of the enhanced collaboration between the two organisations is the Global Nuclear Innovation Forum, scheduled to take place in London later this year, where both NNL and IAEA are among the organising bodies.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News