Organizations Supervising the Nuclear Power Industry
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Modern buildings of the Viennese international center used as headquarters of The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and offices of the United Nations.
Every state operating a nuclear power plant or handling radioactive material has its own nuclear safety authority that supervises the compliance with safety regulations of all the nuclear operations within the given state.
Apart from these institutions, there are also independent international organizations concerned with the safety issues that supervise all of the globes nuclear facilities. Let’s name at least the most important ones.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
The International Atomic Energy Agency was established by the United Nations in 1957. It is headquartered in Vienna. The task of this agency is to supervise and promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy, in such a way that it contributes to the peace, health and prosperity of the entire world, and at the same time preventing any military misuse. It promotes research and the practical use of nuclear energy, promotes assistance between member states, facilitates a prompt exchange of technical and scientific information on nuclear energy and the handling of radionuclides. It also trains and educates nuclear experts, and stipulates and supervises compliance with safety regulations. The member states also report to the Agency how much fissionable material they own and what they intend to do with it. Independent agency inspectors supervise the movement of every little piece of fissionable material.
The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO)
This association associates all companies and countries that operate nuclear reactors and it attempts to ensure the maximum nuclear safety. It was established in 1989 and it is based in London with regional centers in Moscow, Atlanta, Tokyo and Paris. Membership in this association is voluntary; it is a nonprofit independent organization not subject to any country or international body. However, it collaborates with other nuclear organizations and they mutually coordinate their activities. Since exchange of knowledge and know-how is the best way to attain the highest possible level of nuclear safety, this association promotes the exchange of information and operational experience between all operators, organizes exchange residences, workshops, and seminars, provides technical support and independent inspection of nuclear facilities.
The World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS)
Securing nuclear material in such a way that it cannot be misused for military purposes, or for terrorism, is a very important area of nuclear safety. For this reason, The World Institute for Nuclear Security was established in 2008 in Vienna. Its aim is to improve the security of the nuclear power plants and radioactive material, so that access to such material by unauthorized individuals is prevented, as well as its theft, sabotage, or any other malevolent act that might lead to its misuse for terrorism or any other criminal activity. The Institute is often inspired by the methods employed in other industrial sectors to secure their material; it offers nuclear security training to experts, issues recommendations, and thus improves the secure handling of nuclear material.
The World Nuclear Association (WNA)
This association was established in 2001 from the former Uranium Institute founded in 1975 in London as a forum for the nuclear fuel market. Its aim is the support of the nuclear power industry and all organizations somehow connected with the industry, starting from uranium mining to nuclear fuel production and the construction of nuclear power plants, all the way to the disposal of radioactive waste. In addition to the dissemination of knowledge and know-how, it also participates in international forums to promote atomic energy, improves international collaboration and public opinion, and helps to shape the future of nuclear energy. Apart from other activities, it also provides a high quality and regularly updated information service regarding all aspects of the nuclear power industry, for a wide public.