VIENNA — The International Atomic Energy Agency will call on its members to establish an emergency team to respond to major nuclear accidents worldwide, part of an agency plan to enhance nuclear safety, according to a draft obtained Tuesday.
The Vienna-based nuclear watchdog also plans to dispatch safety investigators within three years to all member countries who operate nuclear power plants, following the Fukushima nuclear crisis, according to the draft.
The agency’s director general, Yukiya Amano, has said the plan, which was drawn up after a June ministerial meeting on boosting nuclear safety, will focus especially on contingencies such as natural disasters and power blackouts.
The 12-point draft plan urges member countries to consider establishing “national rapid response teams that could also be made available internationally.” The policy apparently reflects the failings of the international support system that the Fukushima nuclear crisis exposed.
The draft encourages members to join and effectively implement international conventions on compensation for cross-border damage incurred by major nuclear accidents.
But due to opposition from some member countries, including those planning to build their first nuclear power plants, which regard Amano’s plan as too stringent, the final draft of the plan specifies that IAEA inspections will be “voluntarily” accepted by member states.
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