Sunday, June 17, 2012

Russia Joins NEA:

Completion of a Process

About six months ago, I wrote about the plan for Russia to join the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.  I am delighted to report that the process has been now completed and Russia is a full member of NEA.  The accession becomes effective January 1, 2013, but all the paperwork has now been completed.

As I noted in my previous earlier post, this move makes Russia only the second country to become a member of NEA without being a member of the OECD.  The first country to do so, South Korea, subsequently became a member of OECD, so at present, Russia is the only non-OECD NEA member.

(The reciprocal situation is different.  There are several members of the OECD that are not NEA members:  New Zealand and Poland are long-time OECD members that have opted not to join the NEA; and the OECD has several new members--Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia--that are not members of NEA.  It will be up to the individual countries and the NEA whether any of them join NEA in the future.)

As I also previously indicated, the accession of Russia, with its active nuclear power development program, will be useful to NEA as it tries to address global international nuclear issues.  The move to have Russia join the NEA has its roots in a joint cooperation declaration signed in 2006 while I was at the NEA, so I am very pleased and proud to see this effort come to full fruition.

It will also be important for NEA to continue to forge closer relationships with other major nuclear countries, such as China, as NEA continues its efforts to assist  countries in maintaining and  developing the bases for the safe use of nuclear power.


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