IAEA Supports the Building of Nuclear Power Infrastructures
Building sustainable nuclear power infrastructure was the focus of
presentations by delegates from newcomer countries, Kenya, Malaysia and
Turkey, at a side event held on 24 September 2014 on the margins of the
annual IAEA General Conference.
The speakers from these three countries shared their experiences on
how to tailor and make best use of the IAEA's services to support the
development of their national nuclear power infrastructures. Kenya,
Malaysia and Turkey are at different stages of developing their national
nuclear power infrastructure.
IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear
Energy, Alexander Bychkov, highlighted the Agency's on-going commitment
to Member States embarking on a new nuclear power programme or expanding
an existing programme. Understanding and learning from the practical
experience of how these countries are coordinating IAEA support with
national priorities and other bilateral cooperation would provide useful
insights, said Deputy Director General Bychkov.
Chairing the event, Jong Kyun Park, Director of the IAEA Division of
Nuclear Power, said that this event would contribute to a better
understanding of the progress and challenges faced by newcomer
countries, which in turn would enhance the required international
support and coordination.
In describing Kenya's reasons to embark in the direction of nuclear
energy, the Executive Chairman and CEO of Kenya's Nuclear Electricity
Board, George Ochilo Ayacko Mbogo, noted the growing energy demands of
Kenya's population of 40 million people. This demand, he said, could not
be met or sustained with the current installed electricity capacity of
approximately 2000 MW that is predominantly sourced from hydro and
fossil fuel (thermal) sources.
A pre-feasibility study for embarking on a nuclear power programme,
prepared with support from the IAEA, is providing Kenya with the
information it needs to make a "knowledgeable decision" about the
implementation of a nuclear power programme, Mr Mbogo emphasized. At the
same time, Kenya is also pursuing human resources development;
establishing a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework; reaching
out to the public and other stakeholders; and considering potential
funding and financing options. Kenya, in addition, has requested the
IAEA to conduct an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR)
mission in August 2015. Other Member States supporting this programme
are the United States, China, the Republic of Korea and Slovakia, said
As part of its Economic Transformation Programme, Malaysia is
exploring the nuclear energy option to meet future electricity demands
and diversify its energy mix for Peninsula Malaysia. Mohamad Mohd Ali,
from the Malaysian Ministry of Science and Technology, spoke on how his
country was optimizing IAEA and international cooperation for a new
nuclear power project, although the country has not yet made a final
This included: information on the development of a legal regulatory
framework; steps being taken to gain public confidence and approval of
Malaysia's nuclear power programme; the role of the IAEA in providing
the necessary technical and scientific support for exploring nuclear
energy options; and how this cooperation along with other international
partners are vital to ensure that a new nuclear power programme would
implement all the mandatory international statutory requirements and
Providing a look into Turkey's efforts in introducing nuclear energy,
Necati Yamac, Head of Turkey's Nuclear Energy Project Implementing
Department, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, described the
model chosen for the country's first nuclear power plant (NPP) project.
In May 2010, Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement
(IGA) to develop a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) project at the Akkuyu site
consisting of four units. Construction is expected to start in 2017. Mr
Yamac highlighted advantages and challenges of the model chosen.
Mr Yamac explained Turkey's need for nuclear power, based on the
country's increasing electricity demand and the desire to reduce energy
dependency from imports currently standing above 70 percent. He stressed
the importance of the role of the Turkish government in supporting the
infrastructure for the BOO project. Turkey chose the BOO model because
it places the responsibility for financing and financial risk management
on the experienced side - the Russian party.
The project is also expected to attract significant foreign
investment to Turkey. Finally, the model allows a newcomer country like
Turkey to benefit from the experience of partners in the Russian
Federation that have been building and operating nuclear power plants
for decades. Mr Yamac finally stressed the role of the Turkish national
regulatory body for nuclear safety to regulate and inspect the plant and
the fact that this role is carried out irrespective on whether the
power plant owner shareholders are foreign or local.
Update of IAEA Milestones Document
The meeting closed with an update on the IAEA's revision of the widely referenced IAEA publication: Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power (IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NG-G-3.1).
Anne Starz, Acting Section Head of the IAEA Nuclear Infrastructure
Development Section, explained the rationale, the revision process and
the main changes introduced. The two year revision process, which
started in 2012, included a comprehensive internal and external review,
with over 600 written comments received from Member States.
The Milestones document remains the top level guidance for
countries introducing nuclear power, said Ms Starz. She also emphasized
that the revision is consistent with the original text to ensure it
continues to be widely used, and reflects lessons learned from the
Fukushima accident and recent newcomers' experience. The updated version
of the Milestones document will be published by early 2015.
All the presentations made at this side event can be found here.
-- By Aabha Dixit, IAEA Office of Public Information and Communication
(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)