"Tokyo Conference on Nuclear Safety in Asia"
Chairman's Summary

7 November 1996

  1. "Tokyo Conference on Nuclear Safety in Asia" was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in Tokyo on 5 November 1996. High-level officials, or Directors General representing the Governments of Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam attended the conference. Representatives of Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, the European Commission, the IAEA and the OECD/NEA also took part in the conference as observers. Considering the anticipated significant role of nuclear energy to be played in Asia in meeting its increasing future energy demand and considering the current trend of Asia that more countries are starting to utilize nuclear power generation, and also noting the fundamental principle of nuclear safety confirmed at the Moscow Summit that an absolute priority should be given to safety in the use of nuclear nergy, participants of the conference exchanged views on specific measures to be taken to improve nuclear safety and on international cooperation for this purpose in the region.
  2. Participants affirmed the principles of nuclear safety, which are recognized in such international frameworks as the Convention on Nuclear Safety, that high level of nuclear safety should be achieved and maintained in the use of nuclear energy and that the prime responsibility for such safety rests with countries that have nuclear installations. In this context, participants recognized the importance of ensuring that full regard for safety is paid in nuclear power generation in the Asian region.
  3. Recognizing the significance of the Convention on Nuclear Safety which came into effect on 24 October 1996, participants encouraged countries that are not parties to the Convention to consider acceding to it and parties to the Convention to actively participate in its implementation, especially in the review process.
  4. Participants recognized that it is important for each country to participate actively in the preparation of the Convention on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management in order to ensure the early adoption of the Convention.
  5. In order to enhance international transparency and openness in nuclear power activities, participants explored the possibility of reporting to the meetings referred to in paragraph 13 on their own countries' plans of introducing nuclear power generation, the specific measures taken to ensure safety of nuclear power plants and the situation of radioactive waste management.
  6. With a view to cooperating in strengthening regulatory regimes of Asian countries both in institutional and legislative aspects through exchange of information among the authorities, participants explored the possibility of holding meetings, as a part of the meetings referred to in paragraph 13, among representatives of regulatory authorities of participating countries on safety of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities and safe management of radioactive waste. Participants supported broad international contacts among regulatory bodies in these areas as well; for example, as in the recent proposal for an international forum or association for the like-minded regulators.
  7. Participants explored the possibility of strengthening cooperation in the field of research on safety of nuclear power plants, safe management of radioactive waste and other nuclear safety related matters, establishing a database on these subjects and identifying new research cooperation projects concerning nuclear safety through exchange of information among research institutions. Participants discussed the applicability of the experience of the IAEA and the OECD/NEA in establishing relevant databases.
  8. Participants emphasized the importance of developing human resources in the field of safety of nuclear power plants, safe management of radioactive waste and other nuclear safety related matters by promoting exchanges of experts, various seminars and training programs. Participants recognized the particular importance of upgrading the quality of personnel who are engaged in ensuring safety of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities. In addition, participants explored the possibility of providing opportunities for following up the results of such seminars and training programs.
  9. Participants recognized and emphasized the importance of promoting nuclear safety culture and of continuing to facilitate the transfer of theoretical knowledge and practical skills for nuclear safety through activities discussed above and other relevant activities.
  10. Participants recognized the need to establish an effective national nuclear liability regime when their countries introduce nuclear power plants. Participants recognized the idea that primary responsibility for nuclear liability rests with the operator. Participants also noted the positive development of the discussions of the IAEA Standing Committee on Liability for Nuclear Damage.
  11. Participants examined what kind of cooperation in the Asian region is practical to facilitate each country's efforts in the field of nuclear liability.
  12. Participants encouraged countries which are not parties to the conventions to accede as early as possible to the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. Participants examined actions which enable themselves to give and/or receive notification and assistance smoothly and expeditiously in accordance with these conventions.
  13. Based on the discussion on each agenda mentioned above, participants agreed to hold meetings on various aspects of nuclear safety in the future. Participants welcomed the offer of the Republic of Korea to host the next meeting.

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