IAEA, China to collaborate on nuclear safety

Atomic energy agency to embark on only joint effort of its kind in the world

The International Atomic Energy Agency has designated the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center, an affiliate of China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, as the IAEA's first collaborating center around the world for nuclear and radiation safety, according to the ministry.

The agency and the NRSC signed an agreement for the establishment of the collaborating center in Beijing on Monday, the ministry said in a media release.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Tian Weiyong, deputy head of China's National Nuclear Safety Administration, attended the signing ceremony.

China is one of the IAEA’s most important partners and a global leader in nuclear energy.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Designated by the IAEA as a partner, the collaborating center is an organization of its member states that helps the IAEA carry out activities in specific fields, according to the ministry.

It said the NRSC will make full use of its resources and advantages to cooperate with IAEA member states in a series of fields, including nuclear and radiation safety and nuclear waste, to help them promote capacity building.

According to the IAEA, China is home to two other IAEA collaborating centers: the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, where research, development and capacity building for nuclear techniques in food and agriculture are undertaken; and the China Atomic Energy Authority, where research, development, testing and training on nuclear security detection and physical protection technologies are undertaken.

Grossi and other IAEA officials signed several agreements at the CAEA on Monday, kicking off a weeklong visit to China, the agency said in a media release.

The agreements will strengthen cooperation on small modular reactors, nuclear fusion, nuclear data, fuel cycle and waste management, as well as communication activities, it said.

It said an agreement was signed in support of Rays of Hope, an IAEA initiative to promote cancer care for all by improving the availability of radiotherapy services, medical imaging and nuclear medicine that are critical for detecting and curing the disease.

China, a member of the IAEA since 1984, is involved in 93 IAEA technical cooperation projects, in addition to 49 coordinated research projects, according to the agency.

The IAEA supports efforts to accelerate the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity around the world, and China is an indispensable partner in this endeavor, Grossi was quoted as saying in the release.

During his weeklong stay in the country, Grossi will meet with several high-level Chinese officials and visit nuclear facilities and institutions in Beijing, Shanghai and Shandong province.

"China is one of the IAEA's most important partners and a global leader in nuclear energy," he said.

"This week's agenda will cover the remarkable progress of China's nuclear energy program, cooperation in nuclear applications and indispensable exchanges on non-proliferation and nuclear safety."