IAEA calls for binding nuclear safety inspections
Countries should agree to obligatory safety inspections of nuclear power plants by the International Atomic Energy Energy (IAEA), the organization's chief Yukiya Amano said Monday at a follow-up meeting to the Fukushima disaster in Japan, DPA reported.
Currently, such inspections happen only at the country's invitation.
Amano spoke at the start of the minister-level conference in Vienna, which is set to come up with ways to strengthen nuclear security around the world.
The IAEA director general also called for global stress tests of all existing nuclear power plants, especially to evaluate protective measures against floods and earthquakes.
He said the IAEA should play a stronger role in providing information to the international community in case of severe accidents such as the one at Japan's Fukushima 1 plant.
So far, the agency has largely been reduced to disseminating Japanese government information, but Amano said the IAEA should also start providing its own analysis and forecasts.
In addition, Amano said the IAEA would update its safety standards, in particular regarding risks of multiple natural hazards.
These standards are currently not binding, but Amano urged countries to follow them. "Even the best safety standards are useless unless they are actually implemented," he said.
An IAEA expert mission to Fukushima concluded last week that Japan had not applied several of these standards.