A valuable and rewarding week at the IAEA 65th General Conference
Well, this has been a surprisingly great week. One, just to see people in person and how important that is in continuing to build our strong relationships. And I think some of the key topics that we discussed that are so important and crucial to the CNSC.
One is around SMRs and harmonization and international collaboration. The amount of interest in SMRs is just exploding, and I think the leadership that the CNSC is showing in this area is recognized, welcomed and very much appreciated, and we saw that over and over again.
The area of radioactive waste management, decommissioning, DGRs, and opportunities for collaboration and sharing practices, challenges and concerns was another huge area on our agenda this week.
The third one, something always near and dear to me, is around gender equity and the work that the Impact Group of international nuclear regulators is doing, and we have expanded our membership and again garnering a lot of momentum in that area.
Another big takeaway is just around innovating regulations, and very much tied into that are some philosophical discussions around how safe is safe or when is safe good enough, and the cost of regulatory oversight and licensing has been coming up over and over again, so I think that was very key.
And I think, just generally with INRA in particular, just discussing areas of common interest and concern. Whether it is around our demographics and staffing and expertise. Whether it was around Japan and the contaminated water, and the support and expertise that they need. And how just as a joint international nuclear regulatory community we can help each other out, support each other, and work better together. So overall a fantastic week.
We had a productive week in Vienna at the 65th edition of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference. The event offered an excellent opportunity to increase our engagement with key international partners and discuss important topics of interest to the CNSC and Canadians. In an era of innovative technologies, it’s clear ongoing collaboration, information sharing and engagement are essential for nuclear regulators.
The many sessions, bilateral meetings and valuable side events allowed us to connect with our international colleagues and discuss topics of mutual interest, such as IAEA safeguards, diversity within the nuclear sector, and international harmonization in preparation for the future.
With the ability to meet in person for the first time since 2019, we were also able to sign two memoranda of understanding – one with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and one with the Czech Republic’s State Office for Nuclear Safety. President Rumina Velshi met with the head of each regulator to sign agreements for ongoing collaboration and exchange of information. During these meetings, they also took time to discuss topics of mutual interest, such as gender diversity within the nuclear sector.
It was a successful return to the IAEA General Conference, and we’re looking forward to continued collaboration and exchanges of information with our international colleagues.
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