(CPV)- A one-day meeting is hosted on June 11 in Hanoi by Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS) to start the long envisaged nuclear safety cooperation with the European Commission.
This first ever project between the two sides is funded with 2 million Euro and will have a duration of three years.
The high-level meeting has been set up by the Nuclear Safety Unit of European Commission's Directorate General for External Cooperation (EUROPEAID), which has contracted RISKAUDIT, a French-German consortium, to undertake the project organization. In addition, a VARANS and European Commission meeting will be held to determine a long term strategy.
The European Commission finances, with some 50 million Euro per year, the "Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC)". This allows regulatory authorities and their technical safety organizations to cooperate with their equivalents in the European Union in order to promote the highest level possible of nuclear safety and radiation protection.
The Vietnamese government has requested the cooperation in particular with regard to the technical assistance for improving the legal framework for nuclear safety and strengthening the capabilities of the regulatory authority of Vietnam, VARANS, and its technical safety organizations (TSO).
Mutual expectations on the future cooperation in the field of nuclear safety as well as the respective specific needs have been exchanged and discussed.
The project will comprise, apart from technical assistance to build a nuclear safety framework in Vietnam, the development of internal regulatory guides and procedures and the increase of Vietnamese regulatory capabilities for the independent review and assessment of safety submissions.
A human resources development plan and training program will be developed for VARANS. The participants of the meeting examined and undertook a first fine tuning of these cooperation elements. RISKAUDIT will play a key role by sharing experience and giving training as well as on the spot as in Europe.
"A nuclear accident anywhere has consequences everywhere. Hence, it is important that when a country embarks on nuclear, the associated legal framework is well established. Information exchange is essential to this process”, said Mr Hans Blix, who was director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna between 1981 – 1997.
The EU is seeking to broaden and diversify the agenda of its relationship with Vietnam, beyond development cooperation and trade, to increased political co-operation on issues of global concern.
The TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States) program was established in 1992 as a European Nuclear safety assistance program for the countries succeeding the Soviet Union./.