OECD/NEA Director General Visits KAERI
- Discussed Ways to Strengthen Cooperation to Improve Nuclear Safety and Development of Future Innovative Nuclear Technology -
□ Mr. William D. Magwood IV, Director General of OECD/NEA, visited KAERI in the morning of June 12 and discussed with KAERI President Won-seok Park ways to boost bilateral cooperation between the two institutions. During their talks, Mr. Magwood and President Park exchanged ideas on how to improve nuclear safety, develop innovative future nuclear technologies, and invigorate participation in joint international research led by OECD/NEA and agreed to further strengthen communication and cooperation between the two institutions.
○ Mr. Magwood emphasized the importance of enhancing nuclear safety for the development of future nuclear systems and provided a detailed explanation about recent trends in the development of candidate nuclear energy systems that can assure safety and reliability at a level acceptable by the general public. In addition, Mr. Magwood added that the private sector’s participation and investment in developing future innovative nuclear technologies is important and noted that the private sector’s recent participation in such technology development is highly encouraging.
□ Noting the importance of developing technology with improved safety to ensure safe operation of nuclear plants, Mr. Magwood highlighted that, not only the application of future technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, but also the activities of the OECD/NEA supported Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP) should be bolstered to provide international peer reviews for the safety of nuclear plants.
○ Mr. Magwood and President Park agreed that it is highly important to apply promising future technologies such as AI and big data to the area of nuclear safety research as such latest technologies can help minimize human errors related to nuclear safety research and change the public’s attitude toward nuclear energy.
○ In addition, Mr. Magwood proposed that Korea host an OECD/NEA sponsored international workshop aimed at bringing together experts from around the world to identify measures to improve nuclear safety by applying those new technologies. In response, President Park supported the proposal, referring to the vast amount of data and information held by the NEA in the area of nuclear safety as an international organization.
□ Prior to meeting with President Park, Mr. Magwood visited the ATLAS facility and expressed his intention to encourage many OECD/NEA member countries to participate in the planned third-phase of OECD-ATLAS international joint project that will also be led by KAERI. After its successful completion of the first-phase of OECD-ATLAS international joint project (April 2014 – March 2017), KAERI is currently leading the second phase of the project with participation by 18 institutions from 11 countries (October 2017 – September 2020). In the third phase of the project, KAERI will propose joint research items using the newly established facilities for safety verification of nuclear reactor buildings.
□ Recognizing the benefits of joint research projects promoted by OECD/NEA, President Park asked OECD/NEA to play a bigger role in invigorating joint research projects primarily in the area of nuclear safety. Mr. Magwood responded that it is NEA’s prime task to solicit advanced countries’ participation in joint research projects by invigorating their rather stagnant nuclear R&D programs.
○ Mr. Magwood stressed the importance of encouraging the private sector to make investments in nuclear R&D programs and noted that, to this end, the NEA will launch discussions with leading nuclear countries such as the United States, France, Russia, Korea and Japan to identify means for joint endeavors.
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