The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) have renewed their commitment to continue working together in the development of international standards that ensure nuclear technology is used in a safe and secure manner.
This highlights four decades of cooperation, with 2021 marking the 40th anniversary of the signature in 1981 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the IAEA and ISO setting out guidelines for their cooperation and regular consultation on matters of common interest. While both organisations have their own set of standards, in areas of common interest relating to nuclear technology experts from each organisation contribute to the development of the other’s standards.
“Although the IAEA and ISO are two quite different organisations, the very important work we do in the area of international standards is complementary,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. “Forty years of successful collaboration is an achievement to celebrate. It is also a chance to look ahead to the work we will do together to ensure international standards remain fit for purpose and nuclear technologies continue to be used safely for everything from curing cancer to using nuclear energy that helps to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”
Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of ISO noted: “As our understanding of the potential of atomic energy continues to grow, collaboration between our two organizations is needed more than ever. In meeting these demands, and in transitioning away from a hydrocarbon economy, there is a clear case for the benefits of nuclear power in combination with renewable sources of energy. In spreading this technology, the work of the IAEA and the role of international standards remain essential.”
ISO experts who serve on the IAEA’s Safety Standards Committees contribute to the development and review of IAEA safety standards on nuclear safety, waste safety, radiation safety, transport safety and emergency preparedness and response. Similarly, IAEA experts participate in ISO technical committees that cover topics such as nuclear energy, quality management, and air and water quality. Recently IAEA experts have contributed to the development of ISO standards for the nuclear supply chain and for radium in drinking water.
Photo: On 1 September, the IAEA and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) renewed their commitment to continue working together (Photo: D.Calma/IAEA)