Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano has called for the strengthening of nuclear safety standards and better transparency about the risks of radiation in response to the Fukushima accident.

“Public confidence in the safety of nuclear power plants has been deeply shaken throughout the world,” Amano said. “We must therefore continue to work hard on improving the safety of nuclear power plants and ensuring transparency about the risks of radiation. Only in this way will we succeed in addressing the concerns that have been raised by Fukushima. More than ever before, our watchword must now be Safety First.”

Amano was speaking at a joint press conference with the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency in Paris on 28 April. During the conference OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría announced that the OECD will co-host a G20 meeting on nuclear energy issues 7-8 June, as part of international efforts to learn from the accident at Japan’s Fukushima power plant and help prevent similar disasters in the future.

“There are a number of lessons to be drawn from the accident in Fukushima, that apply to the design, construction, operation and maintenance of existing and future nuclear plants, but also apply to waste management or the backlash against nuclear power,” Gurría said. “We have an opportunity to learn from this tragic event and take it into account as we go forward.”

The meeting, organised under the French G20 presidency, will contribute to a wider IAEA ministerial meeting that Amano has convened for 20-24 June. No further details are currently available about the latter conference.

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