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The Introduction of the Coordinators

FNCA Coordinators Meeting

15th
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Summary Report of the 15th FNCA Coordinators Meeting
March 11 to 12, 2014, Tokyo, Japan



The 15th FNCA Coordinators Meeting was held on March 11-12, 2014, in Tokyo, Japan, hosted by the Cabinet Office of Japan (CAO) and the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), and co-hosted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. Chairperson of the Meeting was Dr. Sueo MACHI, FNCA Coordinator of Japan.

The Meeting was attended by delegates from 12 member countries: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and the RCA Regional Office. Delegates comprised FNCA Coordinators, Project Leaders, and Director of RCA Regional Office.

The summary of the nine sessions of this Meeting is as follows:

Session 1: Opening Session
Dr. Shunsuke KONDO, Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) made the opening remarks. After the self-introduction by each participant, the Meeting agenda was adopted without amendments.

Session 2: Summary Report of the FNCA Meetings in 2013
Dr. MACHI first reported on the 5th Study Panel. He then informed the body about the 14th Ministerial Level Meeting, highlighting the Chair’s statement and the major decisions, which are to be discussed further in this meeting.

Session 3: Radiation Utilization Development
Dr. Hirohiko TSUJII, Japan, reported on the activities of Radiation Oncology project, including the remarkable results of joint clinical tests. Then, Dr. DANG Huy Quoc Thinh, Viet Nam, reported on the remarkable benefits of using FNCA protocols to treat Vietnamese patients. Prof. Hirokazu NAKAI, Japan, reported on past results of Mutation Breeding Project, and emphasized the importance of the new theme, “Mutation Breeding of Rice for Sustainable Agriculture”. Meanwhile, Dr. Olivia P. DAMASCO, the Philippines, reported on their efforts to develop BBTV-resistant Lakatan Cultivar by using mutation breeding, and the remarkable performance of this newly developed variety.
Results of the discussion showed the need for further cooperation among the three FNCA projects, namely Mutation Breeding, Biofertilizer, and Electron Accelerator Application(Radiation Processing of Natural Polymers)including application of oligochitosan.

Dr. Tadashi YOKOYAMA, Japan, discussed on the progress of its Biofertilizer project including synergetic effect of biofertilizer and oligochitosan. Dr. Khairuddin BIN ABDUL RAHIM, Malaysia, described Malaysia’s experience on commercialization of biofertilizer using carrier sterilized by radiation.

Dr. Masao TAMADA, Japan, reported on current status of development and commercialization of Plant Growth Promoter (PGP) and Super Water Absorbent (SWA) in Electron Accelerator Application project. Then Dr. Darmawan DARWIS, Indonesia, introduced their efforts to commercialize PGP using irradiated chitosan, including research and development, field tests (especially in chili plant), and its dissemination.

Session 4: Research Reactor Utilization Development
Dr. Mitsuru EBIHARA, Japan, reported on the outcome of Neutron Activation Analysis project for three targets, namely, geochemical samples, food samples, and marine sediment samples.

Mr. Yoshihiro KOMORI, Japan, summarized activities of Research Reactor Network Project for past 3 years including their strategy for stable supply of Mo-99 for nuclear medicine in the Member Countries.

Session 5: Strengthening Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Infrastructure
Mr. Peter McGLINN, Australia, introduced overall achievement of Safety Management Systems for Nuclear Facilities project, such as dissemination of good practices and points to be improved found through peer review.
Mr. Yuji MATSUZOE, Japan, presented the achievement of its Radiation Safety & Radioactive Waste Management project, including workshop, update of the consolidated report, and newsletter publication.
Mr. Masao SENZAKI, Japan, outlined workshop of Nuclear Security & Safeguards project, and expressed Japan’s intention to host a regional training course on nuclear security with IAEA in November 2014.
Dr. Kiyonobu YAMASHITA, Japan, introduced achievements of Human Resources Development project including networking among nuclear HRD related organization, as well as identifying focal points for international cooperation for HRD.

Session 6: IAEA/RCA Activities Reports and the Cooperation between RCA and FNCA
Mr. Kun Mo CHOI, the Director, RCA/RO described the activities and cooperation between RCA and FNCA. It was confirmed that cooperation between RCA and FNCA in the three areas (radiation processing, radiation oncology, and mutation breeding) works well, and should be continued. Dr. Machi briefly reported his view on the current cooperation of FNCA with RCA.

Session 7: Follow-up on Recommendations of the 14th Ministerial Level Meeting
(1) Nuclear Security Culture Development
Dr. KONDO proposed key points for strengthening nuclear security culture, and introduced Japan’s efforts for it in his lead speech. Mr. JEONG Honghwa, Korea, presented their framework for nuclear security culture, as well as KINAC’s efforts including education and training, assessment on awareness and attitude for nuclear security culture. And Mr. SENZAKI introduced ISCN’s training courses for nuclear security culture, actions to utilize FNCA website to share best practices. He also pointed out, the importance of involving top management in nuclear security and proposed to organize Ministerial Meeting in the frame of FNCA focusing on nuclear security culture.

(2) Building a network with potential end users to accelerate the practical use of FNCA achievements in the radiation application area
Dr. MACHI, in his lead speech, showed potential end users of five areas of FNCA projects, namely Electron Accelerator Application, Biofertilizer, Neutron Activation Analysis, Radiation Oncology, and Mutation Breeding. He emphasized needs of strategy to facilitate the technology transfer, as well as information dissemination on technology and products developed by the projects to end users.

(3) Cooperation of HRD among FNCA member countries
Dr. MACHI, in his lead speech, pointed out challenges of HRD project, and then encouraged member countries to dispatch senior officials responsible for HRD strategy in a country to the HRD Project workshop, to support and promote increased information exchange at senior official level. Dr. Cao Dinh Thanh, Viet Nam, showed a forecast of human resources needed in their country up to 2020, and the role of related organization for construction of NPP in Viet Nam. And Dr. Shuichi SAKAMOTO, Japan, detailed MEXT’s international cooperation for nuclear HRD, including Nuclear Researchers Exchange Program (NREP), Instructors Training Program (ITP), and capacity building in nuclear security. During discussion, importance of HRD for nuclear regulation was brought up.

Session 8: Future Policy of FNCA Activities
Dr. MACHI gave a summary of the 10 FNCA projects and proposed plan of activities to be undertaken in JFY2014. FNCA Coordinators also made comments on Dr. Machi’s input. The discussion on the future FNCA activities followed.

Session 9: Closing Session
Dr. MACHI provided the Conclusion and Recommendations. After discussion and some changes, the Conclusion and Recommendations were accepted by the meeting.
Lastly, Dr. MACHI gave his closing remarks, and officially closed the meeting.

15th FNCA Coordinators Meeting
March 11-12, 2014, Tokyo, Japan
Conclusions and Recommendations

1) The meeting appreciated that the 10 current FNCA projects and the Study Panel have been effectively implemented in JFY 2013 and have achieved good outcomes benefiting member countries.
   
2) The meeting reviewed the 7 projects that have been implemented during the past 3 years  and took note of the following points: (Note: Projects on Mutation Breeding, Radiation Processing of Natural Polymers, and Biofertilizer were extended in 2012 and 2013 so did not need reviewing)
   
  (1) Neutron Activation Analysis
Interesting results on contamination measurement of fish in terms of food safety. Advising engagement and collaboration with end-users of NAA application is a priority and should be confirmed at the next WS in 2014. The level of engagement and collaboration established during the current year may determine the future viability of the project.
   
  (2) Radiation Oncology
Excellent results on the new protocol for uterine cervical cancer treatment were reported. Protocol studies on head and neck cancer and breast cancer should lead to participation by an increased number of medical personnel.
   
  (3) Research Reactor Network
Coordination among the major RI producers of FNCA member countries to secure stable supply of medical isotopes to the region is highly desirable. FNCA will be a self-sufficient region for production of Mo-99 after 2018 once Mo-99 production capacity is increased in Australia and Korea. Information sharing on research reactor design and application for new reactor construction in FNCA countries will be a renewed focus in coming years.
   
  (4) Human Resource Development
Participation in the project, to date, has been at the working level of HRD in the respective member countries. In order to achieve greater impact of the project it is recommended that there is a change to the project mandate and implementation should be defined at the next workshop where senior level HRD representatives of member countries should be approached to participate. A focus of the next workshop should be the importance of HRD for “nuclear communicators”, to enhance stakeholder involvement.
   
  (5) Safety Management System of Nuclear Facilities
There has been remarkable achievement through the peer review process by expert teams of member countries in improving safety management systems.  Peer reviews of remaining countries, such as China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Vietnam are highly desirable. Future plans will be included on the agenda of the workshop in Bangladesh in May 2014. An extension of the project for 2 years is proposed by Australia, budget permitting.
   
  (6) Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management
Lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident regarding radiation safety should be further shared. The workshop in Mongolia in 2013 was highly appreciated by the government of Mongolia.
   
  (7) Nuclear Security and Safeguards
The importance of nuclear security culture development, and government and institutional responsibility, was noted.
   
3) The meeting fully recognized the importance of establishing nuclear security culture and that the leadership of government, and executive management of all nuclear related organizations, is the key for the establishment of a strong culture.
   
4) The meeting appreciated the JAEA ISCN and KINAC for providing training in nuclear security for FNCA member countries, and noted the proposal by the project leader of the Nuclear Security and Safeguards project to hold an extraordinary FNCA Ministerial level meeting focused on nuclear security and safeguards.
   
5) The meeting noted the projects for developing radiation applications for sustainable development and welfare have made remarkable achievements which should be transferred to end-users for practical application, and agreed that the Coordinators should work with the respective project leaders to address this challenging task, including setting up a network of nuclear research institutes and end-users.
   
6) The meeting noted that implementation of the HRD project should be modified in order to better meet the HRD needs of the member countries. It was agreed that the HRD WS, with participation by senior officials, should discuss the strategy of specific HRD programs such as (1) training nuclear communicators and engaging social scientists for better stakeholder involvement, (2) filling the knowledge gap between the younger and more experienced workforce, and (3) training nuclear power experts, and will propose specific training programs to be hosted by the member countries.
   
7) The meeting agreed that the HRD workshop, with participation by senior management, should discuss and share information on HRD policy, strategy and exploring avenues for possible regional cooperation.
   
8) The meeting recommended that the Senior Officials Meeting, to be held before the Ministerial level meeting in 2014, should discuss nuclear HRD strategy.
   
9) The meeting noted that the government of Vietnam has allocated significant funds ($US100 million) for the development of nuclear HRD and has proposed concrete plans of HRD to achieve its nuclear power program.
   
10) The meeting noted with appreciation that MEXT is sponsoring the Nuclear Researcher Exchange Program and the Instructor Training Program to support FNCA member countries.
   
11) The meeting encouraged leaders of the Mutation Breeding project to consider exploring possible synergies with the project on biofertilizers and the project on radiation processing of natural polymers (PGP).
   
12) The meeting agreed that Coordinators should always nominate competent participants to project meetings and workshops, in principle the PLs, and encouraged member countries to support the participation of additional expert(s) at the workshops through the support of national or institutional travel funds in order to strengthen Project outcomes and impact.
   
13) The meeting appreciated the FNCA Study Panel for sharing experiences on nuclear power programs and agreed to have a major agenda item at the next Study Panel in Vietnam to discuss SMR; the role of TSO (Technical Support Organization) and research institutes; the strategy of stakeholder involvement for nuclear power programs;, the status of the Fukushima Daiichi NPS;, and EPR.
   
14) The meeting agreed that the FNCA continues its cooperation with the RCA/IAEA on the projects on mutation breeding, radiation processing of natural polymers, and radiation oncology, for synergies and sharing experiences and information between the two parties and noted that this cooperation provided good opportunities for non- FNCA RCA member states to be better engaged with and understand FNCA activities.
   
15) The meeting recommended that the FNCA website should be more fully utilized and updated with information on FNCA activities.
   
16) The meeting recommended that a cost benefit analysis of PGP and biofertilizer in member countries should be estimated.
   
17) The meeting agreed to the extension of the seven projects reviewed, subject to some improvements in project implementation as described above.
   
18) The meeting agreed to the host governments of the Project Workshops and the Study Panel for 2014 (Annex 1).

Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia