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The Introduction of the Coordinators


FNCA Coordinators Meeting

18th
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Summary Report of the 18th FNCA Coordinators Meeting
6-8 March 2017, Tokyo, Japan


Group Photo

The 18h FNCA Coordinators Meeting (CDM) held on 7-8 March 2017, in Tokyo, Japan, was officially 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 Mr Tomoaki Wada, FNCA Coordinator of Japan.
The Meeting was attended by delegates from 11 member countries; Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, and the Regional cooperation Agreement for Research, Development and training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA) Regional Office participated to the meeting as observer. The Republic of Korea was absent due to schedule conflict.
A technical visit to the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) was also arranged on the previous day, 6 March.

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

Session 1: Opening Session
Mr Tomoaki Wada, FNCA Coordinator of Japan, opened the meeting. Dr Yoshiaki Oka, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), made a welcome remarks, in which he welcomed all participants and mentioned FNCA’s great contribution to various areas of peaceful use of nuclear energy, such as agriculture, medicine, industry and so on.
After the self-introduction by each participant, the Meeting agenda was adopted without any amendment.
Photo of Dr Oka and Mr Wada
Dr Yoshiaki Oka, Chairman of JAEC (forth from the left), and Mr Tomoaki Wada, Coordinator of Japan (third from the left)

Session 2: Summary Report of the FNCA MLM in 2016
Mr Hideo Shindo, Deputy Director General for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office, Japan, reported on summary of the 17th Ministerial Level Meeting (MLM). He introduced the action items of Joint Communique, such as themes and activities to be promoted, improved procedures for evaluating project proposals, new TOR defining the role and function of FNCA meetings, and introduction of "FNCA Award". He mentioned these items were to be discussed in following session.

Session 3: Report of project activities and outcomes
1. Nuclear Safety Strengthening
Mr Peter McGlinn, FNCA Coordinator of Australia, highlighted whole history of Safety Management System (SMS) project, and stated that the project is successfully completed. He stressed that the project improved safety and image of nuclear activities, and reduced chance of accidents in the future. He also introduced that good practices identified over the series of past 6 peer reviews will be available soon on FNCA website. Dr Hannarong Shamsub, Thailand, reported on SMS workshop/peer review held in Bangkok last October, mentioning that Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT) was benefited from self-assessment and peer review process, since they are developing fully integrated SMS.
Prof Toshiso Kosako, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, reported that Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management project facilitated sharing information on technical knowledge. He indicated his intention to focus on new theme "Low-level Radioactive Waste Repository". Mr Yevgeniy Tur, FNCA Project Leader of Kazakhstan, reported radioactive waste management in Kazakhstan and challenges of low level waste management.

2. Nuclear Infrastructure Strengthening
Dr Kiyonobu Yamashita, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, reported on history and past achievement of Human Resources Development (HRD) Project, including nuclear HRD network, information exchange on nuclear/radiation education. He recommended that discussion on HRD should be covered by FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting, due to its importance. Mr Zakaria Taib, Malaysia, reported on HRD workshop held in Kajang last August, where the participants visited a secondary school to observe science exhibition by the students and hands-on experiment on cloud chamber.
Mr Masao Senzaki, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, highlighted outputs of Nuclear Security and Safeguards project in past three years, such as promotion of capacity building and enhancement of nuclear security and safeguards regime. He also showed themes to be picked up in the future, which includes nuclear forensics, cyber security and additional protocol, etc. Mr Kusbandono, Indonesia, explained that BATAN and BAPETEN are enhancing nuclear security following "Recommendation on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facility (INFCIRC225/rev 5) ".

3. Radiation Utilization Development
Dr Hirokazu Nakai, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, reported that in Mutation Breeding project, member countries set respective targets like high yield, adaptability to their country’s environment, and tolerance to climate change, and successfully develop mutant varieties of rice with highly economic impacts.
Dr Shotaro Ando, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, reported on the outputs of Biofertilizer project in 2016, such as joint workshop with Electron Accelerator Application project and preparation of "FNCA Guideline Vol. 2 Production of biofertilizer carrier using radiation technology sterilization". Ms Julieta Avillar Anarna, the Philippines, gave a presentation on "Bio-N", a microbial inoculant, and reported that combination of biofertilizer and oligochitosan can enhance growth and yield of the test crops (rice and corn).
Dr Masao Tamada, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, reported on joint workshop between Electron Accelerator Application project and Biofertilizer project, which gave the occasion to launch the researches on synergy effects of Plant Growth Promoter (PGP) and biofertilizer. Dr Nguyen Ngoc Duy, Vietnam reported current situation on electron accelerator application in Vietnam, including the effect of oligochitosan supplementation on growth and disease resistance of striped catfish.
Prof Shingo Kato, FNCA Project Leader of Japan for Radiation Oncology project, reported ongoing clinical tests for Cervix-IV, NPC-III and BREAST-1, and also mentioned the next clinical study on 3D image guided brachytherapy (3D-IGBT) for locally advanced cervical cancer, so called "Cervix-V". Dr Abul Farah Mohammed Kamal Uddin, Bangladesh, introduced that they are disseminating FNCA protocols to different medical centers in Bangladesh.

4. Research Reactor Utilization Development
Dr Masanori Kaminaga, FNCA Project Leader of Japan, presented the achievements of Research Reactor Network project, such as stable supply of Mo-99 and provision of training to nuclear researchers and engineers. Dr Munkhbat Byambajav, Mongolia, mentioned that information shared during the workshops benefits the activities to introduce new research reactor to Mongolia.
Prof Mitsuru Ebihara, FNCA Project Leader of Japan for Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) project, reported that participating countries have achieved reasonable outcomes in two NAA sub-projects, namely analysis of SPM (suspended particulate matter) and REE (rare earth elements). Dr John William Bennett, Australia, reported sub-project activities in Australia, introducing inter laboratory comparison using REE samples.
Integration of RNN and NAA project into a new project called Research Reactor Utilization (RRU) project was proposed. In this project, following topics will be considered.

- Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA)
- Neutron Scattering
- Nuclear Science
- BNCT, NR
- Material Research
- New Research Reactor
- Human Resources Development

Session 4: IAEA/RCA Activities Reports and Cooperation between RCA and FNCA
Mr Hai Joo Moon, RCA Regional Office showed the overview of RCA and possible cooperation area between RCA and FNCA. This was followed by Mr. WADA’s comment of possibility to have technical collaboration between FNCA and RCA, for example clinical test of radiation oncology.
Photo of Mr Moon”
Mr Hai Joo Moon, RCA Regional Office (right)


Session 5: Proposals for New Projects
In Session 5, proposals for the new projects were presented. Australia shared information on "The Research on climate change using nuclear and isotopic technique project", and Bangladesh, introduced outline of the project proposal for the "Human Resource Development: Information exchange on nuclear science materials for health care professionals".

Session 6-1: Follow-up on activities based on the decisions of the 17th MLM
In Session 6, "the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the FNCA Meetings" was reviewed. At first, Mr Nobuhiro Muroya, Japan, introduced the text of TOR concerning CDM which includes role and function, time and venue of CDM. The draft TOR was agreed. There was a proposal to add an attachment where FNCA Coordinators and other members are listed. Any other comments will be accepted by FNCA secretariat until 21st March 2017. The SOM in July will finalize the draft TOR in order for the 18th MLM’s endorsement.
Mr Muroya proposed implementation guideline of FNCA Award including the nomination and application procedure of the Best Research Team of the year. There were comments and questions concerning selection process. The meeting concluded that it would launch the scheme as proposed and continue to discuss improvement of the process.

Session 7: Discussion on Future Policy of FNCA Activities
At first, Mr Wada introduced ex-ante evaluation results of 6 project proposals which coordinators performed with improved procedures and encouraged the Coordinators to their make comment on project proposals. And it was agreed to launch two new three-year projects, namely Research on Climate Change Using Nuclear and Isotopic Techniques and Research Reactor Utilization (Integration of Research Reactor Network Project and Neutron Activation Analysis Project), and begin new phases of three projects for three years, namely Radiation Oncology, Radiation Safety & Radioactive Waste Management, and Nuclear Security & Safeguards. Also, host countries of FNCA workshop in JFY2017 were agreed.

Session 8: Closing
Mr Wada provided the Conclusion and Recommendation of the meeting. With a few amendments, the document was finalized. Lastly, Mr WADA officially closed the meeting.
Photo of the meeting
A Scene from the Meeting
Photo of the technical visit Photo of the technical visit
Technical Visit to J-PARC


Conclusions and Recommendations of the 18th FNCA Coordinators Meeting

1. The Coordinator’s Meeting ("the meeting") appreciated that the FNCA activities were effectively implemented in JFY 2016 and have achieved significant outcomes benefiting member countries.
2. Regarding the importance of making contributions to sustainable development by utilizing nuclear science and technology to mitigate the effects of climate change, and the importance of tackling the issue of the safe management and disposal of radioactive waste, based on the Joint Communiques of the 16th FNCA Ministerial-Level Meeting (MLM) and the 17th FNCA MLM respectively, the meeting agreed to
a) launch a new research project on climate change using nuclear and isotopic techniques in 2017, which will assist member countries with the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques for understanding the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and landscapes to climate change.
b) enhance the radiation safety and radioactive waste management project especially regarding the construction of waste storage and disposal facilities, and the promotion of radiation safety and safety culture.
3. The meeting implemented End-of-project evaluation on six projects, namely a) Radiation Oncology, b) Research Reactor Network, c) Safety Management Systems for Nuclear Facilities, d) Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management, e) Human Resources Development, and f) Nuclear Security and Safeguards, which will terminate at the end of March 2017. The evaluation results and comments on those projects are follows,
a) Radiation Oncology
To establish optimal treatments for the predominant cancers in Asia, this project has been conducting several clinical studies of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for more than 20 years. From the results of the clinical studies, some treatment protocols have become standard ones in the FNCA member countries.
b) Research Reactor Network
This project has established a national network for medical isotope production and stable supplies in each member country and established an FNCA regional network for the stable production and supply of medical isotopes. It also helped to share information about technologies for producing Mo-99 and new R&D activities for producing medical isotopes.
c) Safety Management Systems for Nuclear Facilities
  This project performed six peer reviews of facilities in Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Thailand between 2010 and 2016. Reviewed facilities enhanced their safety management systems regarding safety monitoring, document control, aging management, and housekeeping according to suggestions for potential improvement, and the project has contributed to enhancing nuclear safety effectively in FNCA member countries by sharing good practices and knowledge. The meeting encourages current efforts to put good practices for enhancing safety management systems on the FNCA web page and to widely share them among FNCA member countries.
d) Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management
  Reports outlining the status of participating countries and other papers have been published, and a better mutual understanding of the approach taken for radiation safety and waste management at research institutions and other organizations between countries has helped to promote safety culture in FNCA regions.
e) Human Resources Development
  This project has successfully established national nuclear HRD networks in member countries and helped promote secondary school education for radiation science. The meeting suggests that the utilization of existing mechanisms for sharing information about needs and HRD program among FNCA member states such as ANTEP should be enhanced in each country. It also recommends that the issues of HRD should be discussed at MLM for the further promotion of human resource development in FNCA member countries.
f) Nuclear Security and Safeguards
  The 3-year-long activities of this project produced excellent outcomes including raising awareness about the importance of nuclear security and safeguards, facilitating the sharing of information about nuclear security and safeguards, promoting capacity-building for nuclear security and safeguards, and nuclear security and safeguards regimes through workshops and open seminars.
4. With improved procedures for evaluating project proposals endorsed at the 17th MLM, all FNCA coordinators performed ex-ante evaluation of 6 project proposals from project leaders in terms of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. As a result the meeting agreed to launch two new three-year projects, namely Research on Climate Change Using Nuclear and Isotopic Techniques and Research Reactor Utilization (Integration of Research Reactor Network Project and Neutron Activation Analysis Project), and begin new phases of three projects for three years, namely Radiation Oncology, Nuclear Security and Safeguards, and Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management, with the following comments.
a) Radiation Oncology
- It is strongly expected that the optimal treatment protocol of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cervical cancer (CERVIX-V), including state-of-the-art techniques of radiotherapy, will be established and disseminated in three years.
- Physical quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) of radiotherapy at the participating facilities are important and should be conducted as planned.
- At least two delegates from each country should participate in the workshop to meet the need for adequate representation of three types of cancers as well as representation of both clinicians and medical physicists.
b) Research on Climate Change using Nuclear and Isotopic Techniques
- Through this project, technical levels of the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques to environmental research in FNCA member states are expected to be enhanced.
- It is strongly expected that technical partnerships among member states for research on topics such as soil and water quality, soil erosion, coastal erosion and marine systems will be initiated in three years.
c) Research Reactor Utilization
- As this project divides its topics into several sub-topics ranging from NAA to HRD, it is expected that this project will effectively improve technical skill level of researchers as well as technicians and research infrastructure of each FNCA member state.
- In order to improve researchers’ technical skill levels in relation to research reactors, it is important that MEXT nuclear researchers exchange program will be utilized to train researchers.
- It is desirable that workshop meeting each year should focus on a few topics to discuss among proposed areas.
- Project and Co-Project Leader need to be assigned from each country. One will be from the organization that is responsible for operation and management of research reactors, and the other will be a researcher who is responsible for NAA. Research activities currently performed in the NAA project should continue until March 2019.
d) Radiation Safety and Radioactive Waste Management
- Since almost all countries in the FNCA are planning to construct low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities/long-term storage facilities, this project should assist the member countries with safety improvement related to radiation safety and radioactive management of low-level radioactive waste repositories.
e) Nuclear Security and Safeguards Project
- Nuclear forensics, cyber security, and the security of radioactive sources should be intensively discussed for three years in order to build an effective international mechanism for nuclear materials security in Asia, which is urgently expected in the world.
- Human resource development in nuclear security is strongly expected to be promoted through this project.
5. The meeting also monitored three radiation utilization developments projects, namely, Mutation breeding, Biofertilizer, and Electron Accelerator Application, and acknowledged that the projects were successfully implemented in the fields of agriculture with the effective cooperation of member countries.
6. The meeting agreed to make a review of the new procedure for evaluating project proposals at the coming 19th CDM to improve evaluation activities.
7. It was agreed that the FNCA should continue its cooperation with the IAEA/RCA on specific projects on mutation breeding, radiation oncology, and radiation processing for possible synergy and experience sharing with non-FNCA RCA member states.
8. Concerning establishing new Terms of Reference (TOR) for FNCA, the meeting discussed the contents of draft TOR in order for 18th MLM’s endorsement. The Draft TOR was agreed. There was a proposal to add an attachment where coordinators and other FNCA meeting members are listed. Any other comments if any should be submitted to FNCA secretariat by the 21st March 2017. The SOM scheduled on 19th and 20th of July in 2017 will finalize the draft TOR.
9. Concerning the introduction of the "FNCA Award" scheme endorsed at the 17th Ministerial Level-Meeting, the meeting discussed a draft of implementation guidelines including the nomination and application procedure. There were comments and questions concerning selection process, such as the power of SOM and MLM in the winners decision, degree of relevance of the proposed criteria to certain projects. The meeting concluded that it would launch the scheme as proposed and continue to discuss improvement of the process. The upcoming SOM in July will review and finalize the award winners and the MLM in October will be the first occasion of the FNCA Award.
10. The meeting agreed that the project workshops would be hosted by the respective member governments as shown in Annex in JFY 2017. Joint workshops are to be held for the Electron Accelerator Application and Biofertilizer projects, in anticipation of effective and efficient discussions and synergistic project outputs. Prospective host governments should confirm their availability as soon as possible.
11. It was agreed that the summary report (draft) would be e-mailed to the coordinators for comments within two weeks of the meeting, and each coordinator should make comments in another two weeks, and that the Secretariat would make the final version of the report to be adopted by the delegates.

Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia