FNCA Coordinators


The Introduction of the Coordinators

FNCA Coordinators Meeting

Participants List


Record of the Sixth FNCA Coordinators Meeting
March 30- April 1, 2005, Tokyo, Japan

April 1, 2005

1. Session 1: Opening
The Sixth FNCA Coordinators Meeting (CM) was held from March 30 through April 1, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan, hosted by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of Japan and Cabinet Office (CAO) of Japan.
Dr. Sueo Machi, the Commissioner of Atomic Energy Commission of Japan (and FNCA Coordinator of Japan) gave the welcome remarks at the Opening Session.
The Meeting was attended by delegates from FNCA countries, i.e., Australia, the Peoplefs Republic of China, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.

2. Session 2: Report on the Fifth FNCA Meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam
In Session 2, Professor Vuong Huu Tan, Chairman of Viet Nam Atomic Energy Commission and the FNCA Coordinator of Viet Nam gave a summary report of the Fifth FNCA Meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam (Ministerial Level Meeting and Senior Officials Meeting). The Sixth FNCA Coordinators Meeting took note of the report.

3. Session 3: Progress of New Activities
In Session 3, progress of two new activities was reported namely: the Panel on gRole of Nuclear Energy for Sustainable Development in Asiah and the project on gCyclotron and PET (Positron emission tomography) in Medicineh.

3.1 Panel on gRole of Nuclear Energy for Sustainable Development in Asiah
Dr. Machi reported the results of the 1st Meeting held on October 20- 21, 2004 in Tokyo. The Panel was composed of nuclear experts and energy experts. He emphasized that the Panel clearly noted that energy demand would rapidly increase in the future but per capita reserves of fossil fuel were at the lowest level for the region encompassing the FNCA countries.
The 6th Meeting agreed that the formulation of a long term energy supply strategy was important.

China stated that their nuclear power capacity was predicted to expanded to 36-40GW by 2020, with power capacity doubling to 900GW.

Korea stated that 19 nuclear power units were in operation and 8 units would be added before 2015 to meet increasing demand.

Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand stated that there were no definite plans for them to use nuclear power in the near future and nuclear power was the last option. These countries had other indigenous energy resources such as fossil fuel, hydro power, and geothermal energy.

Indonesia stated that the recent price increase of oil might trigger the recognition of benefit of nuclear power, and that his government had a plan to construct the 1st NPP in the second decade of this century. Amongst other reasons it would save the oil reserve.

Viet Nam stated that his government had completed pre-FS on the 1st NPP and was hoping to start operation before 2018 in order to meet the rapidly increasing power demand.

Australia stated that media in his country were recently discussing the benefits of nuclear power in terms of CO2 emission reduction after the Kyoto Protocol entered into force in Feb., 2005 and after the potential sale of the Olympic Dam mine, which had the worldfs largest known reserve of uranium.

China and Indonesia stressed that the CDM of Kyoto Protocol should include nuclear power because it could provide energy without emission of GHG. They also proposed that the FNCA could be a forum to appeal COP to include nuclear power in CDM. Viet Nam, Korea and Japan supported the suggestion.

The FNCA Coordinator of Japan stated that 4 years ago the same issue had been discussed at the FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting but without reaching a consensus view. However, circumstance had now changed in terms of the rapid increase in energy demand and the entering into the force of the Kyoto Protocol. Therefore the time was matured to discuss this question again and hopefully reach consensus. The Panel on gRole of Nuclear Energy for Sustainable Development in Asiah provided an excellent forum to exchange views on this point and to report the Panelfs conclusion to the Ministerial Level Meeting for appropriate action to appeal for the inclusion of nuclear power in the CDM.

3.2 Project on gCyclotoron and PET in Medicineg
Mr. Adnan Haji. Khalid of Malaysia made a presentation on the new gCyclotron and PET in Medicineh project. He reported on the revised title of the project, the objectives, component of the project and new plan as modified with the cooperation of the Japanese expert mission to Malaysia. The project would start in FY2005 with a national workshop. Dr. Keigo Endo, Project Leader of Japan explained the project from a technological viewpoint.

CT, using X-ray, showed an image of the anatomy, while PET showed an image of the physiology and metabolism. PET, using of 18F-FDG, was useful for several cases of cancer diagnosis such as the detection of early cancer, the staging of the disease, the evaluation the response to therapy and the knowing the recurrence and prognosis.

The current status of the applications of cyclotron and PET in medicine in Viet Nam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia was presented. Viet Nam had already installed a PET camera and cyclotron in private hospital, and had another plan to install units in Hanoi and Ho-Chi Minh City respectively next year.
Thailand had an on-going national project on PET in cooperation with the IAEA. The Government had a plan for a PET and cyclotron center to be established in Bangkok.
The Philippines had been operating a medical cyclotron and PET for the past three years, and would be willing to share their experiences in licensing and regulation of the cyclotron, and in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other pertinent diseases.
Malaysia had installed its first PET-CT in Penang recently and would have its first cyclotron facilities by the end of 2005. In addition a National Cancer Institute would be established very soon in Putrajaya.

4. Session 4: Human Resources Development
In Session 4, Human Resources Development (HRD) was dealt with to follow up the discussion on HRD at the Fifth FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 1 December 2004. During the Ministerial Level Meeting it was agreed that the proposal of Viet Nam on the Asian Nuclear University (ANU) should be carefully studied by the Senior Level Meeting.

In response to this Ministerial action, Prof. Tan presented a possible scheme and an action plan for the establishment of the ANU. He cited difficulties in assuring the quality of nuclear HRD in FNCA countries due to inadequate teaching materials, obsolete curricula, a lack of qualified teachers and a lack of laboratory infrastructures. The proposal was to build a network of nuclear universities in Asia within the FNCA framework. Prof. Tan proposed the following action plan: organization of the first meeting for the FNCA nuclear university, set up a peer review mission, exchange curricula and teaching materials, mobilize all possible financial support for nuclear HRD activities.

The Meeting agreed that a) nuclear HRD is essential for sustainable development, b) each country should come up with its own nuclear HRD plan according to its own national agenda, c) an expert mission should be organized to examine the needs and to propose a possible mechanism of implementation, d) to submit the expert mission report to the HRD project workshop, e) the HRD project workshop should prepare the specific action plan to be presented to the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), f) after careful review, the SOM to make recommendation to the Ministerial Level Meeting for decision.

Dr. Soedyartomo Soentono of Indonesia suggested that the project should start as small activity in a specific area such as standardization of curricula particularly on nuclear safety and radiation, in accordance with international standards.

5. Session 5: Future Cooperation under the FNCA
Dr. Machi, as the lead-off speaker, made presentation on this policy and program of FNCA in the future . Among other things, he stressed on the following points:
1) Future activities of FNCA should be designed to meet the needs and interest of the member countries and needed to have close linkage with the end-users;
2) Selected policy issues of common areas of interest should be taken up for discussion at the Ministerial Level Meeting;
3) Member countries should contribute more to the FNCA projects, such as hosting project activities and sharing facilities;
4) Better synergy between FNCA activities and other regional activities such as RCA and IAEA should be sought;
5) The important role of coordinators in having closer communication with project leaders and also linkages with end-users.
The Meeting agreed with the above points and stressed that the selection of the project should be in accordance with the priority area of the country and in implementing the national agenda so that the project will benefit end-users and the public at large. All the participating countries have offered to share their facilities for the FNCA projects, in which they are participating.

6. Session 6: Progress, Evaluation and Planning of FNCA Projects
8 out of 11 on-going FNCA projects which had been implemented for the past 5 years were reviewed and evaluated.

6.1 Utilization of Research Reactors
<Tc-99m Generator Production (TCG)>
Dr. Tsuguo Genka, Project Leader of Japan gave an overview on the progress and achievements of the project. He reported that:
1) the technology of PZC-based Tc-99m generator had been successfully established,
2) the clinical trial of radiopharmaceutical kits labeled with Tc-99m from PZC-based Tc-99m generator were comparable with fission type generator, and
3) the cost estimation for PZC type Tc-99m generator was much lower than the fission type generator.

The Meeting was briefed on the situation with regards to Japanese and Indonesian patents related to the PZC based Tc-99m generator and associated systems. The Meeting agreed that the project has achieved its objectives to demonstrate usefulness of new technology to produce Tc-99m generator by (n, gamma) reaction. Therefore the current project should be terminated in the current year.

For future plan, the Meeting agreed to embark on new phase to commercialize the application of the technology. However, as not all FNCA countries had the capacity to produce Mo-99 on their own, it was essential for FNCA to establish a reliable network of supplier countries to ensure continuous supply of Mo-99. The Meeting agreed to start the new phase in FY2005 and for it to be completed within two years.

<Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA)>
Dr. Mitsuru Ebihara, Project Leader of Japan made a presentation of the progress and achievements of the project. He reported that the NAA Ko-method technique had been successfully applied to the analysis of suspended air particulate matter (SPM) for monitoring the environmental air pollution levels in FNCA countries.

The Meeting however took note that the objectives of the project had not been fully achieved due to insufficient linkage with the environmental agencies to use the NAA data. For the future plan, the Meeting agreed that the current project would be terminated in FY2004 and a new project on gMonitoring Environmental Pollution by NAA for Environmental Protection Strategyh initiated. In this regard, all countries were requested to establish strong linkages with their environmental agencies to ensure that the project would be carried out based on the actual need of the authority.

<Neutron Scattering (NS)>
Dr. Yukio Morii, Project Leader of Japan made a presentation on the progress and achievements of the project. He reported that the SANS technique had been successfully carried out for structural analysis of natural polymer such as k-carrageenan and NR- TPE for medical, biological and industrial applications.

The Meeting took note that advanced SANS facilities were currently available only in certain member countries such as Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea. For the future plan, the Meeting agreed to suspend the project until some of the new high flux research reactors such as in Australia, China and Thailand became available. In the meantime, existing mechanisms such as MEXT scientist exchange program could be used to support SANS activity. In addition, communication and contact should continue among the relevant scientists involved in SANS project. The Meeting also agreed that efforts should be made to understand the actual needs of industry that might be addressed by SANS technology and also to clearly explain to industry what SANS could offer to help and solve their problems.

Proposal on gEnhancement of Research Reactor Technology for Effective Utilization (RRT)h presented by Dr. Hideaki Yokomizo, Chairman of the Steering Group was accepted.

6.2 Application of Radioisotopes and Radiation for Agriculture
< Mutation Breeding (MB)>

Dr. Hitoshi Nakagawa, Acting Project Leader made a presentation on the progress and achievements of the project.

The drought tolerant sorghum mutant lines had been successfully developed, one of which had been registered in China. The sorghum project would be extended for another two years to achieve the registration of additional new mutant varieties and to formulate extension strategies.
Malaysia and Thailand accepted the roles of leading countries for the Banana Sub-project and the Orchid Sub-project, respectively. These two sub-projects need 2-4 more years to achieve their objectives.
Since mutation breeding took several years before mutant varieties were developed, Dr. Machi suggested that milestones should be set up for important steps at various phases of the project.
Korea announced its intention to join the project again and to share the related facilities. The Meeting welcomed the offer of Korea. The mutation breeding manual, edited by the Philippines and Japan was completed and published in FNCA website.

<Biofertilizer (BF)>
Dr. Tadashi Yokoyama, Project Leader of Japan presented the progress and achievements of the project which commissioned in 2002 as follow.
a) selection of effective microorganisms, b) improvement of inoculant, c) improvement of soil microbial activities. Most countries had conducted field trails/ demonstrations which confirmed the effectiveness of BF for many types of plants. The effectiveness of 15- 55 kGy irradiation for carrier sterilization was demonstrated by China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. A fertilizer cost benefit analysis conducted by the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam indicated increased economic returns to the farmer with the application of BF.

Dr. Omsub Nopamornbodi, BF expert from Thailand presented a paper on the status and future of BF application in Thailand.

6.3 Application of Radioisotopes and Radiation for Medical Care
< Radiation Oncology (RO)>

Dr. Hirohiko Tsujii, Project Leader of Japan made a presentation on the progress and achievements of the project. He reported that standardized protocol of radiation therapy in uterine cervical cancer (CERVIX-I) had been established and published in 2003 for dissemination and training. The protocol for accelerated hyper-fractionated radiotherapy (CERVIX-II) had been clinically tested and had an overall survival rate of 77% which was higher than that of CERVIX-I. QA/QC dosimetry audits of brachytherapy have been undertaken in the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, Korea and Japan by a group of experts from FNCA countries in 2003 and 2004. The audit results indicated that QA/QC of these countries were within the acceptable range.

It was agreed that the project should be continued until 2006 for testing a new clinical protocol using chemo-radiotherapy (CERVIX-III). A new activity would be the design and clinical testing of a protocol in head and neck cancer which was also common in FNCA countries. The QA/QC audit brachytherapy would be conducted in Malaysia, China and Indonesia.

6.4 Nuclear Safety Culture (NSC)
Dr. John Easey of Australia made a presentation on the progress and achievements of the project. He reported on the peer review of research reactors safety culture carried out in Viet Nam and Korea and on the improvements to be made to enhance safety culture.

He also reported on the bilateral meeting between Australia and Japan in March 2005 to enhance Safety Culture. The Meeting took note of the need for the establishment of a strong independent regulatory body is a necessary first step towards a strong safety culture and the recommendation for this to be considered as a topic for the next Ministerial Level Meeting. Dr. Machi noted that nuclear safety had been the theme for the 1st Ministerial Level Meeting and that after 5 years it might be time to raise this again .

For future activities, the Meeting took note that Indonesia had agreed to host the Nuclear Safety Culture workshop in 2005 in Yogyakarta.

The Meeting also agreed that the project on Safety Culture should be continued as there should be no compromise on safety issue. The Meeting took note of the recent initiative by Australia on regional safety and security of radiation sources. It agreed that the aspect of security should be dealt separately from the nuclear safety project.

6.5 Public Information of Nuclear Energy (PI)
Dr. Yasumasa Tanaka, Project Leader of Japan presented the progress and achievements of the project. The Meeting agreed 1) the enhancement of communication with media, and training nuclear communicators were important activities of the PI project, 2) Regional Speakers Bureau (RSB) should be continued to be better utilized by FNCA countries for their PI activities.

Japan suggested that achievement of FNCA activities and its social impacts should be relayed to the public and to the media in each country.

Dr. Machi stressed that media, public, and opinion leaders should be invited to nuclear research institutes and nuclear power plants so they could better appreciate and understand safety assurance as well as the benefits of nuclear applications.

A proposed joint survey on gthe role of nuclear energy in terms of environmental impact and energy securityh would be examined at the forthcoming PI Project Leaders Meeting to be held in Japan in the Fall of 2005. With these comments, the Meeting agreed that the project should be continued following the proposed future plan.

6.6 Human Resources Development (HRD)
Mr. Hideo Matsuzuru, Project Leader of Japan reported the progress and achievements of the project. The Meeting noted that the HRD strategy should be formulated in accordance with nuclear program of each country, and FNCA would support appropriately.

It was agreed that the national nuclear HRD plan should be demand-driven and possible contributions from each country to the project should be defined and be integrated in overall FNCA HRD plan.

Dr. Machi reiterated that the next HRD workshop should be devoted to preparation of specific mechanism and action plan for the proposed Asian Nuclear University (ANU) to be reviewed by the next SOM in Nov. or Dec. 2005. With these comments, the Meeting agreed to continue the project in view of the importance of HRD.

6.7 Industrial Application, Electron Accelerator (EB)
Dr. Tamikazu Kume, Project Leader of Japan, made a presentation on the progress and achievements of the project and proposed the plan in 2005. He reported on the application of low energy EB accelerator for liquids, solids and gases, and potential application of this technology.

Prof. Benjiang Mao of ENTECH, China presented a paper on gIndustrial Application of EB for Flue Gas Cleaning in Chinah. He shared the information on the construction cost of the flue gas cleaning facility for 300MW coal burning power plant was about USD 200 million in China.

The Meeting agreed that this project should make technical and economic assessment of EB applications for specific processing such as: natural polymers, waste water treatment and flue gas in the workshop in 2005.

6.8 Radioactive Waste Management (RWM)
gDr. Toshiso Kosako, Project Leader of Japan, made a presentation on the progress and achievements of the project. The Meeting noted the good achievements of TENORM Task Group in 2003 and 2004 and spent radiation sources

The Philippines presented a concept paper for a Panel on Waste Safety and Security as a follow through of the Philippine proposal at the Ministerial Level Meeting in Viet Nam in 2004.

The Meeting agreed to include the Panel as a major agenda item in the next Project Workshop. The Philippines requested the assistance of any country that could provide additional resources to this Panel so that the maximum benefits could be derived for an area that currently has a high profile.

With these comments, the Meeting agreed the project should be continued following the proposed future plan.h

7. Wrap-up Session
In the Wrap-up Session, the drafted minutes of the 6th CM was discussed by the delegates.

8. Closing Session
In the Closing Session, the Minutes of the 6th CM was adopted by the delegates. Dr. Machi gave the closing remarks, and officially closed the Sixth FNCA Coordinators Meeting.

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