The 17th FNCA Ministerial Level Meeting (MM), which was organized by Cabinet Office of Japan (CAO) and the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC), was held at Mita Conference Hall, Tokyo, on November 30, 2016.
The meeting was attended by ministerial level representatives (including 1 minister, 3 vice ministers, directors of the nuclear administrative agencies) from twelve member countries and Director General of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
In this meeting, policy discussions took place under the theme of stakeholder involvement related to "nuclear waste management" and "nuclear energy use in both power generation and non-power generation fields." At the meeting's conclusion, a joint communique was adopted that mentioned "themes and activities to be promoted," "reform and improvement of the management of FNCA activities," and other relevant matters.
(1) Welcome Remarks
Mr Yosuke Tsuruho, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, delivered the welcome address. In it, he referred to (1) FNCA's remarkable achievements in all important areas concerning the peaceful use of nuclear energy since its foundation in 2000; (2) the importance of further enhancing nuclear safety by sharing valuable lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident with the international society; and (3) expectations that strategic cooperation with related international organizations will offer a major opportunity for FNCA to achieve its goals.
Mr Yosuke Tsuruho, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy
Mr Hirotaka Ishihara, State Minister of Cabinet Office
(2) Keynote Speech
OECD/NEA Director-General Mr William D. Magwood IV delivered the keynote speech titled "Stakeholder Engagement in Nuclear Decisions." He emphasized the importance of establishing communication with the public, referring to his own experience and lessons relating to stakeholder involvement in the United States.
OECD/NEA Director-General Mr William D. MagwoodIV
(3) Country Reports
Representatives reported on the progress of nuclear energy policy and initiatives in their respective countries; the reports included information related to stakeholder involvement. Japan's representative reported on the current status of the response to the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident, establishment of a new organization called the "National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology" (QST) in the field of research, and efforts by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) to deepen the public's scientific understanding of nuclear energy to dispel their doubts and fears.
Mr Pham Cong Tac, Deputy Minister
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
Mr Bakhytzhan Mukhambetkaliyevich Jaxaliyev,
Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Energy
of the Republic of Kazakhstan
(4) Reports on FNCA Management and Activities
Mr Tomoaki Wada, FNCA Coordinator of Japan, began by reporting on the activities and achievements of this year's FNCA projects. Then the FNCA Secretariat provided a presentation on the "effective and efficient operation and activities of FNCA." The secretariat also explained a number of items that were awaiting endorsement by the MLM, including "launch of an evaluation framework", "introduction of an FNCA Award", and "preparation for the development of meeting guidelines." These items were approved and confirmed by MLM members accordingly.
(5) Roundtable Discussions
Examples of stakeholder involvement related to "nuclear waste management" and "nuclear energy use in power generation and non-power generation fields" were provided by the representatives of Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. Participants engaged in a discussion based on those presentations and shared the recognition that "creating confidence by providing information on a regular basis," "emphasizing the benefits brought by nuclear energy," and "providing a knowledge base that offers scientific evidence and enables easy understanding" are important for increasing public understanding of nuclear energy.
(6) Speech by the Next Host Country and Closing Remarks
Mr Bakhytzhan Mukhambetkaliyevich Jaxaliyev, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, announced that Kazakhstan would host the 2017 FNCA MLM on 11 October in Astana, Kazakhstan's capital. Finally, Dr Yoshiaki Oka, Chairman of JAEC, expressed his gratitude for the successful completion of the meeting.
Summary of the Joint Communique (Full Text (PDF208KB))
- Tackling common issues related to nuclear energy and other nuclear applications such as stakeholder engagement in the region, construction of waste storage and disposal facilities, and promotion of radiation safety and safety culture
- Promoting cooperation with relevant international organisations, including the IAEA and the OECD/NEA, particularly in the field of legal matters, and holding the "2017 Study Panel/international Workshop in March 2017".
- From 2017, launching new research projects, or new phases of on-going projects, with improved procedures for evaluating project proposals, as well as enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of FNCA activities.
- Establishing new Terms of Reference (TOR) for adoption at the MLM in 2017 which will help define the role and function of each of the meetings.
- Introducing the "Best Research Team of the Year" award and three "Excellent Research Teams of the Year" award for the purpose of recognizing the remarkable achievements of the projects and their contribution to the FNCA's mission. The inaugural awards will be bestowed in Ministerial Level Meeting in 2017.