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Capacity Building Initiative

Capacity Building is a key element of the responsible development of nuclear energy. As outlined in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s “Milestones”, States embarking on a nuclear power program need to pay special attention to education and training. In their 2010 Action Plan, States parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) committed to “encouraging national, bilateral and international efforts to train the necessary skilled workforce needed to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”

France notes that the demand for building-up competences related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is increasing significantly, which is now a real challenge in terms of existing assistance capacities. Accordingly, France launched the “Capacity Building Initiative” (CBI) on the margins of the IAEA General Conference in September 2014. The initiative’s aim is to seek means of strengthening international cooperation in terms of training between countries wishing to start a nuclear power program ("newcomers"), States with nuclear power plants and States with no nuclear industry but with nuclear expertise.

In this context, coordination meetings are organized by our Permanent Mission to the IAEA in Vienna to explore, with all interested countries and the Secretariat of the IAEA, the strengthening of international cooperation in connection with capacity building (training, knowledge management ...).

Visit of the Saclay and Cadarache research centers (April 14th and 15th, 2015)

A visit of the Saclay and Cadarache research centers, organized by the French alternative and atomic energy commission (CEA) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was held on April 14th and 15th , 2015.

The participants, from a dozen countries, were received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development where David BERTOLOTTI, Director of Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation, especially recalled the commitment of France to strengthening the access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy for States that comply with their international obligations, especially regarding Article IV of the NPT. They then listened to Frédéric JOURNES, Governor for France to the IAEA and Director of International Relations of CEA, who underlined France’s actions to promote nuclear power and other nuclear applications (health, agriculture, environment…) in support of the IAEA, and presented the objectives and the working methods of the "Capacity Building Initiative." Florian LEWIS, from the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, presented the French nuclear policy.

Réunion à l'Hôtel du ministre, Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international, Paris, mardi 14 avril 2015. Crédits = T. Peyroux. Réunion à l'Hôtel du ministre, Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international, Paris, mardi 14 avril 2015. Crédits = T. Peyroux.

The tour continued in the CEA research center in Saclay. Participants were able to access the ISIS research reactor, which signed an agreement with the IAEA to broadcast “core experiments” online (IAEA Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL)).

In Saclay, the participants were also able to meet Yves FANJAS, director of the I2EN (International Institute of Nuclear Energy), the entry point for foreign students and scientists wishing to access the French training and education offer in the field of civil nuclear energy.

Présentation de l'I2EN par Yves Fanjas, CEA Saclay, mardi 14 avril 2015. Crédits = D. Friguet.Présentation de l'I2EN par Yves Fanjas, CEA Saclay, mardi 14 avril 2015. Crédits = D. Friguet.

On April 15th, on the CEA Cadarache site, the participants visited the site of the future Jules Horowitz research reactor, which is one of the facilities that France has proposed to the IAEA to be part of the IAEA Research Reactor network, a network open to international training programs for countries wishing to launch a nuclear power program (IAEA International Centre Designated Based on Research Reactor). This CEA application also includes the Active Fuel Examination Laboratory (LECA), in association with the STAR Laboratory, where fuel elements are examined after irradiation and that the participants were also able to visit.

Les participants posent devant le réacteur de recherche Jules Horowitz, en construction, CEA Cadarache, mercredi 15 avril 2015. Crédits = D. VitaliLes participants posent devant le réacteur de recherche Jules Horowitz, en construction, CEA Cadarache, mercredi 15 avril 2015. Crédits = D. Vitali

Among the various leads explored to strengthen cooperation in building human resources, that of a "handbook" of the overall supply of training programs, sorted according to the specific needs of states wishing to develop or re-launch a nuclear power program or other nuclear applications, raised the interest of the participants.

To find out more :
- Read the CBI working paper submitted to the 2015 NPT RevCon - PDF 264.2 kB
- Read D. Bertolotti’s opening remarks for the 14th and 15th April visit - PDF 274.5 kB
- See the presentation by F. Journès on the French action in the field of pacific uses of nuclear energy and the CBI - PDF 1.4 MB
- See the presentation by F. Lewis on Nuclear energy policy in France - PDF 1.1 MB

On May 7th 2015, in the framework of the 9th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, France organized a side-event to present "The Capacity Building Initiative".

Mr Frédéric Journès, Governor for France at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) moderated the panel of speakers composed of the Ambassador of Romania to International Organizations in Vienna, Mr Cristian Istrate, Ms Audrey Navon-Gross from the I2EN (International Institute of Nuclear Energy) and Mr Philippe Billot from the CEA (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission).

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