Kingdom calls for high safety standards at nuclear facilities



RIYADH: SHARIF M. TAHA | ARAB NEWS STAFF

Published — Tuesday 18 December 2012

Last update 18 December 2012 5:23 pm

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Saudi Arabia has called on the international community to adopt practical measures in the realization of higher safety standards at nuclear facilities.
Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), addressed the Fukushima ministerial conference on nuclear safety in Japan on Saturday.
He called on world powers to foster a culture of nuclear safety, compliance with standards and regulatory transparent reporting.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), organizers of the Fukushima conference, emphasized the need to strengthen their central role in international efforts to enhance global nuclear safety through the implementation of their Nuclear Safety Action Plan.
The conference was an opportunity for participants at government and expert levels, to share further knowledge and lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and to further enhance transparency.
In his address, Yamani focused on the importance of cooperation with the IAEA which collaborates with member states to promote safe nuclear technology.
He said he valued the comprehensive reports by the Japanese government on the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, pollution removal programs and rehabilitation efforts in the vicinity.
The IAEA recognized progress by Japan in response to the accident, including the achievement of the present stable status of the nuclear power station and the significant decrease in radioactive releases at the site.
Despite the fear and concern generated by the Fukushima accident toward nuclear energy worldwide, nuclear energy is still considered to be one of the solutions to meeting the global demand for energy. Yamani said: “The incident contributed enormously to increased dedication by all countries to develop safety systems and independent national regulatory agencies who are qualified to avoid an occurrence of past accidents, ensure the well-being of citizens, sustain energy supplies and protect the environment.”
Yamani reaffirmed the Kingdom’s desire to continue with its ambitious program to develop atomic and renewable energy sources and realize developmental requirements based on economic and environmental sustainability.

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