IFNEC members met in Tokyo on 12-15 November 2018, for a series of meetings that brought together experts from 22 member countries, and four international observer organisations (OECD/NEA, IAEA, Euratom and the Generation IV International Forum). On 12 November, a joint meeting of the Infrastructure Development Working Group and the Nuclear Supplier and Customer Countries Engagement Group, focused on nuclear safety, safety culture and the importance of training, and included speakers from NEA, IAEA, WANO, as well as from China, France, Japan, Kenya and Russia. The most attended meeting was a conference jointly sponsored by IFNEC and the Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative, entitled “Challenges and Opportunities Facing Nuclear Energy in an Energy Transitions Context”.
This conference, which took place on 13-14 November, attracted more than 130 experts from IFNEC member countries as well as industry and Non-Governmental Organisations, and covered topics such as the role of nuclear energy in low carbon scenarios, electricity markets, financing, non-electric applications of nuclear energy, innovation, and communication and stakeholder involvement. The Steering Group, which oversees the work of IFNEC and its working groups and is led by Julian Gadano of Argentina, held a short meeting on 14 November afternoon, to discuss the revised version of IFNEC’s Governance document, including the nomination of new candidates for the Vice-Chair positions, and to agree on the work to be carried out in 2019. The Executive Committee, the ministerial-level meeting of IFNEC representatives, chaired by Japan, took place on 15 November, and was opened by Minister Takuya opened the meeting. After a keynote lecture from Dr. Yoshiaki Oka, Chairman of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission, the Executive Committee approved the updated version of the IFNEC governance and the nomination of new Steering Group Vice-Chairs from Kenya, Mr Collins Juma, the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Artiskyuk and the United States, Ms. Suzanne Jaworowski. Mr Fumizaku Sato was also confirmed as a new Vice-Chair representing Japan. The Executive Committee also approved the budget of the Technical Secretariat, operated by the NEA, and issued a Joint Statement available here.