OECD/NEA Director-General speaks during a public hearing at the French Parliament

16 March 2011 – At a hearing organised by France's Office for Scientific and Technological Choices, OECD/NEA Director-General Luis Echávarri declared that the NEA had offered its complete assistance to the Japanese government in its areas of expertise. In the current emergency situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, bilateral co-operation with countries having the same technology or considerably advanced experience, such as the United States and France, would probably be very effective for Japan.

Mr. Echávarri confirmed that the Japanese government has requested the IAEA assistance, that the IAEA has responded and that the NEA is supporting these international efforts.

Mr. Echávarri noted that the NEA will carry out as soon as possible analyses of the events and lessons to be learnt with regards to nuclear safety and radiological protection. He added that the external events were particularly extreme and compounded in this case. He stressed the need for a global evaluation of the various causes of the accident, as well as any other questions regarding resistance to extreme events, geographical locations, plant cooling systems, hydrogen explosions and fires, bearing in mind that nuclear safety authorities around the world are already in the process of integrating lessons learnt from the events in Japan.

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NEA membership consists of 33 countries. The mission of the NEA is to assist its member countries in maintaining and further developing, through international co‑operation, the scientific, technological and legal bases required for a safe, environmentally sound and economical use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It strives to provide authoritative assessments and to forge common understandings on key issues as input to government decisions on nuclear energy policy and to broader OECD analyses in areas such as energy and the sustainable development of low‑carbon economies.