The NEA operates under the general OECD rules, and the provisions of its Strategic Plan, aimed at helping it to meet the evolving needs of its member country governments in the nuclear energy field.
The NEA works as a forum for sharing information and experience and promoting international co-operation; a centre of excellence which helps member countries to pool and maintain their technical expertise and a vehicle for facilitating policy analyses and developing consensus based on its technical work.
The NEA is the only intergovernmental body that brings together experts from the countries with the deepest experience and capabilities in the broad range of civil nuclear energy technology and policy issues from the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific to achieve common understanding, positions and projects to advance the state of the art in the application of nuclear energy technologies.
The NEA operates under the guidance of the Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy, through a series of specialised standing technical committees, with the NEA providing the secretariat and co-ordination services. These specialised standing technical committees and subsidiary bodies represent the major areas of the Agency's programme, each of which overseeing various specialised working groups and task groups. These groups are comprised of member country experts who are both contributors to the programme of work and beneficiaries of its results. The approach is highly cost-efficient as it enables the Agency to pursue an ambitious programme with a relatively small staff that co-ordinates the work. The substantive value of the standing technical committees arises from the numerous important functions they perform, including:
The NEA also provides technical secretariat services for the following initiatives: