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Nuclear Cooperation Meeting with the IAEA

Adriaan van der Meer
International Science and Technology Center, Moscow
at the occasion of the 
meeting on ISTC and IAEA/INPRO collaboration

30 January 2009
ISTC, Moscow



I am pleased to be here today to participate in an important meeting strengthening our relationship. 

I would like to welcome Dr. Yuri Sokolov and his staff and thank them for their collaboration. 

In October 2008 we signed the first Memorandum of Understanding between ISTC and IAEA. We defined our general and specific areas of cooperation in support of non-proliferation as well as nuclear safety and security. This event confirmed the contacts and exchange of information between us that were established some time ago. In the framework of this MoU on 15 December a first working meeting took place to adopt an action plan for 2009.

I would also like to thank Mrs. Ludmila Andreeva –Andrievskaya and her colleagues from Rosatom for participating in today’s meeting. I am grateful for Rosatom’s support for ISTC-IAEA collaboration.


I would like to acknowledge at the beginning of this meeting, the important role both ISTC and IAEA play in contributing to the policy of nonproliferation, which is a prerequisite for a successful Nuclear Renaissance.


The International Science and Technology Center

ISTC is a research funding agency that works at the crossroads of international non-proliferation policy and international scientific cooperation. It directly targets scientists and their working environment i.e. the facilities in which they work. 


The ISTC’s work relates not only to the human factor but also assists in making laboratories safer and more secure. 


The work of ISTC has helped the implementation of international and national policies in the nuclear and non-nuclear energy fields as well as in the fields of health and environment. It has contributed to the economic persification policy of Russia and other countries. As a result of our efforts, I am proud to mention concrete results such as the creation of new job opportunities and new products such as medicines, water purification systems and orthopedic devices as well as safer aircraft. It has brought Russian expertise to the Large Hadron Collider of CERN experimenting on the “big bang”. Results of ISTC projects can be seen in most of the crucial large detector devices at LHC. In particular all muon detection at LHC is handled by the scinitillation crystals produced by a Russian institute that collaborates with CERN through ISTC projects.


ISTC is also a matchmaking organization which assists private industry in their technology search i.e. to connect them with high quality research institutes in Russia and beyond. Various privileges exist to contribute to a policy of open innovation.


ISTC seeks the adoption of a new strategic vision, which would not only emphasize its reinforced role in preventing proliferation, but would also promote the sustainability of various institutes in Russia and elsewhere. 


Nuclear sector as a priority area 

Work in the nuclear sector is one of the main priority areas of ISTC. Many projects in this field have been established right from the beginning of the operation of the Center. 

The priority areas are the following:

- To promote nuclear and radiation safety of operating nuclear power plants. For example, to develop methodologies to increase safety and efficiency of the nuclear power plant as well as predicting the reactor lifetime. ISTC is funding projects related to nuclear safety and life-time extension of the VVER reactors. ISTC Contact Expert Group in Plant Life Management (CEG PLIM) advises ISTC and gathers European experts in this field in close collaboration with the IAEA ;

- To promote novel nuclear reactor concepts and Nuclear Fuel Cycle options. 

For example: 

o ISTC has actively supported IAEA’s INPRO program - International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles. A set of the ISTC projects, related to novel reactor concepts and relevant for the INPRO project have been funded:

Lead and lead-bismuth cooled fast reactor;

Sodium-cooled fast reactor with new fuels;

Gas-cooled fast reactor;

High-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) – principal critical experiments and key helium technologies;

Molten-salt technologies ;

Super-critical water-cooled reactor – hydro-dynamic modeling.

o ISTC appreciates invitation to take part with an Observer status in the INPRO Steering Committee and in the IAEA Technical Working Groups (on Fast Reactors, Nuclear Safety, Transmutation)

- To improve nuclear science management – development and testing of new research methods, measurement and verification of nuclear and reactor data. Projects led to the retention of information and know-how resulting in various international handbooks. In particular a program of funding monographs in selected nuclear technology fields is worth to mention, with some outstanding examples:

o "Natural Safety Fast Neutron Lead Cooled Reactor for Large Scale Nuclear Power", "Aperiodic Pulse Reactors", "Pulsed Reactors in Russia”, “Generalization of Data on Hydrodynamics and Heat/Mass Transfer Processes in Liquid Metal Cooled Reactors”, and "Coupled Pulsed Reactor Systems” .

- To contribute to nuclear power plant decommissioning. New decommissioning concepts were developed and assessed.

o Particular efforts have been directed into decommissioning of plutonium-production, submarine and fast-breeder reactors (about 20 ISTC projects); 

o ISTC has been and remains an active member of the of the IAEA Contact Experts Group (CEG) for International Radioactive Waste Projects in the Russian Federation 

- To contribute to the development of nuclear fusion. For example, ISTC contributed to the ITER project, to modification Tokamak GLOBUS-M, designing of KTM in Kazakhstan, to plasma physics aspects. 

- To contribute to the development of nuclear technologies for medicine, such as for cancer diagnosis and treatment.


In total, in the last 15 years, about 400 projects in the nuclear sector for more than 130 million USD involving 170 Russian and other institutes have been implemented.


ISTC intends to carry out this work on the basis of a programmatic approach possibly via the issuing of targeted calls for proposals. The implications of the current nuclear renaissance due to climate change and energy and security concerns will be taken into account in our work. There is also a need for renewed attention to nuclear safeguards, safety and security.


Specific fields of cooperation

ISTC is ready – if financial framework will allow this - to open a call for proposals in advanced nuclear technology: “Sustainable Nuclear Energy with enhanced safety, security and minimal environmental impact” with a following focus:

Optimizing performance, safety and fuel cycle of the existing nuclear power reactors

Development of sustainable nuclear systems with inherent nonproliferation features. Advanced fuel cycles with innovative fuels and claddings, partitioning and transmutation. 

Coolants and materials for advanced nuclear reactors

Integral/Demonstration experiments in support for advanced nuclear fuel cycle and/or advanced reactors

Knowledge management, development and exchange for nuclear safety and advanced nuclear system


Our vision of cooperation and interaction with the IAEA covers similar objectives. While IAEA is focused mainly on policy and safety/ security implementation related to nuclear power and nuclear technology, ISTC’s main mode of operation is funding international projects delivering practical solutions to nuclear power/nuclear technologies, science and safety. 



It is common knowledge that dealing with high-risk materials and technologies, including know-how, has the potential for inappropriate and unauthorized use that could result in great harm. 


At the international level, few programs exist to ensure to promote such a “culture of responsibility”. The International Science and Technology Center in Moscow works to instill such a culture. It looks forward to close cooperation with IAEA to contribute to the international policy of nuclear power development via technical means. 


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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