The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is supporting nuclear facility operators through the exchange of knowledge via an online platform and a pilot peer-to-peer network during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to the agency statement on Wednesday.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, all 442 of the world's nuclear power reactors are operational, providing more than 10% of the world's electricity, the IAEA said.
The agency said that nuclear operators around the world are taking special measures to protect the health of their workforce to ensure continuous operations during the COVID-19 crisis.
"They [nuclear operators] are acting responsibly in taking these sensible precautions and carefully planned organizational changes while continuing to ensure safety and security, and which are typically reviewed by national nuclear regulatory bodies," said Peter Tarren, head of the IAEA's Operational Safety Section.
The IAEA, to help operators and regulators learn from each other's experience, is pooling relevant practices through the International Reporting System for Operating Experience, an online platform jointly managed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency.
In addition, to assist nuclear operators in the current crisis, the IAEA has launched the COVID-19 Operational Experience Network, a pilot peer-to-peer network designed to serve as a repository for planned or implemented response actions during the crisis.
"The information in this network will include ways to limit the pandemic's spread, definitions of critical competencies for power plant operations and access restrictions," said Pal Vincze, head of the IAEA's Nuclear Power Engineering Section.
Vincze said that by collecting and sharing these experiences, the agency aims to provide expanded knowledge for operators around the world to strengthen their capacity to respond to this crisis and any similar ones in the future.
By Firdevs Yuksel