The Nuclear Power Plant and Reactor Exporters’ Principles of Conduct are an industry code of conduct resulting from a three-year initiative to develop norms of corporate self-management in the exportation of nuclear power plants. In developing and adopting the PoC, the world’s leading nuclear power plant vendors have articulated and consolidated a set of principles that reaffirm and enhance national and international governance and oversight, and incorporate recommended best practices in the areas of safety, security, environmental protection and spent fuel management, nonproliferation, business ethics and internationally recognized systems for compensation in the unlikely event of nuclear related damage.
A number of nations are continuing to expand their nuclear energy programs and/or extend the lives of their existing nuclear power plants in pursuit of a reliable supply of electricity amid concerns about climate change and energy security. Other nations are seeking to develop nuclear power for the first time. New vendors of nuclear power plants are entering the market while established vendors are reinvigorating their teams and supply chains to meet expected demand. New technologies are emerging that offer even safer, more efficient and proliferation-resistant designs as well as lower levels of waste.
Looking ahead, it is widely expected that nuclear energy will continue to develop throughout the world. The nuclear industry will continue to evaluate and incorporate the lessons to be learned from the nuclear accident at Fukushima, as well as the experiences of over half a century of commercial nuclear energy across the globe in preparing for the future development of nuclear power.
Although nuclear energy is already among the most well-regulated industries in the world, the PoC are inspired by the conviction that a global common high standard is necessary to help minimize both the occurrence and harmful consequences of serious incidents involving nuclear materials and technology. The PoC also represent a recognition that new global norms and requirements are emerging, such as the growing global awareness of the need for environmental sustainability, energy security and enhanced nuclear security. Continuing improvements in nuclear power plants enable existing norms to be updated as well.
Facilitated by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, these six principles incorporate decades of cumulative experience with nuclear technology among the participating global nuclear power plant vendors. The PoC were developed in consultation with leading experts in each field and from the input of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), drawing where appropriate on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and related norms.
All the leading nuclear power plant vendors have taken part in the development of these voluntary Principles. NuPoC will guide their independent approaches to designing their products and interacting with operators and customer states.
No such voluntary, comprehensive, export-oriented set of norms has been published previously in the nuclear industry.
Although the burden of responsibly applying nuclear power is shared by many actors—including plant operators, governments and regulators in exporting and recipient states—nuclear power plant vendors in particular have a strong interest in maintaining and enhancing confidence that nuclear energy will be applied responsibly. Vendors possess the unique expertise and experience to encourage and promote sound practices through their own work and their interactions with customers, regulators and operators.
The PoC intend to promote free and fair competition in the market for nuclear power plants and to enhance the likelihood that the global development of nuclear energy will proceed safely, securely and in an environmentally sustainable manner. They are designed to inform the practices of current and future vendors operating in this domain and to encourage other nuclear stakeholders, including market entrants (both suppliers and customers), to uphold these important standards in the public interest. The PoC help assure the global public and key industry stakeholders alike that the vibrant competition within the nuclear industry is channeled at upholding high standards of practice in the areas addressed by the PoC.
Although the PoC are not legally binding, the companies have undertaken, at the highest levels, to implement the PoC in the course of their business activities. Each vendor will apply its own internal implementation mechanisms, and to buttress public confidence in the PoC’s thorough implementation, they engage in periodic implementation review meetings (NuPoC).
Through NuPoC, the companies also refine the PoC as warranted and engage new exporters and explore outreach to other nuclear industry stakeholders about the further development of the PoC.
Each company has informed its employees about the adoption of the PoC to further integrate the PoC into its business activities. The companies will also inform their customers, suppliers and other participants in the nuclear power industry about the PoC and NuPoC, and welcome their participation in advancing the PoC’s goals. In the interest of transparency each company has designated a point of contact for queries about the PoC and NuPoC.« Back To About