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Energy effectively constitutes a global public good, and nuclear energy belongs to its provision. The potential risks of high consequence accidents and the importance of strong safety culture, regulation, and governance, have been recognized early, and to an increasing extent over time. As a result, exceptional and leading efforts into risk and reliability analysis have and continue to take place within the nuclear community. However, the adequacy of existing governance and control mechanisms can be questioned. Indeed, authoritative organizations, notably the IAEA, provide standards, best practices, and platforms for exchange at the international level. And strong regulatory bodies provide assurances and verification of safety at the national level. However, ultimately minimum standards are not trivial to impose because they will only be adopted by states that consent. Further, case studies of major accidents show the pervasiveness of distorted information and sometimes risk information concealment—a common organizational deficit, highly problematic in this safety-sensitive domain.
Consulting governance principles, more specific improvements are put forth, relating to stronger and obligatory monitoring and standards, to help promote safe civilian operation of nuclear power. A better international collaboration and extensive peer-reviews are recommended; the role of the IAEA and related enforcement mechanisms should be strengthened.
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- Governance: Organizations and Management Issues
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