International Cooperation in the Management of Nuclear Energy

Many cooperative programs to facilitate the international exchange of information on nuclear waste management have evolved in recent years. The United States has bilateral agreements with several countries in order to "exchange information on waste treatment, packaging, and storage; radionuclide transport; transportation; environmental effects; and public acceptance." In addition, several international institutions exist to aid in the exchange of nuclear energy-related information, technology, and experience:

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - The U.S. is one of the 113 member states of this agency of the United Nations, which includes both countries with and without nuclear energy programs. Founded in 1957, its function is to oversee the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The IAEA develops safety standards and provides technical guidance to countries regarding radiological practices and protection.

Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) - The U.S. also participates in the NEA, which is a specialized agency in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization of industrialized countries. As a forum of international cooperation, the NEA's purpose is to assist its 27 member states in developing the scientific, technological, and legal bases required for the safe use of nuclear energy.

World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) - WANO was created after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, which brought upon the realization that international cooperation is needed to improve nuclear safety. The organization's stated mission is "To maximize the safety and reliability of the operation of nuclear power plants by exchanging information and encouraging communication, comparison and emulation amongst its members." Every nuclear utility in the world is a member of WANO.