Singapore, 28 June 2018 – Nuclear regulators from all 10 ASEAN Member States met in Singapore from 26 June to 27 June (am) for the 5th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) Annual Meeting, and from 27 June (pm) to 28 June for the Technical Workshop on Nuclear Safety, Human Resource Development and Emergency Preparedness. The events were attended by 45 participants from the regulatory bodies of the ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European nuclear science agencies, and other international organisations. This was the first time that Singapore, the 2018 Chair of the ASEANTOM, has hosted this series of ASEANTOM Annual Meetings. More details of ASEANTOM can be found in Annex A.
Safeguarding People and the Environment through Regional Cooperation
2 As economic development progresses in ASEAN, the use of nuclear and radiation technology in industry and medicine will grow. In view of ASEAN’s growing energy needs, some ASEAN Member States are also exploring the option of nuclear energy for power production. Countries neighbouring ASEAN are stepping up the use of nuclear energy to meet their power needs. There is therefore a need to ensure safety in the region by enhancing cooperation among ASEAN Member States to strengthen regulatory regimes and human capacity development in ASEAN. To this end, ASEANTOM serves as a framework for ASEAN regulatory authorities to improve regulatory activities, nuclear safety, security and safeguards within the ASEAN Community by enhancing cooperation and complementing the work of existing mechanisms at the national, bilateral, regional and international levels. ASEANTOM also supports and contributes to ASEAN’s goal of preserving Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.
Reinforcing Collaboration Regionally and Internationally
3 ASEANTOM Members gathered for the 5th Annual Meeting to discuss the progress of ongoing regional projects with the IAEA and the European Commission to strengthen emergency preparedness and response arrangements at the national and regional levels, so as to protect the public and the environment, and to develop regional protocols for assessment and decision making during nuclear and radiological emergencies.
4 ASEANTOM Members also deliberated on new projects with the European Commission and the United States of America’s Department of Energy, to further strengthen ASEAN’s readiness to respond to nuclear or radiological events.
5 The Annual Meeting discussed the establishment of a framework of cooperation between ASEAN and the IAEA to develop and implement joint projects, research activities, and capacity building activities.
6 ASEAN Member States also adopted a five-year ASEANTOM work plan proposed by Singapore, which laid out the roadmap for key areas of focus for ASEANTOM from 2018 to 2022. The work plan details the action programmes, key objectives, milestones, and deliverables to work towards achieving ASEANTOM’s objective of assisting ASEAN Member States to implement their relevant commitments to the IAEA’s safety, security, and safeguards standards and guidelines, as laid out in ASEANTOM’s Terms of Reference, as well as the relevant targets set out in the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025.
7 The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Director-General, Environmental Protection Division, Mr Ram Bhaskar, who chaired the meeting said, “We had a fruitful meeting. ASEAN Member States discussed various projects to strengthen ASEAN’s emergency preparedness and response for nuclear and radiological emergencies. The five- year ASEANTOM workplan, which Singapore proposed, was adopted during the meeting. Singapore will continue to work closely with ASEAN Member States to make further progress together for the benefit and safety of the people in ASEAN.”
Deepening Expertise in Nuclear Safety and Security
8 The technical workshop comprised talks delivered by nuclear experts from international organisations and regulatory bodies. Speakers from the IAEA, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Viet Nam, the United States of America, and Singapore shared information in areas such as building national capabilities for nuclear and radiological safety and security, human resource development, plume dispersion modelling, and the use of dispersion models in supporting decision-making.
9 Singapore looks forward to participating in the 6th ASEANTOM Annual Meeting next year, which will be hosted by Thailand’s Office of Atoms for Peace. Singapore remains committed to ASEANTOM and supports ASEANTOM’s efforts to collaborate with the international community and regional partners to strengthen regional regulatory and operational practices.
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Factsheet on the ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM)
The ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) was formally established in 2013 at the ASEAN Joint Preparatory Meeting, held in parallel with the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEAN SOM). Thailand’s Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) hosted the first ASEANTOM Annual Meeting in Bangkok that year. ASEANTOM was subsequently designated in 2015 as a body under the ASEAN Political-Security Community Pillar of the ASEAN Charter.
2 The objective of ASEANTOM is to enhance regulatory activities and further strengthen nuclear safety, security and safeguards within the ASEAN community by enhancing cooperation and complementing the work of existing mechanisms at the national, bilateral, regional and international levels. ASEANTOM is intended to serve as a framework for cooperation amongst nuclear regulatory bodies or relevant authorities within ASEAN. ASEANTOM also supports and contributes to ASEAN’s goal of preserving Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.
3 ASEANTOM will focus on cooperation of regulatory bodies and relevant authorities amongst the ASEAN Member States, on a consensual basis, on the following:
- • Sharing of best practices and exchange of experiences in regulating nuclear and radioactive materials and related activities, with regard to safety, security and safeguards;
- • Capacity building by focusing on human resources development through training courses and technical collaboration;
- • Assisting ASEAN Member States to implement their relevant commitments to the IAEA standards and guidelines;
- • Mutual exchange of information as confidence building measures on nuclear activities in each country to promote transparency in safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy within the region; and
- • Forging regional cooperation in nuclear emergency preparedness and response, environmental radiation monitoring, and nuclear security.