At the present, countries launching nuclear power programs are facing different challenges and contexts than in the past. Many countries have expressed the needs to have more regular contact with countries facing similar issues at the regional level. Safety standards have been developed so that safety is assured for users, public, and the environment. Effective capacity building programmes on nuclear safety measures, emergency response and preparedness, as well as legislative drafting, are therefore required for a number of countries embarking nuclear power programme to enable them to meet with the international standards. Meanwhile, transparent information sharing among states especially those within the region, on safety measures of nuclear power programmes, contributes to building confidence in their safety standards.
On an occasion of 50th anniversary of Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) in 2011, OAP hosted The International Conference on Safety, Security and Safeguards in Nuclear Energy in Bangkok, Thailand. From the conference, OAP learned that all of South East Asian countries share a common goal in achieving high level of public safety and confidence in nuclear and radiation related issues. Idea of establishment of the network of regulatory bodies on atomic energy amongst ASEAN countries was also proposed in an informal consultation and received positive comments from our ASEAN colleagues. The proposal was later presented in the ASEAN Summit 2011 and received warm welcome from the Member States.
OAP hosted the Meeting to Finalize the Term of Reference of ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy on Thursday 30 August 2012. This meeting was the initial step for ASEAN Member States to work together to finalize the TOR of ASEANTOM network to enhance the growth of knowledge and resources to ensure the safety, security and safeguards of peaceful nuclear energy applications.