2014 Meeting

Location:  Chiang Mai, THAILAND

Date:   25 – 27 August, 2014

The 2nd Meeting of ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) consisted of two sessions; the Annual meeting of the ASEANTOM and the Technical Meeting on Environmental Radiation Monitoring in ASEAN. Discussion topics in the Annual Meeting Session included activities conducted in 2014, Action plan in 2015 – 2016, status of ASEANTOM under the ASEAN Charter, Chairmanship of ASEANTOM, and keys for sustainable cooperation of successful network. Objectives of the Technical Meeting Session were to exchange information and experience on environmental radiation monitoring, and to seek opportunity to establish a regional early warning network and a Regional Data Center.

The Meeting was attended by 40 participants from IAEA, ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Member States (AMS), namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and  Vietnam; Brunei Darussalam could not attend the Meeting. Participants from AMS included delegates from the regulatory bodies or relevant authorities, technical officers in field of environmental radiation monitoring, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lecture summary and outcomes of the Meeting are described as follows;

Keynote Speaker “Cooperation between IAEA and ASEANTOM” (Dr. Raja Abdul Aziz RAJA ADNAN, Special Assistant to the Director General on Nuclear Applications and Technical Cooperation, IAEA)

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Raja Adnan, presented a talk on Cooperation between IAEA and ASEANTOM. He stated that the cooperation between IAEA and ASEAN countries has been strengthened recently after the visit of IAEA Director-General (DG) to the ASEAN Secretariat in 2011. At present all 10 ASEAN Member States had become IAEA members. A possible framework for cooperation between the IAEA and ASEANTOM was discussed – including the format of the framework, scope & areas of cooperation, and designated counterpart of the IAEA. He suggested that the cooperation framework should be built on a step-by-step basis. Meanwhile, the IAEA would continue to implement activities involving IAEA Member States in Southeast Asia (SEA) through the regional networks, i.e., RCA, ANSN, and APSN. Finally, he suggested the possible outcomes of ASEANTOM-IAEA cooperation, inter alia, i) improvement in the harmonization of the implementation of IAEA standards  in the region, which was consistent with the ‘3S’ (Safety, Security, Safeguard) framework of ASEANTOM, ii) understanding the strengths and weaknesses in the region, iii) national resources identified as !SE!NTOM “pool of excellence”, iv) action plan for prioritized key elements of ‘3S’ established to address weaknesses, v) resource mobilization mechanism from “pool of excellence” activated in line with the action plan, and vi) ASEANTOM working network established for mutual support.    

Report of Activities in 2014

  1. The 1stEURATOM-ASEANTOM Meeting (Mr. Ang Kok Kiat, Singapore) The meeting was held at the sidelines of the 57th IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria on 18 September, 2013. Participants consisted of the heads of the nuclear regulatory bodies of seven ASEAN countries and representatives from the Lao PDR mission. Brunei and Cambodia were unable to attend. Mr. Peter Faross, Acting Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General of Energy, European Commission (EC) was the head representative from the EC delegate. Outcomes of the meeting included the following: 
  2. i) EURATOM shared with ASEANTOM details on the radiation monitoring and warning system for the EU region, 
  3. ii) EURATOM offered to host a visit for ASEANTOM representatives to attend suitable meetings of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) as observers, and 

iii) meeting agreed to arrange similar annual meetings at the sidelines of the IAEA General Conference. 

  1. Environmental Radiation Monitoring Technical Meeting (Dr. Yuttana Tumnoi, Thailand) The technical meeting was held concurrently with the 2nd Meeting of ASEANTOM. Objectives of the Technical Meeting Session were to exchange information and experience on radiation environmental monitoring, and to seek opportunities to establish a regional early warning network and a Regional Data Center. The Summary of the meeting is included within this report.
  2. IAEA Supported Regional Activities in South East Asia (SEA) Region (Mr. Harry Sumitro, Division of Nuclear Security, IAEA) In 2014, there were five regional and five national nuclear security programs, and two advisory services (INSSP and INSServ) supported by the IAEA for the SEA countries. In addition, the speaker emphasized future continued support for Project 28 (P28) “Improvement of security of nuclear and radioactive material and facilities under regulatory control in SEA Region”. The P28 has been conducted under cooperation of IAEA and EC-JRC, and its objective is to strengthen and harmonize nuclear security in SEA. The IAEA welcomed cooperation with SEA countries for the implementation of activities under P28 through ASEANTOM.         

ASEAN Cooperation on Nuclear-Related Issues
 (Ms. Hoang Thi Ha, Head of Political Cooperation Division, ASEAN Secretariat

The ASEAN has adopted a commitment and principle on nuclear-related issues as stated in ASEAN Charter- “To preserve Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destructive”. Cooperation and legal instruments involving nuclear safety, security and safeguards under the ASEAN framework consisted of: the SEANWFZ Treaty, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) (including ASEAN Convention of Counter-Terrorism (ACCT), ASEAN Comprehensive Plan of Action on Counter-Terrorism, Cooperation with ASEAN Dialogue Partners on Counter-Terrorism, and Migration and Border Management Program (DGICM)), ASEAN Nuclear Energy Cooperation Sub-Sector Network (NEC-SSN), and ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM). ASEAN also has strong cooperation with international partners, i.e., IAEA, CTBTO, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia, and the US.

Status of ASEANTOM

The session began with a presentation from Ms. Siriratana on the overview of ANNEX-I and ANNEX-II definitions from the ASEAN Charter and the examples of entities in both categories. Afterwards, the issues of ASEANTOM’s status within ASEAN Charter and the need for support from ASEAN at the political level were put into discussion.

In summary, the meeting reached a consensus on its recommendation that ASEANTOM should be classified as an ANNEX-I entity under the APSC pillar in the ASEAN Charter.
 The discussion is summarized as follows.

  • ·The major differences between Annex-I and Annex-II in terms of support: Being established as an ANNEX-I entity would provide ASEANTOM with the necessary political supports. However the network would also have to subscribe to the objectives and principles of ASEAN which includes the duty to report its work to ASEAN SOM. On the contrary, ASEANTOM as an ANNEX-II entity would receive less supports but would have operational flexibility.
  • ·Coverage of APSC pillars on ASEANTOM: The uniqueness of ASEANTOM was that it covers all 3Ss (Safety, Security, Safeguard). Even though no single pillar of ASEAN Community covers all topics of the technical issues of ASEANTOM, APSC is considered the most related.
  • ·Obligations of an ASEAN body (Annex-I): Full details are written in the ASEAN Charter. For example, the network must uphold the principle of ASEAN which includes non- interference in each member’s political situation and decision-making through consensus, etc.
  • ·Status of ASEANTOM in terms of collaborations with other Network: For ASEANTOM to collaborate with other networks, it is more appropriate for the network to be established as an ANNEX-I entity as ANNEX-II entities are not considered to be within the formal ASEAN structure and would face more challenges when collaborating with other international entities. 
  • ·Structure of ASEANTOM: The official structure of ASEANTOM would follow the rules and requirements of the ASEAN Charter as a body of the ASEAN Community.

Discussion on Chair of ASEANTOM and Key of Successful Network

The Meeting agreed that Malaysia would be the next Chair of ASEANTOM in 2015. (Pending approvals from higher authorities. In due time, Malaysia will inform to the current chairman.) The delegation from Malaysia at the ASEANTOM meeting had no objections for Malaysia to be the next chair of ASEANTOM. The organisation of the annual meetings would be supported by the host country using its own budgets. ASEANTOM would convey this to the ASEAN Leaders through the MFA. 

The ASEAN Secretariat informed the Meeting that according to usual practice, the Chair or the host would bear the organizational costs, such as local transportations or airport transfers and meeting package. In some high-level meetings, the host would also bear the accommodation of the heads of delegation during the period of the meeting, while other expenses would be borne by each Member States.

The financial support issue would be further discussed at the next ASEANTOM meeting. The official process for the appointment of the next chair of ASEANTOM would be conveyed by Thailand through the Thai MFA to the ASEAN SOM.

As stated in the TOR, the Chair of ASEAN would serve as the coordinator of the ASEANTOM unless decided otherwise by AMS. The ASEAN Secretariat suggested that since the ASEANTOM is a new entity, the selection of the Chair of ASEANTOM should be more flexible. The meeting agreed that the future chairmanship of ASEANTOM would require further discussion.

Chairperson requested for the contact point of the regulatory body and MFA of each ASEANTOM Member State. The list of contact points of the Member States is shown in Appendix 3.

Summary from Session Technical Meeting on Environmental Radiation Monitoring Network

  • ·The ASEAN countries are at varying stages of developing their national environmental radiation monitoring capabilities.
  • ·There is common interest by all ASEAN countries to further develop their environmental radiation monitoring capabilities and establish a regional framework on environmental radiation monitoring.
  • ·The implementation of the project or activity has to be supported by the ASEANTOM and other international organizations (e.g. IAEA, EC, US-DOE).


  1. Propose for Thailand, in collaboration with Singapore, to draft a concept note for an  ASEAN-IAEA regional technical cooperation project called “Establishment of the !SE!NTOM Environmental Radiation Monitoring Network” with the objective of creating a network for sharing ASEAN environmental radiation monitoring data and  establishing an ASEAN-wide environmental radiation monitoring network and database.
  2. Propose to compile a list of contact points (with alternates) for the project.
  3. Organize next technical meeting to coincide with the next ASEANTOM annual meeting to discuss the project details (TOR, Funding, etc.) and activities.
  4. Some ASEAN Member States were willing to provide technical assistance to countries with fewer capabilities in environmental radiation monitoring.

2013 Meeting

The 1st Meeting of ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) was organized in Phuket, Thailand on 3 – 4 September, 2013. The meeting was held on annually basis following the Meeting to Finalize the Term of Reference (TOR) in Bangkok, Thailand on 29 August, 2012.
Objective of the meeting is to review and finalize TOR, and to set up the action plan of ASEANTOM. The action plan is an expected outcome of the meeting.

The Meeting consisted of 41 participants from IAEA and ASEAN Member States (AMS), namely, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Only Brunei Darussalam could not attend the Meeting. Participant’s organizations were regulatory body or relevant authorities, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lecture summary and outcomes of the Meeting are described as followed;

Opening Remarks (Dr. Atchara Wongsaengchan, Deputy Permanent-Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand)

Dr. Atchara welcomed participants to the first meeting of ASEANTOM. She emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and network on nuclear regulatory bodies among the member states, especially on the occasion of becoming the ASEAN Community in 2015. The network is necessary for Member States because of the increase of nuclear and radiation utilizations in ASEAN, and the trans-boundary impacts of any nuclear incident. She also stated that in 2011 on occasion of the 50th anniversary of Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP), Thailand initiated the establishment of ASEANTOM. Later, the network has been progressed and has received warm welcome from Member States including at the political level. Lastly, she stated that the purpose of the meeting is to facilitate an exchange of information in the area of cooperation on nuclear safety, security and safeguards amongst the network and set up the work plan of the activities. She conveyed her gratitude for all of ASEAN countries for sharing their cooperation to establish the sustainability of the network which will strengthen nuclear safety, security and safeguards in the region.

IAEA Nuclear Security Program (Ms. Noor Firtiah Bakri, Office of Nuclear Security, IAEA)

Ms. Noor provided information about nuclear security program of IAEA and cooperation between IAEA and countries in ASEAN. She stated that the cooperation has been done through bilateral agreement between IAEA and some of ASEAN countries. In ASEAN, the potential target includes research reactor and fuel fabrication plants. The nuclear security issues included; unauthorized possession and related criminal activities, theft and losses, other unauthorized activities and events. IAEA provides services and instruments for nuclear security, i.e., Peer review on security and advisory services (INSServ), International physical protection advisory service, Integrated nuclear security support plan (INSSP). Since 2004, there are 4 ASEAN countries undertook INSServ.

For ASEANTOM, IAEA offered several possible areas for further development at both national level and facility level. For example, awareness program for national stakeholders, training programs, field exercise, and nuclear security training provision for lawyers. Ms. Noor suggested that ASEAN and IAEA should prepare bilateral discussion and request for cooperation between ASEAN and IAEA. Recommended activities are capacity building, national coordination, establishing regional capacities and capabilities and managing of radioactive materials out of regulatory control. In conclusion, IAEA to support any regional activities from requested by the ASEAN Member States and the ASEANTOM network.

Progress of ASEANTOM (Ms. Siriratana Biramontri, Director, Bureau of Technical Support of Safety Regulation, OAP)

Ms. Siriratana presented progress of ASEANTOM establishment. The presentation covered background and motivation of ASEANTOM, progress of network establishment in political level, and overview of TOR. The idea of establishing ASEANTOM raised from the process of establishing the ASEAN Community by 2015, and was first proposed during the International conference on safety, security and safeguards in nuclear energy in September, 2011 in Bangkok. Later in March 2012, the concept paper for ASEANTOM was distributed in Senior Official Meeting (SOM). ASEAN Leaders, during the 20th ASEAN Summit in 2012, stated that “We welcomed the idea to develop a network amongst nuclear regulatory bodies in Southeast Asia which would enable regulators to exchange nuclear related information and experiences on best practices, enhance cooperation and develop capacities on all three aspects, namely, nuclear security, safety and safeguards”. Such a network could be called the ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM). The proposal received support from the political level as it became a part of leader’s statement in 2012 Soule Security Summit, and the 56th and 57th IAEA General Conference in Vienna. The TOR was first drafted in August 2012, and will be reviewed once again in this meeting.

Revision and Adoption of Term of Reference (TOR)

TOR of ASEANTOM was reviewed and edited in this meeting in order to achieve consensus by the MS. The issues in TOR discussed in the meeting is summarized below. The TOR was revised and accepted among the MS.

• Adoption of TOR: MS agreed that the TOR should be adopted through high level official or diplomat meeting such as the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting (SOM) or Ministerial meeting. One of the reasons is that the network is also promoting security, which is a part of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC).

• Issues relating to SEANWFZ: MS agreed that ASEANTOM can contribute to SEANWFZ (the implementation) since SEANWFZ mentions ASEANTOM in its plan of action. However, supporting SEANWFZ should not be a main role of ASEANTOM (on the other hand, ASEANTOM is not SEANWFZ). Therefore parts of TOR content involving SEANWFZ were modified, i.e., parts of background, institutional mechanism and reporting mechanism.

• Scope: MS discussed on Scope and Activity and suggested to revise some parts. The last bullet of scope was moved to activity.

• Activity: MS suggested to add another activity on “Identifying other activities that meet AMS requirements and needs in the areas of safety, security and safeguards”.

• Reporting mechanism: MS agreed that reporting mechanism should be modified from report to the SEANWFZ. Instead, the MS proposed that the ASEANTOM should submit an annual activity report to the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) (under APSC pillar). One of reasons is that reporting to the leaders is to be recognized from the government to get funding and support under the APSC. The revision is reflected in TOR.

• Institutional mechanism: To be consistent with reporting mechanism, the institutional mechanism is revised to be a network under the APSC. The revision is reflected in TOR.

• Revision of terms/wording:

o Term “regulatory bodies and relevant authorities” to be used consistency throughout TOR.

o Term “ASEAN Member States (AMS)” to be used consistency throughout TOR.

o In objective, modified “non-traditional security issues” to “nuclear security issues”

o Other minor wording, typo, and grammatical changes as reflected in the TOR.


Action plan

An action plan of ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) was developed during the 1st Meeting of ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM), 2-5 September 2013, Phuket, Thailand. Participants of the meeting consisted of delegates from nine out of the ten ASEAN Member States (AMS). One AMS who did not participate in the meeting was Brunei Darussalam.

During the meeting, 22 fields of activity within 5 scope of the ASEANTOM were proposed by the AMS. Corresponding activities for each field were proposed and the host country which to organize each activity was designated on a voluntary basis. Due to the limited amount of

time for the preparation of the activities, six activities have been selected as priority. Four are selected to be conducted in 2014 including, Nuclear regulation establishment and national regulatory and legal frameworks in ASEAN; current and future, Radiation environmental monitoring and transport models, Experience sharing from EURATOM, and Radiation detection techniques and maintenance of instruments. Two activities are selected to be organized in year 2015 including, Emergency Preparedness and Response and Nuclear and radioactive materials transport safety and security.

2012 Meeting

Meeting to Finalise the Term of Reference of ASEAN Network of Regulatory Bodies on Atomic Energy (ASEANTOM) was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 30 August 2012. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the contents and possibility to initiate the ASEANTOM Term of Reference (TOR). Participants of the meeting consisted of representatives from 10 ASEAN Member States. Countries with representatives from regulatory bodies or related authorities consisted of Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Countries with representatives from their embassies in Thailand consisted of Cambodia, Brunei and The Philippines.

Prof. Dr. Chaivat Toskulkao, Secretary General of Office of Atoms for Peace, Thailand delivered Welcome remarks. The statement emphasised that obligations for safety, security and safeguards should be met on the utilisation of nuclear energy in Southeast Asian countries. Necessary programs to implement the high level of safety standards include; capacity building, emergency response and preparedness, environmental monitoring as well as legislative preparation. Meanwhile, transparent information sharing among regional states on safety measures can also contribute to building confidence of the people. On the occasion of ASEAN Community establishment in 2015, there is no better opportunity for ASEAN Member States to engage in discussions and cooperation at both regional and international level to reinforce such framework in an effective and achievable manner.

Remarks by Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Deputy Director-General, Department of International Organisations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasised that the nuclear safety, security and safeguards became critical issues, given the growing demand of for nuclear energy within the region, as well as the impact of enhanced connectivity of the ASEAN Community in 2015. The proposed Network will be an essential tool for us to address these critical issues, by encouraging information sharing and promoting transparency amongst nuclear regulatory bodies and relevant agencies on issues of common interest upon consent of Member States. This network will also complement the work of ASEAN’s existing mechanisms, such as ASEAN Nuclear Energy Safety Sub-Sector Network (NEC-SSN), as well as reaffirming the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ).

In reviewing the TOR, in general, the dialogue themes can be classified into scope, involved parties, cooperation mechanism, and the resources. As pointed out, the objective in strengthening nuclear safety, security, and safeguards is very broad. That means the nuclear regulatory work may involve organizations outside the regulators. In fact, 3S is the responsibility of states. The participants, thus, agreed to extend the network to also include bodies in charge of nuclear related matters. Concerning cooperation mechanism, there was a major issue to be addressed. Certain participants are reluctant to have the Network submitting reporting to the Executive Committee of Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.  In the end, to avoid political influents, it was agreed that the best suggestion for the time being was to have the Network to deliver the technical report to the ASEAN Commission.  Lastly, certain members would like the budget and funding to be addressed more explicitly within the TOR. This was later added to content of the document.