The Principles of Conduct reflect the special role that the IAEA occupies in the development and codification of best practices applicable to the design, construction, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear power plants. Many of the conventions, norms, and standards cited the Principles originated with the IAEA.
Several of the expert advisers to the Principles have served in various capacities at the IAEA or lead IAEA committees tasked with the further advancement of best practices for nuclear power, and many of the vendors’ representatives have also interacted with the Agency in various capacities. But this is not an IAEA initiative, although it is intended to complement work done by the IAEA. In some areas it addresses issues that lie outside the IAEA competence or mandate or for which the IAEA has yet to put forward clear norms.
Much of the difference stems from the fact the IAEA is an international organization whereas the Principles are a private-sector initiative. The IAEA’s senior leadership was briefed regularly about the Principles in the course of their development, but the Principles themselves have been developed without governmental or IAEA oversight. The vendors will continue to look to the IAEA in the future as a trusted source of best practices applicable to some aspects of nuclear energy, and will discuss updating the POC in light of IAEA actions.