Convention on Nuclear Safety Is Viewed by Most Member Countries as Strengthening Safety Worldwide : Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate
Currently, 437 civilian nuclear power reactors are operating in 29 countries, and 56 more are under construction. After the Chernobyl accident, representatives of over 50 nations, including the United States, participated in the development of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, a treaty that seeks to promote the safety of civilian nuclear power reactors. The Convention has been in force since 1996. GAO was asked to assess (1) parties' views on the benefits and limitations of the Convention, (2) efforts to improve implementation of the Convention, and (3) how International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) programs complement the Convention's safety goals. GAO surveyed the 64 parties to the Convention for which it was in force at the time of GAO's review and analyzed the responses of the 32 that completed it, analyzed relevant documents, and interviewed U.S. and foreign officials. GAO recommends, among other things, that the Department of State, in coordination with NRC, work with other parties to the Convention to encourage the use of performance metrics in national reports to track progress toward improving safety of civilian nuclear power plants and expand efforts to increase the number of reports posted to IAEA's public Web site.