Sep 9, 2015

Norway, Russia to sign agreement on notification of nuclear incidents

OSLO, Sept. 9  -- Norway and Russia will sign an agreement next week on joint notification procedures in the event of a nuclear accident, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday in a press release.

"I am very pleased that Norway and Russia have now reached agreement... this is an important milestone in the nuclear safety and emergency response cooperation between our countries," Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende was quoted as saying.

It is planned that the notification procedures will be signed on Sept. 15 in the margins of an annual session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria.

"The new procedures we are now establishing with Russia will ensure early notification in the event of a nuclear incident, which is crucial for Norway's emergency preparedness," Brende said.

"The joint notification procedures confirm once again that cooperation between Norway and Russia in this field is helping to build trust and enhance security on both sides of the border," he added.

In recent years, Norway and Russia have been working to strengthen the joint agreement on notification of nuclear accidents of 1993 by introducing concrete notification procedures.

Norway has been invited to observe Russian nuclear exercises on a regular basis and there are now plans to hold more frequent exercises where the new procedures will be tried out, according to the press release.