International Energy Agency
U.S. participation in the International Energy Agency (IEA) helps maintain stable U.S. oil supplies, and supports efforts world-wide to promote reliable, affordable and clean energy.
The IEA is an autonomous agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The IEA acts as energy policy advisor for its 28 member countries in their efforts to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy. Founded during the oil crisis of 1973-74, its initial role was to coordinate measures in times of oil supply emergencies. During the last decades the IEA has evolved to focus well beyond oil crisis management on broader energy issues, including gas crisis management, climate change policies, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach to the rest of the world. With a staff of around 200, mainly energy experts and statisticians from its 28 members countries, the IEA conducts a broad program of energy research, data compilation, reviews of energy policies, publications and public dissemination of the latest energy policy analysis and recommendations on good practices. IEA publications are known worldwide for their high-quality analysis and objectivity.
The United States is an active participant in the Governing Board of the IEA and all IEA bodies, including:
- The Standing Group on Long-Term Cooperation encourages co-operation among IEA member countries to ensure their collective energy security, improve the economic efficiency of their energy sector and promote the environmental protection in provision of energy services;
- The Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM) follows short- and medium-term developments in the international oil market to help IEA Member countries respond promptly and effectively to changes in market conditions. The group works closely with the Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) in helping the SEQ to develop plans for reacting to oil supply disruptions;
- The Standing Group for Global Energy Dialogue (SGD) is responsible for work with countries and regions outside of the IEA membership. The IEA has entered memoranda of policy understanding to strengthen co-operation beyond its membership, most actively with China, India and Russia - three countries, which are increasingly important in the world energy balance;
- The Committee on Energy Research and Technology discusses common energy technology issues, undertake studies and organizes workshops that assist Members with technology policy development.
The United States is also working closely with the IEA to ensure policies, programs and measures evolving from the July Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in Washington, lead by Energy Secretary Chu, dovetail with IEA policies, programs and measures. Initiatives first formed in the CEM are finding links with complementary initiatives within the IEA, such as the Low Carbon Technology Platform.
Nuclear Energy Agency
U.S. participation in the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) helps maintain and enhance the scientific, technological and legal basis required for the safe, environmentally-friendly and economic use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The NEA brings together the world's best nuclear expertise among developed countries. It represents 85 percent of the world's nuclear capacity.
The NEA provides a forum for technical safety discussions among states with existing nuclear power programs (in addition to those interested in adding nuclear power to their current energy mix). The NEA is an important research and development arm for furthering advances in nuclear technology and science while simultaneously leveraging international cooperation.
The NEA is closely aligned to the U.S. Government's priorities on nuclear energy - including activities relating to nuclear regulatory, safety, security, and radiation protection matters. U.S. delegates maintain very active roles in NEA committees and working groups and derive a great deal of benefit from the international dialogue. Technical delegates hail almost exclusively from the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Programs of particular interest to the United States include: the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) - a technology forum, and the Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP) - a regulatory-focused forum. The NEA provides the Technical Secretariat for both of these programs (which originated in the United States).
The NEA is helping to address other U.S. interests:
- The NEA created a global task force to address a looming crisis regarding the supply of medical radioisotopes which account for approximately two‐thirds of all diagnostic medical isotope procedures. Americans rely on the crucial treatments for approximately 16 million medical procedures annually.
- The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration works closely with the Nuclear Energy Agency to prepare for nuclear emergency response and management of radiological emergencies;
- NEA members are drafting of the basic safety standards for Protection Against Ionizing Radiation and for the Safety of Radiation Sources.