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 30 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. Since its founding, the IEA has evolved to focus well beyond oil energy security emergencies, though this sector still remains key to its mission. Today, the IEA is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics, analysis and recommendations. This includes gas security, climate change policies, energy subsidies, energy poverty, energy technology collaboration, and outreach to non-member countries. With a staff of around 250, mainly energy experts and statisticians from its 30 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.
Directed by its member countries, the IEA has developed close cooperative working relationships with major emerging economies such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. In 2015, China, Indonesia and Thailand and in 2016 Morocco and Singapore activated Association status with the IEA. The Agency also works extensively with other countries in the Black Sea and Caspian regions as well as the Middle East and North Africa. 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, which encourages cooperation among IEA member countries to ensure their collective energy security, improve the economic efficiency of their energy sector and promote environmental protection in provision of energy services.
- The Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM), which 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 develop plans for reacting to oil supply disruptions.
- The Standing Group for Global Energy Dialogue (SGD), responsible for work with countries and regions outside of the IEA membership. The IEA has entered into memoranda of policy understanding to strengthen cooperation with non-member countries across the world.
- The Committee on Energy Research and Technology, which discusses common energy technology issues, undertakes studies and organizes workshops that assist Members with technology policy development.
The United States is also working closely with the IEA to ensure complementarity of analyses, policies, programs and measures evolving from other key dialogues, such as the G7 (G7 Rome Energy Ministerial Joint Statement), G20, and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
Nuclear Energy Agency
U.S. participation in the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), a specialized, semi-autonomous agency of the OECD, 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.
We were delighted that on September 1, 2014, American Mr. William D. Magwood, IV took up his duties as the new NEA Director-General.
The NEA’s current membership consists of 31 countries in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. The NEA brings together the world’s best nuclear expertise among developed countries, representing 90 percent of the world’s installed nuclear capacity. With just 108 professional, project, and support staff, NEA manages 7 standing technical committees, 68 working parties and expert groups, 21 international joint projects funded by participants, and some 30 publications a year on average.
NEA is as a forum for sharing information and experience and promoting international cooperation; a center of excellence which helps member countries to pool and maintain their technical expertise; and a vehicle for facilitating policy analyses and developing consensus on technical goals. The NEA is an important research and development arm for furthering advances in nuclear technology, safety, and science through leveraged international cooperation.
The U.S. Government has been a very active member of the NEA due to shared mutual interests – such as in projects and activities relating to nuclear technology and science, regulation, safety, security, and radiation protection and waste management, to name a few. U.S. delegates maintain active roles in NEA committees and working groups and derive benefit from the international dialogue. Technical delegates hail almost primarily from the Department of Energy and its national laboratories and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Three ongoing programs of particular interest to the United States include: the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) – a technology forum, the Multinational Design Evaluation Program (MDEP) – a regulatory-focused forum and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) – a forum for cooperation. The NEA provides the Technical Secretariat for these three programs, which had their early origins 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 life-saving medical procedures annually.
- The NEA continues to evaluate the lessons learned from Fukushima, including safety research and study of accident progression.
- The United States is working closely with the NEA to prepare for nuclear emergency response and management of radiological emergencies (INEX-5).
- The NEA is enhancing nuclear science/data bank products and services, particularly the creation of high quality benchmark experimental data to support the validation of computer models.
As the work is always evolving to stay current and relevant, this list changes constantly.