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IAEA, U.S. to cooperate on nuclear energy

Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:19 AM

VIENNA, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The nuclear watchdog agency for the United Nations announced it teamed with a U.S. research institute to work on nuclear energy development.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it signed a three-year agreement with the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute to promote research into nuclear power and the decommissioning of nuclear waste. Technical cooperation covers risk evaluation in the post-Fukushima nuclear era.

A magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, resulting in a meltdown at the country's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The accident was the worst of its kind since the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine in the 1980s.

EPRI Vice President Neil Wilmshurst said multilateral cooperation in nuclear energy was a key to the safe development of alternative resources.

"Continued interest in and growth of commercial nuclear power around the world highlights the importance of coordinated global engagement on issues related to safe, reliable nuclear plant operation and management," he said in a statement.

The U.S. Energy Department last month said that it's invested more than $230 million in the past four years in university-level research and development projects related to nuclear energy.

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