The world's major suppliers of civilian nuclear power plants have agreed to apply a common set of principles in their exporting decisions and practices. These unprecedented "Principles of Conduct" establish clear voluntary guidelines for negotiating export contracts, designing facilities and engaging customer states. The principles create common high standards of practice in the areas of safety, security, nonproliferation, environmental protection, ethics, and liability insurance. For more information, visit nuclearprinciples.org.
The Nuclear Power Plant Exporters' Principles of Conduct are an industry code of conduct resulting from a three-year initiative to develop norms of corporate self-management in the exportation of nuclear power plants. In developing and adopting the Principles of Conduct, the world's leading nuclear power plant vendors have articulated and consolidated a set of principles that reaffirm and enhance national and international governance and oversight, and incorporate recommended best practices in the areas of safety, security, environmental protection and spent fuel management, nonproliferation, business ethics and internationally recognized systems for compensation in the unlikely event of nuclear related damage.
In October 2008, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace convened a meeting of the world's major civilian nuclear power plant vendors and a group of world-class nuclear experts (see below) with the goal of developing a common understanding of the parameters that should guide the exporters of nuclear power plants. What resulted is a voluntary industry code of conduct that complements and often exceeds national laws and regulations, thus raising the bar globally on the standards of responsible nuclear conduct. The endeavor was inspired by the conviction that nuclear power could have an important role to play in meeting the future energy requirements of many countries, provided it is handled responsibly, and that nuclear power plant exporters share a common interest to that effect.
The Principles of Conduct reflect a recent trend in the management of global challenges. Leading industries, including those in the oil and gas, apparel and pharmaceutical sectors, increasingly have recognized the value of their reputations as socially responsible actors to their long-term business success. Growing awareness of the business risks that can arise when global companies do not meet society's expectations regarding their environmental and social performance led these major industries to establish shared norms of self-regulation. These industries have committed to apply such norms even when not legally required to do so, because the industry participants do well by doing the right thing.
Officials from national nuclear regulatory bodies as well as other key players in the nuclear power industry have welcomed the Principles of Conduct.
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