Asean+3 nuclear safety forum kicks off in ThailandJune 16th, 2008 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS
Bangkok, June 16 (Xinhua) Experts and officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member countries and its three partners China, Japan and South Korea, gathered here Monday to take part in the first Asean+3 Forum on Nuclear Energy Safety. Co-hosted by Thailand and China, the two-day forum is expected to provide an academic platform for sharing experience and technologies in a bid to promote regional cooperation on nuclear safety issue.
At the opening ceremony, Thai Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama noted that the Asean+3 framework which was established in 1997 to respond to the Asian financial crisis, would now play a role to handle the new challenge of finding long-term energy security in the wake of sky-rocketing oil prices.
In face of the rising oil price, which has increased over 100 percent in about one year to the current level of $135 a barrel, nuclear energy is one source that can offer long-term solution, Noppadon said.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), among Asean members, countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia have already launched plans for building their first nuclear power plants.
The Asean groups Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, the Philippines and Singapore.