The primary mission of AEC is to protect the public health and safety, and the environment from the effects of radiation from nuclear materials and facilities. To carry out its mission, AEC sets strategies and formulates policies as directed by the Minister, develops regulations and guidance documents related to atomic energy, and conducts licensing and enforcement for reactor safety of nuclear power plants as well as for protection against ionizing radiatio. International cooperation also plays an important role in this and other regulatory activities.
In addition to nuclear regulatory activities, AEC also takes charge of nation-wide environmental monitoring on ionizing radiation through its affiliated Radiation Monitoring Center (RMC). For radioactive waste, AEC, together with its affiliated Fuel Cycle and Materials Administration (FCMA), is responsible for all licensing and enforcement activities from cradle to grave.
An emergency response system is the last line of defense for nuclear safety. The National Nuclear Emergency Response Center, led by AEC Minister, oversees off-site nuclear emergency preparedness and management, whereas the facility operator takes charge of the on-site mission.
While AEC devotes the above efforts to ensure nuclear safety and radiation protection, it is critically important that the regulatory practices are of sound scientific and technical basis. Confirmatory R&D is, therefore, one area of strong emphasis assigned by the Council to its affiliated research organization, the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER).
Major research activities conducted by INER include nuclear safety technologies, structural integrity of nuclear components and fuel cladding, implementation of nuclear facilities decommissioning, radioactive waste treatment and disposal.
In addition, INER is devoted to the development of renewable energy technologies, such as solar photovoltaics, wind power, solid oxide fuel cell, smart-grid and bio-mass energy, as well as development and applications of plasma technologies in the green energy-saving environment. Moreover, INER has also been engaged in radiopharmaceutical research for more than 20 years and has received 17 relevant licenses from Ministry of Health and Welfare.
AEC is the competent authority of nuclear safeguards and security in Taiwan. Though not a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ("NPT"), Taiwan is committed to pursuing a civil nuclear program in a manner consistent with the content of the NPT and is in compliance with relevant IAEA safeguards agreements.
In 2012, in order to protect persons, property, society, and the environment from malicious acts involving nuclear material and nuclear facilities, AEC formulated the "Regulations on the Review and Approval of Applications for Operating License of Nuclear Reactor Facilities", which follow the requirements of IAEA's INFCIRC 225 to regulate licensees and maintain the physical security of nuclear material and nuclear facilities.
Today, with the goal of "Nuclear Power Phase-Out by 2025" in mind, AEC will continue its mission in nuclear regulation to ensure safety during "Nuclear Power Phase-Out" and will focus more on the regulation on nuclear facilities decommissioning and radioactive wastes management.