Washington: The world's nuclear power plant exporters announced on Friday a first-ever code of conduct, which they hope will raise safety standards, prevent proliferation, and enhance environmental protection.
      
They agreed to six principles addressing everything from physical safety and security to ethics and compensation for damage in the event of an accident.
          
The agreement, which is not legally binding, was finalized earlier this year after an arduous three-year process aimed at nailing down corporate standards and nuclear responsibility.
      
Ariel Levite of the Nuclear Policy Program at Carnegie Institute for International Peace, the Washington-based think tank that brought together the eight firms which eventually signed the pact, said some of the companies had already implemented the standards in dealing with potential client states.
      
The process, he said, has helped "heighten the sensitivity of the pertinent corporations, not just to the responsibilities and the obligations to their shareholders, their home states, the clients, and to... state regulators, but also highlight their nuclear corporate social responsibility duties."

(Agencies)