The RCA is an inter-governmental agreement for East Asia & Pacific region, under the aegis of the IAEA, in which the Government Parties undertake, in co-operation with each other and with the IAEA to promote and co-ordinate co-operative research & development (R&D) and training projects in nuclear science and technology through their appropriate national institutions.
The first regional collaborative agreement which began in the early 1960s under the sponsorship of the IAEA was called the “India-Philippines-IAEA (IPA) Agreement”. This laid the foundation of the Regional Co-operative Agreement (RCA).The IPA involved the making of a spectrometer in India and its set-up in the Philippine Research Reactor-I with IAEA funding. This was used for training by neighboring countries. It was in 1972 that ten governments in the Asia and Pacific region undertook, in co-operation with each other and the IAEA, to promote and co-ordinate co-operative activities in nuclear science and technology. It was the first regional agreement of such magnitude. Since then, the RCA has expanded considerably, both in its membership and in the size and subject scope of its programme. RCA projects have contributed significantly in a number of priority areas vital to regional socio-economic development, such as food and agriculture, health care, industry and environmental protection. The number of scientists, engineers and technicians of RCA Member States involved in various projects has grown to several thousand. With the growing emphasis placed on technical co-operation among developing countries, the share of specialists from developing countries engaged in various RCA activities is steadily increasing.
The RCA celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1997 and has currently 17 Member States, namely Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. During the 25 years of the RCA’s existence, the participating countries and the Agency have accumulated valuable experience of co-operation and of co-ordinating nuclear-related development activities in the region.
BARC is the Nodal agency for all activities under RCA of IAEA and SIRD is responsible for carrying out these activities.