Israel, Mr. Gideon Frank, Director General, Israel Atomic Energy Commission:
He expressed the view that the Agency should contribute to the full spectrum of nuclear power issues. He stated that the tendency to attribute to radiation many ills can be accredited to public misinformation and fear of radiation exposure. Therefore there is an urgent need for a non-patronizing education of the public. He stressed the importance of disseminating accurate and impartial information about nuclear risks and benefits and pointed out that such a plan could be carried out by the IAEA with the assistance of other international and intergovernmental organizations such as the WHO, UNEP, the OECD and the CEC. Further he underlined that using nuclear power while refraining from nuclear fuel cycle activities involved with fuel production and reprocessing, can limit proliferation risks. He also said that a well-focused R&D programme for safer and more efficient nuclear power should include the search for more proliferation-resistant designs, mentioning that the use of thorium fuel for light water reactors and the HTGR using coated particle fuel are promising in this respect. He added that the IAEA could promote these R&D efforts. He also referred to the Mediterranean Fruitfly Eradication Project looking forward to its extension and expansion to include additional regional parties. Additional topics for future consideration could include nuclear medicine application for diagnostics and therapy, hydrology research for efficient utilization of freshwater resources and food preservation. Regarding the two Middle East draft resolutions, he noted that Israel has made clear its commitment to the peace process in the region. In this respect he stated that Israel remains committed to establishing in due course and in the proper context, the Middle East as a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, emphasizing that a regional nuclear weapons free zone should emanate from within the region and be supported by all concerned States of the region. He added that such a zone could not be imposed on regional parties. Within the context of the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process he referred to the Working Group for Arms Control and Regional Security that was established in Madrid in 1991. He pointed out that the working group in its four years of operation, between 1992 and 1995 had accomplished a great deal in negotiating specific confidence building measures, and in setting the stage for serious arms control negotiations. He also emphasized that Israel would be prepared to join the consensus on the issue of amending Article VI of the IAEA Statute. He concluded by saying that political initiatives and energies should be channeled into further regional cooperation in the peaceful applications of nuclear energy underlining the Agency’s important role in this respect.