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Director General Reports to Board on Range of Nuclear Matters

Director General Mohamed ElBaradei at the IAEA Board of Governors.

During today´s opening of the IAEA Board of Governors, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported on nuclear power, nuclear applications, security and safety as well as non-proliferation issues.

Nuclear Applications

The Director General reported that progress is being made in establishing comprehensive cancer control programmes under the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and the newly established WHO–IAEA Joint Programme on Cancer Control.

Dr. ElBaradei also highlighted the continued concern over the shortage of the medical isotope molybdenum-99.

Nuclear Power

The Director General reported that despite the global recession, and a few countries delaying nuclear power decisions, the Agency´s new projections for nuclear power generating capacity in the medium term have actually been revised upward to between 511 GW(e) of generating capacity in 2030 at the low end and possibly 807 GW(e), more than double current capacity. "The expected growth reflects the urgent need for energy, especially in the developing world, concerns about energy security, fluctuations in fossil fuel prices, the need to vigorously address climate change, as well as the good performance and safety record of nuclear power," he said.

The number of IAEA national and regional technical cooperation projects on the introduction of nuclear power has risen from 15 in 2008 to 44 this year.

Nuclear Safety and Security

Dr. ElBaradei also reported that nuclear trafficking is continuing unabated. Up to June of this year the Agency´s Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB) received reports of 215 incidents. "It is vital that all Member States do their utmost to ensure that nuclear and radioactive materials are safe and secure," he said.

Non-Proliferation

The Director General reported that although the Islamic Republic of Iran has cooperated with the Agency on some issues, several critical areas remain unaddressed.

"Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities or its work on heavy water related projects as required by the Security Council, nor has Iran implemented the Additional Protocol. Likewise, Iran has not cooperated with the Agency in connection with the remaining issues, detailed fully and completely in the Agency´s reports, which need to be clarified in order to exclude the possibility of there being military dimensions to Iran´s nuclear programme," he said.

Also, Dr. ElBaradei answered accusations that information has been withheld from the Board of Governors about Iran´s nuclear programme. "I am dismayed by the allegations of some Member States, which have been fed to the media, that information has been withheld from the Board. These allegations are politically motivated and totally baseless. Such attempts to influence the work of the Secretariat and undermine its independence and objectivity are in violation of Article VII.F. of the IAEA Statute and should cease forthwith."

In relation to the Syrian Arab Republic, the Director General noted that Syria still refuses to cooperate with the IAEA´s inquiry into the activities that were being undertaken at the now destroyed Dair Alzour site. "I urge Syria to cooperate with the Agency in its verification activities. It is in Syria´s interest to enable the Agency to corroborate its statements. I also call on other States which may possess information relevant to the Agency´s verification to make such information available to the Agency."

Assurance of Supply

In continuing to advocate the proposed IAEA low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel bank, Dr. ElBaradei said, "I am convinced that the time has now come for concrete steps towards a multilateral approach to the fuel cycle, particularly in light of the new momentum for nuclear disarmament. Our ultimate aim should be the full multinationalization of the sensitive parts of the fuel cycle to guarantee the supply of nuclear fuel and consolidate efforts to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons."

Programme and Budget

The Director General said the lower than proposed budgetary allocation for 2010 will have consequences for the "scope and quality of services which we will be able to offer to Member States..."

He also highlighted the lack of sufficient funds to adequately upgrade the IAEA´s analytical laboratories at Seibersdorf. "Despite extrabudgetary contributions being made available, we still remain considerably short of the funding target, particularly in relation to addressing safety and security issues associated with the nuclear material laboratory."

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