11 September 2006 | Vienna, Austria
IAEA Board of Governors
Our agenda for this meeting includes topics related to all areas of Agency activity - technology, safety and security, and verification.
The Agency´s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) has grown to include 27 members. The INPRO objective is to support innovation to develop nuclear reactors and fuel cycles with, inter alia, inherent safety, proliferation resistance and minimal waste production. INPRO addresses issues faced by all countries that choose nuclear power, including challenges facing new users such as high up-front investment costs and extensive infrastructure needs. In Phase One of INPRO, a methodology for evaluation of innovative nuclear systems was developed. Six assessments are ongoing that apply this methodology to innovative nuclear designs, and five new assessments are starting.
The INPRO Steering Committee recently decided to begin Phase Two, which will, inter alia, focus on innovative approaches to infrastructure and institutional development for countries beginning nuclear power programmes, as well as on the development of collaborative projects.
For many years, radiotherapy has been used to cure or mitigate the effects of cancer. Under the Agency´s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), we have been working to integrate radiotherapy into the broader framework of cancer prevention and control. Over the past year, PACT has successfully built or strengthened relationships with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research in Cancer, the International Union Against Cancer, and other national and international bodies and professional societies. The objective is to assist Member States more comprehensively and more efficiently with their cancer control programmes.
The General Conference last year designated PACT as a priority activity. However, as discussed in previous Board meetings, PACT needs funding to support its activities until it achieves the level of extrabudgetary funding needed to be self-sufficient.
The Board has before it for approval a proposal to suspend a Financial Regulation of the Agency, on an exceptional basis, so that Member States may voluntarily contribute their portions of the cash surplus from 2004 to PACT. I should note that similar exceptions have been made in the past to use the cash surplus to meet an emergent need.
Nuclear Safety and Security
With the submission of the Safety Fundamentals for your approval at this Board session, we are completing all actions established by the March 2004 Action Plan on IAEA Safety Standards. The transition to a new safety standard structure has progressed in all areas. The quality of the standards has notably improved, and identified gaps in coverage are being addressed by new standards. Recent reports by many countries and by organizations such as the Western European Nuclear Regulators´ Association confirm the wider use of IAEA Safety Standards, both as a benchmark for harmonization and as a basis for national regulations.
Safety Review Services
The Agency´s safety review services use the IAEA Safety Standards as a reference point, and play an important part in evaluating their effectiveness. This year we began offering, for the first time, an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS). The IRRS combines a number of previous services, on topics ranging from radiation safety and transport safety to emergency preparedness and nuclear security. The IRRS concept includes a self-assessment aspect, and permits a more comprehensive, participatory approach to evaluating a country´s safety performance across the full range of its nuclear activities.
A reduced scope IRRS was conducted for the United Kingdom Nuclear Installations Inspectorate in March of this year. A full scope IRRS will be conducted in France in November. The Agency has also received requests for IRRS missions from Australia, Canada and Spain, and other Member States have expressed interest in having IRRS missions in the near future. I would ask all countries to take advantage of this service. I remain convinced that transparency and introspection are essential ingredients of an effective nuclear safety culture.
Radiological Protection of Patients
In the past three years, the number of Member States involved in Agency projects related to the radiological protection of patients has increased more than threefold, from 21 to a current total of 78. The Agency is continuing its efforts to promote better safety performance in this area, including through improving access to related training.
Effective national and global response capabilities are essential to minimize the impacts from nuclear incidents and radiological emergencies and to build public trust in the safety and security of nuclear energy. The increased use of nuclear energy and more acute security concerns require a proportionate increase in national, regional, and international capabilities to respond to an accident or incident. In this context, the Agency has undertaken to strengthen its Incident and Emergency Centre to better support Member States in dealing with both accidents and security incidents.
Nuclear Security and Protection Against Nuclear Terrorism
The Agency´s nuclear security programme continues to progress at a rapid pace. To assist Member States in implementing the variety of international instruments relevant to nuclear security, guidance is being developed and published as part of a new IAEA Nuclear Security Series.
Over the past year, more than 30 evaluation missions related to nuclear and radiological security have been carried out - in some cases including a combined emphasis on relevant safety aspects. The results of these missions have provided valuable inputs for the development of Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs) for individual countries. To date, dozens of INSSPs have been drafted and are in various stages of implementation.
Other activities in the past year have included: nuclear security training courses, with participation from 88 States; the procurement of detection and monitoring equipment; the procurement of physical protection equipment to improve the security of nuclear power plants and other installations; and assistance in protecting locations containing high activity radioactive sources. These activities and upgrades have had a clear impact on nuclear security.
The Agency has worked with the Russian Federation and the United States of America on a tripartite initiative to secure and manage radioactive sources in countries of the former Soviet Union. A significant amount of radioactive material has been secured, and the effort has resulted in much greater regional awareness of this problem. The Agency also has arranged the recovery of over 100 high activity and neutron sources in Africa and Latin America.
The IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database now has 91 States participating. Analysis of this database is providing insight into trends, risks, and trafficking methods and routes. The number of incidents - more than 100 per year - demonstrates a persistent problem with trafficking, thefts, losses and other unauthorized activities involving nuclear or radioactive material. The number of incidents involving detection of materials at borders has increased substantially in recent years. This is clearly due, in part, to the increased deployment by States of detection and monitoring equipment.
I should note, however, that over 90 per cent of the funding for implementation of the Nuclear Security Plan, continues to be provided through extrabudgetary contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund, and sustained adequate funding for the 20062009 Nuclear Security Plan is not yet assured.
Status of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
Since the last meeting of the Board in June, comprehensive safeguards agreements have entered into force for Botswana and Oman, and additional protocols have entered into force for Botswana, Fiji and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
This brings to 78 the total number of States with additional protocols in force or provisionally applied. However, over 100 States - including 25 with significant nuclear activities - have yet to bring additional protocols into force.
Implementation of Safeguards in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea
Since 31 December 2002, when Agency verification activities were terminated at the request of the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Agency has been unable to draw any conclusions regarding the DPRK´s nuclear activities. I continue to believe in the importance and urgency of finding a negotiated solution to the current situation. The Agency stands ready to work with the DPRK - and with all others - towards a solution that addresses the needs of the international community to ensure that all nuclear activities in the DPRK are exclusively for peaceful purposes, while addressing the security and other needs of the DPRK.
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Regarding the implementation of safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran: on 31 July 2006, the Security Council adopted resolution 1696, in which it called upon Iran to take the steps required by the Board in its resolution of 4 February 2006. These steps included the necessity of the Agency continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Irans nuclear programme, and the re-establishment by Iran of full and sustained suspension of all its enrichment related and repossessing activities. As requested by resolution 1696, you have before you the report that I submitted to the Board and in parallel to the Security Council, on 31 August, regarding Iran´s fulfillment of the requirements of that resolution.
As you can see from the report, Iran had not suspended its enrichment related activities. I should note that - although the inspectors´ findings indicated that there had been little qualitative or quantitative buildup of Iran´s enrichment capacity at Natanz - due to the absence of the implementation of the additional protocol, the Agency is not able to assess fully Iran´s enrichment related research and development activities, including the possible production of centrifuges and related equipment.
As I have indicated in the past, all the nuclear material declared by Iran to the Agency has been accounted for - and, apart from the small quantities previously reported to the Board, there have been no further findings of undeclared nuclear material in Iran.
But as I have also stated before, gaps remain in the Agency´s knowledge with respect to the scope and nature of Iran´s current and past centrifuge enrichment programme. Because of this, and the lack of readiness of Iran to resolve these issues, the Agency is unable to make further progress in its efforts to provide assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. This continues to be a matter of serious concern.
I should also reiterate that it is counterproductive for Iran to link its cooperation with the Agency to its ongoing dialogue with its European and other partners. Increased cooperation and transparency are indispensable to resolve these gaps in knowledge regarding Iran´s past nuclear programme, and would assist greatly in overcoming concerns regarding Iran´s nuclear programme.
Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East
Pursuant to the mandate given to me by the General Conference, I have continued my consultations with the States of the Middle East region on the application of full scope safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East, and on the development of model agreements as a necessary step towards the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. However, I regret to say that no progress has been made on either front.
The General Conference has also asked me to organize a forum on the relevance of the experience of other regions with existing nuclear-weapon-free zones - including confidence building and verification measures - for establishing such a zone in the region of the Middle East. To date, however, consultations with concerned States of the region have failed to produce an agreement on the agenda for such a forum. I remain ready to convene this forum, if and when the concerned States are able to reach agreement on how to move forward.
New Framework for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
As you are aware, I have been calling since 2004 for the development of a new, multilateral approach to the nuclear fuel cycle, as a key measure to strengthen non-proliferation and cope with the expected expansion of nuclear power. The establishment of a framework that is equitable and accessible to all users of nuclear energy acting in accordance with agreed nuclear non-proliferation norms, will certainly be a complex endeavour, and therefore in my view will be best addressed through a series of progressive phases, beginning with mechanisms for assurances of supply of fuel for nuclear power plants. A broad range of ideas and proposals have been put forward.
At a Special Event at the General Conference next week, these ideas and proposals will be discussed. My hope is that these discussions will enable us to develop a roadmap for moving forward, with a clear outline that will guide the Secretariat in its work.
TC Programme Funding
After considerable effort, the open-ended working group on the target for the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) has submitted a proposal for your consideration. This proposal reflects acceptance of the agreement reached in 2004, and proposes a modest increase to the TCF target for the years 2007 and 2008.
During the General Conference next week, the Secretariat will be consulting with Member States to finalize the 20072008 TC programme within this target figure. The use of the Programme Cycle Management Framework (PCMF) for the first time in this process marks a turning point in programme definition, evaluation and design. As a web-based platform, the PCMF has made the planning process more participatory and more transparent. We will continue to refine this application as projects move into the implementation phase.
Programme Performance Report
The Agency was one of the pioneer international organizations to adopt a results based approach to programme budgeting, including performance assessment. The Programme Performance Report for the 20042005 biennium is now before you. The report, the second of its kind, has undergone changes in both format and content following comments made by Board members on the 20022003 report. It provides information on the degree to which "outcomes" requested by Member States have been achieved - that is, the positive impacts in Member States brought about by the Agency´s activities - along with the lessons learned and the utilization of resources. An analysis of the overall performance has enabled us to learn lessons of value for the formulation of the programme and budget for the 20082009 biennium.
Medium Term Strategy
Looking back over a slightly longer period, the Secretariat has also produced, at the request of Member States, a report on the implementation of the 20012005 Medium Term Strategy (MTS). This report describes the contribution of each major programme to the different goals of the MTS. It also considers the evolution of these goals in the light of regional and global developments that took place.
The Agency continues to assume growing responsibilities in all areas of its work. Your support remains key to our success and I hope it will continue to be forthcoming.
Responsible/Contact: Division of Public Information | Last update: 17 February 2011