IAEA Conference to Discuss Challenges Faced by Organizations Supporting Nuclear Operations

Beijing, PRC — A conference organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Beijing from 27 to 31 October 2014 will focus on challenges faced by technical and scientific support organizations in providing assistance for nuclear and radiation safety and security to regulators and operators. The event aims to assess and review ways to further improve the effectiveness of TSOs, also taking into account lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

Journalists are invited to attend the opening session of the conference, set to start at 9:00 on 27 October in the Beijing Friendship Hotel, 1 South Zhongguancun Street, Hai Dian. A press conference will take place on 30 October at 17:30 in the Beijing Friendship Hotel’s Conference Room 5. Other conference sessions are closed to the media.

The press conference will include the following speakers:

  • Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security;
  • Liu Hua, Chief Engineer, Nuclear Safety and Vice Administrator, National Nuclear Safety Administration;
  • B. De Boeck, Conference President and General Manager, BEL V, Belgium; and
  • Jacques Repussard, Director General, Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, France.

The International Conference on Challenges Faced by Technical and Scientific Support Organizations (TSOs) in Enhancing Nuclear Safety and Security – Strengthening Cooperation and Improving Capabilities, is the third in a series of meetings that began in 2007. The conference, part of the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, is the first major event specifically devoted to TSOs following the March 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

Foreign media (with local offices in China) are encouraged to register through the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China one week in advance of the conference. Chinese domestic media will be invited by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection National Nuclear Safety Administration.

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Cameroon’s Regulatory Framework for Radiation Safety

Yaoundé, Cameroon – A team of senior international radiation safety experts today concluded a 10-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review the regulatory framework for radiation safety in the Republic of Cameroon.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team made recommendations and suggestions to the regulatory body and the Government to help them strengthen Cameroon’s regulatory framework and functions in line with IAEA Safety Standards.

Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, said in a message conveyed to the meeting that Cameroon, by hosting the mission, had demonstrated dedication to improve radiation safety and to learn from international experience.

Ingemar Lund, Senior Advisor in Sweden’s Radiation Safety Authority, headed the nine-member review team, which also comprised experts from France, Hungary, Luxemburg, Pakistan and Zimbabwe as well as three IAEA staff members.

“The Cameroon National Radiation Protection Agency (NRPA) is a recently established regulatory organisation, but with active backing from relevant government ministries it has achieved impressive progress in only a few years,” Mr Lund said.

“Our recommendations to amend existing radiation safety legislation and to strengthen the NRPA’s regulatory powers aim to further improve the basis for safety work in the country.”

The mission took place at the invitation of the Government of Cameroon. It included site visits to observe inspections, and interviews and discussions with staff from the NRPA and other organizations.

NRPA Director General Augustin Simo said: “The IRRS mission’s recommendations and suggestions will strengthen our legal and regulatory framework in line with the international standards, and will contribute to a higher level of radiation safety in Cameroon.”

The main observations of the IRRS review team comprised the following:

  • The NRPA has gradually established the implementation of its functions and its responsibilities. Overall, the NRPA is strengthening the regulatory processes and improving the supervision of radiation safety in Cameroon.
  • The legislative framework does not empower the NRPA with the legal rights and authority it needs to carry out all the main regulatory functions of an independent regulatory body. Furthermore, it is not evident that sufficient resources for carrying out these functions are allocated.

Good practices identified by the IRRS team comprised the following:

  • The NRPA is using the latest revision of an IAEA Radiation Safety Information System software to integrate in a single, integrated tool the main safety-related records, such as data on radiation sources and generators, records of occupational doses and inspection reports, enabling efficient and effective record keeping.
  • The regulatory body provides users of radiation applications with guidance to help them develop standardized emergency plans at the facility level.

The mission identified issues in need of attention or improvement, including the following:

  • The government should revise the legal and regulatory framework so that all provisions of the international safety standards are addressed in the laws and statutes.
  • The government should revise the existing legislation in order to assign and authorize the NRPA to carry out the main regulatory functions of an independent safety authority, such as establishing safety criteria; granting, suspending and revoking authorization; the review and assessment of safety matters, and inspection and enforcement activities.
  • The government should establish policy and strategy for the decommissioning of facilities and the safe management and disposal of radioactive waste. It should also establish mechanisms to ensure the necessary financial provision for decommissioning facilities and managing radioactive waste, disused radioactive sources and radiation generators.
  • The regulatory body should apply a comprehensive approach to authorization of facilities and activities, and ensure that the authorization system covers the entire lifetime of a facility and activity.

The final mission report will be provided to the Government of Cameroon in about three months.

About IRRS Missions

IRRS missions are designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure safety in this area. This is done through consideration of regulatory, technical and policy issues, with comparisons against IAEA safety standards, and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere.

More information about IRRS missions is available on the IAEA Website.

IAEA Press Office
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IAEA Completes Nuclear Security Review Mission in Indonesia

Jakarta – A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts today completed a two-week mission to review nuclear security practices in Indonesia.

At the request of the Indonesian Government, the IAEA conducted an International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission that reviewed the current status of the State’s Physical Protection Regime of nuclear and other radioactive material, as well as associated facilities and activities in Indonesia. This included the country’s nuclear security-related legislative and regulatory framework and the physical protection systems at the nuclear research sites in Serpong, Bandung and Yogyakarta, as well as radioactive facilities at Bekasi and Cibitung. The mission also reviewed how the recommendations of previous IPPAS missions in 2001 and 2007 had been implemented.

The IPPAS team concluded that, since the last missions, Indonesia has improved its national security regime, especially its legislation and regulations, and had introduced new physical protection equipment. It also found that areas remained that required attention and efforts were needed to reach an overall comprehensive and effective nuclear security regime. The team made a number of new recommendations and suggestions aimed at further strengthening the overall regime.

Patrick Adams, senior security advisor from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) led the IAEA team, which included eight experts from six countries and the IAEA.

In Jakarta, the team met officials from Indonesia’s Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN), the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), and other government agencies. They also visited the three nuclear research reactor facilities and several other locations where high activity radioactive sources are used.

“The development and expansion of peaceful uses of nuclear and other radioactive material in states requires a strong commitment to nuclear security,” said Carlos Torres Vidal, from the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security. “The example given today by Indonesia, which is hosting an IPPAS mission for the third time, strengthens the message about the value of applying the IAEA Nuclear Security Guidance for improving global nuclear security.”

Jazi Eko Istiyanto, the Chairman of BAPETEN, added that the Indonesian government had requested the IPPAS mission to evaluate the country’s nuclear security regime, identify good practices and areas that needed strengthening and improvement. “I sincerely hope the mission will reinforce the work of BAPETEN and other related organizations on nuclear security in the future,” he said.

Background

The mission was the 63rd IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 1995. IPPAS missions are intended to help States strengthen their national nuclear security regime. They provide peer advice on implementing international instruments and IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities.

The missions call upon a team of international experts to assess a State’s nuclear security regime, compare it with international best practices and make recommendations for improvement. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nationwide and facility-specific basis.

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IAEA concludes follow-up review of Malaysia rare earth plant

Putrajaya, Malaysia – An international IAEA expert team has concluded a follow-up mission to conduct an independent review of radiation safety at the Lynas rare earth processing facility near Kuantan in Malaysia, which generates very low level radioactive waste.

The mission, carried out at the request of the Malaysian government, reviewed progress on 11 recommendations made by the IAEA international review mission to the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in June 2011, while the plant was under construction.

The eight-member IAEA team met officials from national and local government, Malaysia’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), staff of Lynas Corporation Ltd and a broad range of other stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations and local residents. It also visited the plant, which has been operating since 2012.

“The IAEA team was very pleased with the openness of the Malaysian institutions, Lynas and other stakeholders in providing information and views. This was very helpful for our understanding of the situation,” said team leader Juan Carlos Lentijo, Director of the Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology in the IAEA’s Department of Nuclear Energy.

In its preliminary observations, the follow-up mission found that good progress had been made in implementing the recommendations of the 2011 mission, and noted that the radiological risks of the Lynas plant are low because of the very low level of radioactivity of the materials handled. The team also noted that Malaysia is actively updating its regulations in accordance with the most recent IAEA safety standards.

The IAEA team gave some advice for further progress in specific areas. For example:

-          The waste management plan should be based on realistic scenarios including, if considered appropriate, the identification of a final disposal site.

-          Environmental monitoring activities should be optimised to ensure resources are focused on the most important areas, including enhancing monitoring of liquid discharges.

-          The basis of the financial fund to be paid by Lynas for long-term waste management and decommissioning should be communicated more clearly.

-          The AELB and Lynas are encouraged to maintain a proactive approach to relations with the media, public and other stakeholders, on an ongoing basis, to address continuing widespread misconceptions about the plant and radiation issues in general.

Rare earths are elements used in many high-technology applications, from mobile phones to wind turbines. Since the ore from which they are refined also usually contains naturally occurring radioactive materials such as thorium or uranium, the process results in very low-level radioactive waste that must be managed safely.

The IAEA mission’s final report will be submitted to the Malaysian government at the end of October, and will be made public.

IAEA to Host International Symposium on Safeguards

IAEA and international experts will discuss current and future challenges facing the nuclear verification regime at a five-day symposium on international safeguards in Vienna, Austria next week.

More than 700 international experts will address new and existing safeguards technologies, techniques and approaches during the event, which starts Monday, 20 October 2014. The opening plenary features statements by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano; Director-General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Vladimir Šucha; Ambassador of the Russian Federation Grigory V. Berdennikov; and Policy Director of the United States Office of Non-proliferation and National Security Kasia Mendelsohn. Speakers at the closing plenary on 24 October 2014 will include Rob Floyd, Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office, and Tero Varjoranta, Head of the IAEA’s Department of Safeguards.

The IAEA holds a safeguard symposium every four years. The 2014 event, which is the 12th of its kind, takes place under the title International Safeguards: Linking Strategy, Implementation and People.

Journalists are invited to the opening plenary, which starts at 10:00 a.m. on 20 October in Board Room A of the Vienna International Centre’s M-Building, and to the closing plenary, to be held from 14.00 to 16.00 on 24 October. Other sessions are closed to the media.

The opening and closing plenaries will also be streamed live on the symposium’s website.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms. Theresa Mackay for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [+43-1] 2600-21273. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation, to request it at UNIS Vienna.

IAEA Press Office
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IAEA to help West African countries diagnose Ebola

Vienna – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide specialized diagnostic equipment to help Sierra Leone in its efforts to combat an ongoing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano announced today. Later, the support is planned to be extended to Liberia and Guinea.

The support is in line with a UN Security Council appeal and responds to a request from Sierra Leone. The IAEA assistance will supplement the country’s ability to diagnose EVD quickly using a diagnostic technology known as Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).

The assistance, expected to be delivered in coming weeks, initiates broader IAEA support to African Member States to strengthen their technological abilities to detect diseases transmitted from animals to humans – zoonotic diseases.

The IAEA and the Food and Agriculturel Organization of the United Nations have been at the forefront of developing RT-PCR, a nuclear-derived technology which allows EVD to be detected within a few hours, while other methods require growing on a cell culture for several days before a diagnosis is determined.

Early diagnosis of EVD, if combined with appropriate medical care, increases the victims’ chance of survival and helps curtail the spread of the disease by making it possible to isolate and treat the patients earlier.

Health authorities in Sierra Leone and other affected countries are already applying RT-PCR, but their diagnostic capability is limited; there is a shortage of the diagnostic kits and other materials needed for the process and backup equipment is needed to avoid diagnostic downtime in case of equipment failure.

The IAEA will support the most affected countries’ sustained ability to detect the disease in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

The IAEA, as part of its ongoing work, has helped 32 African countries and several other Member States develop skills and acquire equipment they need to use RT-PCR for diagnosis of animal diseases and zoonotic diseases. The method was instrumental in the global eradication of rinderpest, long a scourge of livestock.

“Transfer of nuclear-related technologies is a key part of the Agency’s work, and we have cooperated with Member States for years to develop and strengthen their capacity to use this nuclear-derived technology”, Director General Amano said. “With this additional support, the Agency makes a small but effective contribution to global efforts to fight the ongoing Ebola outbreak.”

RT-PCR initially used radioactive isotopes as markers in the process that determines whether the virus is present in a sample. Subsequent refining of the method by the IAEA and partners has led to the possibility to use fluorescent markers instead of radioactive markers for screening purposes.

The IAEA will provide Sierra Leone with an RT-PCR machine, cooling systems, biosecurity equipment, diagnostic kits and other materials. Similar support will eventually be provided to Liberia and Guinea.

The IAEA also is developing an African regional project that would strengthen Member States’ capacity to monitor wildlife and livestock to get early warning of possible zoonotic disease outbreaks in the medium- and longer-term.

Resources

IAEA Conference on Fusion Energy to Start 13 October 2014 in St. Petersburg, Russia

The 25th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2014) will be held 13-18 October in Saint Petersburg, the Russian Federation.

The event, hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation through the Rosatom Nuclear Energy State Corporation, provides a forum for the discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to fusion as a source of nuclear energy. The conference is the world’s largest conference in the field of nuclear fusion.

The conference programme features plenary sessions and poster sessions, as well as exhibits and technical tours to scientific research institutes involved in work related to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache, France.

Thematic sessions on topics such as fusion engineering, fusion nuclear physics and technology, innovative confinement concepts and more will be held as part of the conference, which also includes the awarding of a Nuclear Fusion Prize for outstanding achievements in nuclear fusion.

Speakers at the opening session include IAEA Deputy Director General Alexander Bychkov; I.G. Borovkov, Deputy Head of the Central Office of the Government of the Russian Federation; M.V. Kovalchuk, Director of the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute; E.P. Velikhov, President of the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute; V.E. Fortov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and V.A. Pershukov, Deputy Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. During the opening session, Deputy Director General Bychkov will present the 2013 and 2014 Nuclear Fusion Prize Awards.

All conference sessions, exhibits and one technical tour are open to the media, and journalists covering the meeting will be invited to a press opportunity with IAEA Deputy Director General Bychkov and other officials. Accreditation information is available on the Conference Website. The conference programme and other information are available here.

The IAEA hosts an International Conference on Nuclear Fusion Energy every second year. Previous conferences were held in Salzburg (1961), Kulam (1965), Novosibirsk (1968), Madison (1971), Tokyo (1974), Berchtesgaden (1976), Innsbruck (1978), Brussels (1980), Baltimore (1982), London (1984), Kyoto (1986), Nice (1988), Washington (1990), Wurzburg (1992), Seville (1994), Montreal (1996), Yokohama (1998), Sorrento (2000), Lyon (2002), Vilamoura (2004), Chengdu (2006), Geneva (2008), Daejeon (2010) and San Diego (2012).

IAEA and Iran hold technical meetings in Tehran

On 7 and 8 October 2014, the IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran held technical meetings within the Framework for Cooperation that was agreed between the parties in November 2013.

During the meetings, the two sides held discussions in relation to the implementation of the two practical measures relating to the initiation of high explosives and to neutron transport calculations, agreed in May 2014 in the third step of the Framework for Cooperation. The Agency and Iran will continue discussions on these measures.

Iran did not propose any new measures during the meetings in Tehran. Iran and the Agency agreed to meet again, at a date to be announced.

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Viet Nam’s Radiation and Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Hanoi – Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded a 10-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review how Viet Nam’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety has incorporated recommendations and suggestions from an earlier review, conducted in 2009.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) follow-up mission, requested by the Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS), also reviewed the development of the regulatory safety infrastructure to support Viet Nam’s nuclear power programme.

The eight-member team comprised senior regulatory experts from Canada, France, Pakistan, Slovenia, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America, as well as three IAEA staff members.

The IRRS team said in its preliminary assessment that Viet Nam had made progress since 2009, but that some key recommendations still needed to be addressed. Particular strengths identified by the team included:

- the commitment of VARANS staff to develop legislation and regulations in the field of nuclear and radiation safety;

- VARANS’ efforts to implement practices that are in line with IAEA Safety Standards and internationally recognized good practices;

- a willingness to receive feedback regarding the efforts to establish and implement a regulation programme; and

- progress made in developing the regulatory framework to support the introduction of nuclear power.

The team identified the following areas as high-priority steps to further strengthen radiation and nuclear safety in Viet Nam:

- The effective independence of the regulatory decision-making process needs to be urgently addressed.

- Additional resources are needed to regulate existing radiation facilities and activities, as well as the country’s research reactor.

- Efforts to increase the capacity of VARANS to regulate the developing nuclear power programme should continue.

- The draft Master Plan for the Development of Nuclear Power Infrastructure should be finalized and implemented with a high priority given to nuclear safety.

- The draft National Nuclear Emergency Response Plan should be finalized and implemented as a matter of priority, and the country’s emergency response capability should be further developed.

Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, Hoàng Trung Hải, told the mission team that the country would give serious consideration to the findings of the mission report.

John Kinneman, former Director of the Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards at the United States’ Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who led the mission team, added that he hoped the good progress made in enhancing the regulatory infrastructure would continue.

Pil-Soo Hahn, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety, said Viet Nam had demonstrated commitment to the Agency’s safety standards by inviting and hosting the regulatory review mission.

Quick Facts

Viet Nam has a large number of medical, research and industrial facilities that utilize radiation, including a research reactor. The country is planning to build a new research reactor and to develop a nuclear power programme.

About IRRS Missions

IRRS missions are designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national radiation and nuclear regulatory infrastructure of States, while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure safety in this area.

This is done through consideration of both regulatory, technical and policy issues, with comparisons against IAEA safety standards and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere.

The IAEA encourages countries that have hosted initial IRRS missions to invite follow-up missions two to four years after the initial missions.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Flight Demo

The IAEA Nuclear Science and Instrumentation Laboratory will demonstrate an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) commonly known as a “drone” at the VIC plaza on Thursday 25 September from 14:00 to 16:00. These vehicles are useful for environmental mapping of radiation levels and monitoring of hard to reach or potentially hazardous areas.

Experts will give a short demonstration of instrumentation being developed and applied by the IAEA and available to support Member States.

The presentation at 2 pm and demonstration flights will be held at the following times:

14:10 – 14:25
14:40 – 14:55
15:10 – 15:25
15:40 – 15:55

IAEA Press Office
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IAEA and FAO honour achievements in radiation-supported plant breeding

Awards honouring teams of scientists who have helped increase food security by using radiation to breed better crop varieties were presented today by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Mutation breeding, which uses radiation to mimic natural plant mutation events, is a well-established method that enables plant breeders to work with farmers to develop variations of rice, barley, sesame and other crops that are higher-yielding and more resistant to disease.

The awards were initiated by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture to celebrate successes achieved so far and promote the development of further sustainable crop varieties. The Joint Division — a strategic partnership between the IAEA and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year — supports countries in their use of the method.

“Through the use of plant mutation breeding, nuclear techniques help to create new strains of plants with characteristics that allow them to resist disease and thrive under harsh conditions, such as high altitudes and saline soils,” Director General Amano said at an award ceremony at the IAEA headquarters, where he handed certificates to representatives of the countries of award recipients.

“The development of new varieties of food crops will be increasingly important in the future as the world tries to adapt to the potential impacts of climate change.”

The following scientists and teams were selected for Outstanding Achievement Awards:

-  Peru: Cereal and Native Grains Research Program (Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina)

Mutant breeding helped Peru tackle the harsh conditions its farmers face at high altitudes. The improved mutant barley and amaranth varieties produced, thriving at altitudes of up to 5 000 metres, provide seven million farmers in the Andean region with more food and income.

-  China: Team of Radiation Mutant Breeding (Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences)

The team has released 17 mutant varieties, including eight rice, five wheat and four barely cultivars. Three of the mutant wheat varieties have been planted on more than 30 million hectares and generated more than 30 billion Yuan RMB (about US$ 4.9 billion) of socio-economic benefit.

-  Bangladesh: Dr Mirza Mofazzal Islam (Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture)

Nine mutant varieties of fibre jute, vegetable jute, mungbean and chickpea with improved yield and quality traits were released and widely accepted by farmers for cultivation. The mutant varieties have increased yield from 20 to 45 per cent compared to other existing crop varieties.  The area where these mutant varieties are cultivated is increasing.

-  Indonesia: Plant Breeding Group (National Nuclear Energy Agency)

Mutant breeding has benefited hundreds of thousands of farmers and millions of consumers in Indonesia. The Group’s research led to the release 20 mutant rice varieties, one of which has produced an estimated total income of USD 2 billion. The mutant rice varieties make up 10 per cent of the total rice varieties registered.

-  Viet Nam: Agricultural Genetics Institute (Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences)

Rice and soybean mutant varieties have vastly improved farmers’ livelihoods: One top mutant rice variety created almost US $540 million in additional value compared to older varieties. Soybean mutant varieties increased income by a third for almost 3.5 million farmers.

The following were selected for Achievement Awards:

-  China: XYW Rice Team (Institute of Nuclear Agricultural Sciences, Zhejiang University)

-  India: Plant Mutation Breeding Team (Bhabha Atomic Research Institute)

-  China: Wheat Mutation Breeding Team (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences)

-  Pakistan: Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission)

-  China: Genetics Breeding Team of SIAE (Sichuan Institute of Atomic Energy)

-  Viet Nam: Institute of Agricultural Sciences for Sothern Vietnam (Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences) and Centre for Nuclear Techniques (Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute)

-  Afghanistan: Mr Sekander Hussaini (Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan)

-  Thailand: Rice Department, Bureau of Rice Research Development (Department of Agriculture)

-  Brazil: Research Group: Use of in vivo and in vitro induced mutation in plant breeding (CENA, IAC, IAPAR, EPAGRI, ESALQ, UNESP, Centro de Melhoramento Genético do Fumo)

-  Republic of Korea: Radiation Breeding Team, (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)

-  Egypt: Mr Abdel Shafy Ibrahim Ragab (Nuclear Research Centre, Atomic Energy Authority)

-  Sweden: Ms Udda Lundqvist (Nordic Genetic Resource Centre)

-  Viet Nam: Phuong Tan Tran and Cua Quang Ho (Department of Agricultural and Rural Development)

-  Cuba: Ms Maria Caridad González Cepero (National Institute of Agricultural Science)

-  Yemen: Mr. Abdulwahid A Saif (Agricultural Research & Extension Authority)

-  Malaysia: Malaysian Nuclear Agency

-  Republic of Korea:  Rice Research Division (National Institute of Crop Science, Rural Development Administration)

-  Sri Lanka: Department of Agriculture

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture has successfully tackled a range of agricultural problems since its establishment in 1964, including global freedom from rinderpest, the eradication of the tsetse fly on Zanzibar Island, Tanzania, and water-saving agriculture in seven African countries.

IAEA Press Office

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IAEA experts, ambassador, to explain how radiation in plant breeding improves food security ahead of award announcements

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency and Viet Nam Ambassador Thiep Nguyen will brief journalists today, Wednesday, 24 September 2014, on the benefits of using radiation to induce mutation, enabling the breeding of crops that provide higher yields and are able to withstand harsher conditions.

The briefing comes just ahead of a ceremony in which IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano will announce the recipients of awards that honor teams of scientists who have made superior and outstanding achievements in the field.

The awards were created by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture to celebrate success achieved so far and to promote the development of further sustainable crop varieties.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture marks its 50th anniversary this year.The division has successfully tackled agricultural problems since its establishment in 1964, including global freedom from rinderpest, the eradication of the tsetse fly on Zanzibar Island, Tanzania, and water-saving agriculture in seven African countries.

Speakers at the briefing, to be held in the Press Room of the VIC’s M-Building at 13:00, are:

-  Ambassdor Thiep Nguyen, Vietnam

-  Qu Liang, Director of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division

-  Pierre Lagoda, Head of the Joint Division’s Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Journalists also are invited to attend the award ceremony, to be held at 14:00 at the Nuclear Applications exhibition space, located at the entrance of A building.

IAEA meeting to highlight technologies to safely manage radioactive waste

Nuclear technologies benefit people in many areas, including health, agriculture, the generation of electricity and manufacturing. The radioactive waste generated by such processes can be safely managed, using robust and sustainable approaches to ensure that it poses no risk to people or the environment, now or in the future.

This is the focus of this year’s IAEA Scientific Forum, being held on 23-24 September 2014 on the sidelines of the Agency’s annual meeting of its 162-member states, the General Conference.

The two day event, Radioactive Waste: Meeting the Challenge: Science and Technology for Safe and Sustainable Solutions, is open to the media, and will be streamed live from the opening at 10.00 CET on 23 September.

International experts on radioactive waste will highlight the science and technology available to develop safe, secure and sustainable solutions for its management. The meeting will also highlight how the IAEA is supporting its Member States in meeting the challenge.

“It is up to each country using nuclear technology to ensure the safe management and disposal of waste. But countries can benefit greatly from each other’s experiences. Providing a forum for exchanges of experience and best practice is one of the key roles of the IAEA,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

The two-day Forum is divided into four sessions that follow the journey of radioactive waste from its generation to final disposal:

  -  the first session provides an overview of the peaceful uses of nuclear technologies, the radioactive waste they generate, and of integrated management approaches adapted to various waste classes, as well as associated economic, security and safeguards considerations;

  -  the second session develops the steps required to manage radioactive waste before its disposal;

  -  the third illustrates disposal solutions for radioactive waste that must remain under regulatory control; and

  -  the fourth and final session focuses on how evolving nuclear technologies, such as better use of nuclear fuel, innovative fuels and advanced reactors and fuel cycles, could affect future waste management needs.

Journalists are invited to attend all parts of the meeting. More information is available here including a brochure featuring brief biographies of Forum panelists. Some of the experts taking part in the Forum are available for interviews. Please contact IAEA press officer Peter Rickwood or the IAEA press office for more details, including requests to interview participating experts.

IAEA Press Office
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DG Amano Opening Statement to the 58th IAEA General Conference 22 September

Mr President,

I will begin by welcoming three new Member States which have joined the Agency since the last General Conference: the Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam and San Marino.

Mr President,

In my visits to Member States all over the world, I become more and more convinced of the vital importance of science and technology for sustainable development.

Nuclear science and technology have much to contribute to the achievement of development goals in areas such as human health, agriculture, water management, and industrial applications, as well as in energy.

I see the impact of this technology on the lives of cancer patients, who gain access to better health care because the IAEA helps their countries build capacity in nuclear medicine for diagnosis and radiotherapy.

I see it in the lives of farmers, who can grow larger crops of basic foods such as rice and barley, even in difficult conditions, thanks to the availability of robust new varieties of plants developed through radiation techniques.

Through our technical cooperation programme, the Agency plays the key role in ensuring that developing countries gain access to nuclear science and technology.

Unfortunately, these activities are not well known. So, wherever I go, I try to raise awareness of this vitally important area of our work.

The impact of our work in the daily lives of millions of people around the world is extraordinary and deserves to be better known.

Mr President,

The nations of the world are presently considering new sustainable development goals for the years after 2015.

I ask all Member States to help ensure that the importance of science and technology is explicitly recognised as a central part of the post-2015 agenda. This should include recognition of the immense benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. I am doing what I can to build awareness in this area.

A unique feature of the IAEA, and a key element of our special contribution to development, is our cluster of nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, near Vienna.

They offer training in nuclear applications to scientists in Member States; support research in human health, food and other areas; and provide analytical services to national laboratories. I have had the pleasure of meeting many graduates of the laboratories who are now working in their home countries, applying the knowledge and training they gained with us to national programmes.

The laboratories are more than 50 years old and a major overhaul is long overdue.

I presented a detailed modernization strategy, known as ReNuAL, to the Board in May. The ground-breaking ceremony will take place next Monday. When the project is completed in 2017, we will have fit-for-purpose laboratories that will meet Member State needs for the next 15 to 20 years.

ReNuAL is an extremely important project for the Agency which will benefit all Member States. I appeal to all countries to contribute generously.

Mr President,

A key challenge facing the world in the coming decades will be to provide reliable supplies of energy as the population grows, and, at the same time, to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Many countries believe nuclear power can help them to address this challenge. Nuclear power is one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide – alongside hydro- and wind-based electricity – when emissions through the entire life cycle are considered.

There are 437 nuclear power reactors operating today in 30 countries, producing about 11 per cent of global electricity. Seventy reactors are under construction, mostly in Asia. The Agency is working closely with 33 countries that are considering, planning or starting nuclear power programmes. Our latest projections show continued growth in the use of nuclear power by 2030, although growth is likely to be slower than we expected before the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Based on experience and feedback from Member States, we are now revising an important Agency document entitled Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power, which has proved to be of great value to many countries.

We are also working with Member States on increasing the use of nuclear power reactors in areas such as seawater desalination, district heating and petrochemical applications. This could significantly boost plant efficiency and generate more revenue.

Radioactive waste is an issue for all countries, not just those which have nuclear power programmes. Although there is widespread misunderstanding about the feasibility of disposing of radioactive waste, technologies do exist to address this issue. It must be given proper consideration by all States when they embark on any use of nuclear technology. I invite all Member States to participate in this year’s Scientific Forum, entitled Radioactive Waste: Meeting the Challenge, which starts tomorrow.

Mr President,

Progress continues to be made in improving nuclear safety throughout the world. I have seen concrete improvements in safety features at every nuclear power plant I have visited since the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

The Agency and its Member States continue to implement the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was endorsed by the General Conference in 2011.

In the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the focus was on helping Japan respond to the crisis and ensuring that the necessary lessons were learned, and acted upon, everywhere. At next year’s General Conference, we will publish an important report on the accident.

However, nuclear safety is not simply about guarding against severe natural hazards. In the coming years, we have to look at safety aspects of other important issues, including decommissioning old facilities, extending the operating life of existing nuclear power plants, disposing of high level radioactive waste, and developing innovative technologies such as fast reactors and new small and medium-sized reactors. While taking forward the lessons arising from Fukushima Daiichi, I believe it is time to start considering a broader approach to strengthening nuclear safety.

Mr President,

The central role of the Agency in helping to strengthen the global nuclear security framework is widely recognized.

The international nuclear security environment is constantly changing. With its broad mandate and technical capabilities, and the support of 162 Member States, the Agency is well placed to continue playing the central role in helping the world to act in unison against the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Demand for our services is growing steadily. For example, we provided nuclear security training to nearly 3,000 people in the year to June, an increase of 37 per cent over the previous year. A total of 62 International Physical Protection Advisory Service missions have now been held in 40 countries.

The most important area of unfinished business in nuclear security remains the entry into force of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. There has been real momentum in recent years towards its entry into force, which is one of the most significant measures which the world could adopt to strengthen nuclear security. I appeal to all countries which have not yet done so to adhere to the Amendment.

The next high-level IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security, which will take place in December 2016, will be an important opportunity to review progress achieved and to map out our work for the future.

Mr President,

I will now turn to nuclear verification.

The number of States with additional protocols to their comprehensive safeguards agreements in force continues to rise. It now stands at 124. I urge remaining States to conclude additional protocols as soon as possible. I also ask the 12 States without NPT safeguards agreements in force to bring such agreements into force without delay.

The nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains a matter of serious concern.

I call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations, to cooperate promptly with the Agency, and to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that have arisen during the five-year absence of Agency inspectors from the country. The Agency will maintain its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme.

Since the last General Conference, there have been important developments concerning safeguards implementation in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In November 2013, the Agency and Iran agreed to cooperate further to resolve all present and past issues under a Framework for Cooperation.

Last month, I held meetings in Tehran with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr Hassan Rouhani, and other senior officials as part of my efforts to advance high-level dialogue between the Agency and Iran.

Under the Framework for Cooperation, Iran has implemented a number of practical measures as planned. However, two such measures remain to be implemented.

In order to resolve all outstanding issues, it is very important that Iran continues to implement, in a timely manner, all practical measures agreed under the Framework for Cooperation, and that it proposes new measures that we can agree upon for the next step.

The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. However, the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

The Agency also continues to undertake monitoring and verification in relation to the nuclear-related measures set out in the Joint Plan of Action agreed between the E3+3 and Iran. Iran has been implementing the relevant measures as envisaged and on time.

As my report on Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East shows, there remain fundamental differences of view among countries of the region on this issue. It has therefore not been possible to make further progress in fulfilling my mandate from the General Conference in this area. I will continue my consultations.

Mr President,

The Agency is likely to face tough budget constraints for some years to come, reflecting financial difficulties in many countries. In response, we are doing everything possible to make prudent use of our limited resources and ensure we deliver maximum benefit to our Member States. At the same time, demand for our services continues to grow and it is not possible to meet these growing needs within existing financial means. We must therefore strike a delicate balance between the capacity of Member States to contribute and Member State needs, while seeking additional sources of funding.

I continue my efforts to encourage well qualified women to apply for senior positions in the Agency. The number of women in senior positions has risen steadily since I took office nearly five years ago. All of them are making significant contributions to our work. As I have said many times, recruiting more women is not just a matter of fairness. It is because if we fail to do so, we are missing out on the skills and experience of some exceptionally bright and capable people.

Mr President,

I will conclude by thanking you, the IAEA’s Member States, for your support for our work and the confidence which you have placed in me as Director General.

I am very grateful to Austria for being a model host country.

And I again express my deep appreciation to all Agency staff for their hard work and dedication.

Thank you.

Events open to the media at IAEA General Conference 2014

Press Activities for the GC 2014 – please see www.iaea.org/press for updates throughout the week, and

the conference website for reports and documentation in all official languages.

For live streaming see links on this page.

Date Time Topic Description Location
22 Sep 09:45 Press Briefing Press Briefing – Mr Naganuma, Director for Non-Proliferation of MOFA will speak to the press after his meeting with DG Amano. tbd
22 Sep 10:00 Opening Statement of DG Amano to the GC The Director General Yukiya Amano will deliver his opening statement to the Plenary of the IAEA General Conference. Plenary, MO1
22 Sep 14:00 – 16:00 Treaty Event Office of Legal Affairs: This year’s Treaty Event will focus on the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. MOE70
22 Sep 14:15 – 14:45 Press Briefing The Head of the Delegation for the USA, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, will speak to media. MOE Press Briefing Room
22 Sep 14:00 – 16:00 INSAG Forum Strengthening Nuclear Safety: The Way Forward. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
22 Sep 15:00 – 16:30 European Commission (EC) and Joint IAEA–EC Activities on Radioactive Waste Management, Decommissioning and Remediation Overview of the activities of the EC in the field of radioactive waste management, decommissioning and remediation. It will provide an insight into the establishment of successful collaborative projects between the Agency and the EC. Conference Room C4, C building, seventh floor
23 Sep 08:30 – 10:00 Women in All Things Nuclear Department of Management will look at gender within the Agency’s organizational context and how in partnership with key stakeholders the Agency is actively working to promote opportunities within the organization. Mozart Room, VIC Restaurant
23 Sep 09:00 – 10:30 Spotlight on ConvEx 3 Exercise Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) jointly with the Permanent Mission of Morocco, will discuss the ConvEx-3 exercise held by the IEC from 20 to 21 November 2013 focussing on exercise preparations, scenario, follow-up meetings, reports, findings and conclusions. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
23-24 Sep 10:00 – 17:30 Scientific Forum Radioactive Waste: Meeting the Challenge – Science and Technology for Safe and Sustainable Solutions. Two day forum with focus on radioactive waste and the science and technology available for its safe management. http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC58/ScientificForum/ DG Amano will speak at the opening and closing sessions. Board Room D, C building, fourth floor
23 Sep 10:30-11:00 Meeting of the Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators This side event will introduce and present the Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators and its activities. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor
23 Sep 12:00 – 13:00 Reducing Unnecessary Diagnostic Imaging in Medicine through Awareness, Appropriateness, and Audit Presenting the Agency’s AAA Approach (awareness, appropriateness and audit) to reduce unnecessary diagnostic imaging in medicine. It will discuss the extent to which the exposure of patients to radiation has increased in recent time. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor
23 Sep 13:00 – 14:30 Capacity Building through Education and Training for Nuclear Installation Safety This side event will present the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety’s strategy, framework and associated activities and programmes that assist Member States in developing education and training programmes. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
23 Sep 13:30 – 15:00 Briefing on Staffing the Agency Inviting Commitment, Working for the Agency. This event will present an update of the work of the Recruitment Unit in the Agency’s Division of Human Resources. Conference Room M6, M building, ground floor
23 Sep 14:00 – 16:00 Medical Management of Radiation Accidents French and South American Experience and Cooperation. This side event will give an overview of ten years of international cooperation with the IAEA in the field of medical management of radiation accidents, under the umbrella of the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. Conference Room C4, C building, seventh floor
23 Sep 15:00 – 18:00 AFRA Panel Discussion This event will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the African Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) which is implemented under the auspices of the Agency. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
23 Sep From 17:00 Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) This side event will feature, inter alia, keynote speakers from CSC Contracting Parties talking about their experience with ratifying and implementing the CSC. Mozart Room, VIC Restaurant
24 Sep 09:00 – 11:00 4th Nuclear Operator Organizations Cooperation Forum NPP Construction Effectiveness: Success Factors, Outlook, and Ways to Influence the Future. This event will focus on past experiences and the future outlook for effective construction management of new nuclear power plants, and potential ways to influence construction. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
24 Sep 09:00 – 13:00 The Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network Plenary meeting This side event will introduce the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network, and will present the activities and main achievements of the regional networks in 2013–2014; the activities of the global topical networks and the new topics developed in 2013–2014; the development of the International Regulatory Network and the Technical and Scientific Support Organization Forum. Meeting Room C4, C building, seventh floor
24 Sep 11:30 – 13:00 Managing Organizational Knowledge for Improved Safety and Economics During this event, Member State nuclear organizations will share their approaches, experiences, challenges and results in managing organizational knowledge. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
24 Sep 13:00 Press Briefing Press Briefing related to the mutation breeding awards followed at 14:00 with the DG presenting awards in a ceremony at the NA exhibit (place tbc). Press Briefing Room, M building, ground floor
24 Sep 14:00 – 15:30 Agency Support for Building Nuclear Power Infrastructure Member States’ Experience and Update on the Agency’s ‘Milestones’ Revision: Speakers from newcomer countries will share their experience on how to make best use of the Agency’s services to support infrastructure development, and how to coordinate and align the Agency’s support with national activities. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
24 Sep 16:00 – 18:00 Friends of Responsible Uranium Mining: Keeping Promises through the Highs and Lows This event, which is co-sponsored by Australia, will highlight the need for operators and regulators to pursue high standards in uranium mining in times of reduced budgets. Speakers will include senior representatives from AREVA, the Australian Government and the Agency. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor
24 Sep 16:00 – 18:00 What’s New in Power Reactor Technologies, Cogeneration, and the Fuel Cycle Back End? This event will highlight the technological advances in light and heavy water reactors, small and medium sized reactors (SMRs), gas-cooled reactors and fast reactors. It will present technological advances that can help solve industrial energy needs and complement solar/wind power, desalination, petrochemical applications and the development of oil sands. Conference Room C3, C building, seventh floor
25 Sep 09:00 – 10:30 Contributing to Better Nutrition in Children through Partnership and Collaboration This side event, co-hosted by the Departments of Nuclear Sciences and Applications and Technical Cooperation, will share information on how the Agency contributes to global efforts to reduce child malnutrition. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor
25 Sep 11:00 – 12:00 Distance Assisted Training Online (DATOL) through the Human Health Campus for Nuclear Medicine Professionals This side event, which is organized jointly by the Departments of Nuclear Sciences and Applications and Technical Cooperation, will be an opportunity for Member States to learn about DATOL for nuclear medicine professionals, which is now available through the Human Health Campus website. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor
25 Sep 11:00 – 12:00 Press Visit to the IEC Media are invited to visit the Incident and Emergency Centre of the IAEA, the IEC Departure from the Press Point in entrance to M.
25 Sep 12:30 – 13:30 Particle Radiotherapy for Cancer: Biology and Technology This side event will present recent developments in radiation therapy for cancer using charged particles in particular protons and carbon ions. New developments in the technology of radiation delivery and progress made in the biological aspects of particle radiotherapy will be highlighted. Board Room D, C building, fourth floor
25 Sep 13:30 – 14:30 Medical Radioisotopes including Molybdenum-99 Challenges in Production and Supply, Crisis Management, and Mitigation Efforts: This side event, which is organized by the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications with the participation of the Department of Nuclear Energy, will highlight the challenges faced in the sustained global supply of medical radioisotopes such as molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and the efforts undertaken by various stakeholders, including the Agency, to mitigate the supply crisis, including the exploration of alternate technologies and products. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor
25 Sep 14:00 – 15:30 European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering (EMSNE) Award Ceremony For the third consecutive year, EMSNE graduates will receive their certificates from the Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy and the President of the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) Association. M02 Foyer, M building, second floor
25 Sep 14:00 – 16:00 Regional Strategic Profile for Latin America and the Caribbean A Success Story of Cooperation between the Agency and ARCAL. Presentation of new Regional Strategic Profile for Latin America and the Caribbean and commemoration of 30th anniversary of the Co-Operation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology Conference Room C5, C building, seventh floor
25 Sep 14:30 – 16:00 Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) Building Partnerships to Fight Cancer in Low and Middle Income Countries. This event will convene PACT partners from recipient Member States, the UN system, non-governmental organizations and the donor community to showcase the importance of effective partnerships in comprehensive cancer control. Conference Room M6, M building, ground floor
25 Sep 15:00 – 15:45 Press Briefing US Delegation Press Briefing, Assistant Secretary, Thomas Countryman, U.S. Department of State. MOE Press Briefing Room, M building, ground floor
25 Sep 16:30 – 18:00 Nuclear Science and Technology in Managing Carbon – from Ocean Acidification to Climate Change This side event will present recent results of the Agency’s work related to monitoring and understanding ocean acidification and the carbon cycle, to the impact of climate change on the energy sector and to the potential contribution of nuclear energy to mitigating climate change. Conference Room M4, M building, ground floor

 

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Slovenia’s Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Ljubljana – Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded an eight-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety at the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA).

The team reviewed measures taken to address the recommendations and suggestions made during an earlier Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission conducted in 2011.

The IRRS team said in its preliminary findings that Slovenia had made significant progress since the review in 2011. The team identified a good practice in the country’s nuclear regulatory system additional to those identified in 2011 and made new recommendations and suggestions to SNSA and the Government to strengthen the effectiveness of the country’s regulatory framework in line with IAEA Safety Standards.

“By hosting a follow-up mission, Slovenia demonstrated its commitment to enhance its regulatory programmes, including by implementing the recommendations of the 2011 mission,” said Petr Krs, mission leader and Vice Chairman of the Czech Republic’s State Office for Nuclear Safety.

SNSA’s director, Andrej Stritar, welcomed the progress noted by the team, while also emphasizing that the mission highlighted important future nuclear safety challenges for Slovenia.

The five-member review team, comprising experts from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France and Romania, as well as four IAEA staff members, conducted the mission at the request of the Slovenian Government from 9 to 16 September 2014.

The main observations of the IRRS Review team included the following:

-  SNSA has made significant progress in addressing the findings of the 2011 IRRS mission and has demonstrated commitment to effective implementation of the IRRS programme;

-  The economic situation in Slovenia might in the short and long term affect SNSA’s ability to maintain its capacity and competence, and

-  A radioactive waste disposal project is stalled and the licensing process has not yet started, highlighting the importance of sustainable governmental commitment for the development of a repository.

A good practice was identified by the IRRS team:

-The Resolution on Nuclear and Radiation Safety in the republic of Slovenia for the period 2013-2023 was issued as a programmatic, high-level national policy document.

The mission identified some issues in need of attention or improvement, including:

-  The Government should ensure that appropriate human and financial resources are provided to SNSA in the short and long term, including for the implementation of an appropriate nuclear safety research programme;

-  The Government should require organizations involved in emergency preparedness and response to issue the documents referred to in the National Emergency Response Plan, and

-  SNSA should require that the operator of the Krško NPPs’ solid radioactive waste storage facility take appropriate measures to ensure that the waste packages are accessible and can be inspected.

The mission team delivered its initial findings to SNSA and will submit a final report in about three months. SNSA informed the team that it will make the report public.

The mission included a series of interviews and discussions with SNSA staff and a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment.

Quick Facts

Slovenia has one operating nuclear power plant and one research reactor. As of 2013, nuclear energy comprised one-third of the country’s energy production.

About IRRS Missions

IRRS missions are designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure of States, while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure safety in this area.

This is done through consideration of both regulatory, technical and policy issues, with comparisons against IAEA safety standards and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere.

The IAEA encourages countries that have hosted initial IRRS missions to invite follow-up missions two to four years after the initial missions.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

DG Amano Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT TO THE

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Vienna

15 September 2014

Yukiya Amano

Director General

Mr Chairman,

I will begin by highlighting recent developments in nuclear safety and security.

Nuclear Safety

My report on Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety shows that progress continues to be made in improving nuclear safety throughout the world. Further consideration is being given to integrating activities under the Action Plan into the Agency’s regular programme of work after 2015.

In June, representatives from 40 Member States participated in the third International Meeting on Application of the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors here in Vienna. I encourage all Member States to continue to work towards full implementation of the Code of Conduct.

Work continues on the IAEA Report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Additional information on the accident is being released in Japan. This will be considered as we proceed with our work. Formal publication of the Report is planned for next year’s General Conference.

A growing number of States which do not have nuclear power plants are taking advantage of IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service peer review missions. Next year, some 60 percent of IRRS missions will be to countries without nuclear power. A Workshop on Lessons learned from IRRS Missions will take place in Moscow, starting on October 29.

Following a decision by the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, I have decided to convene a Diplomatic Conference in Vienna starting on 9 February 2015 to consider a proposal by the Swiss Confederation to amend Article 18 of the Convention. A consultation meeting on the Conference will take place in Vienna on 15 October. I invite Contracting Parties to the CNS to provide voluntary contributions to finance these two meetings as soon as possible.

Nuclear Security

Mr Chairman,

In the past four years, there has been growing international appreciation of the need to address nuclear security in a coordinated manner.

The Agency plays the central role in helping to strengthen global nuclear security. Our work is detailed in the Nuclear Security Report 2014 and my report on Implementation of the IAEA Nuclear Security Plan 2010–2013.

The next high-level IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security will take place in December 2016. This will provide a fresh opportunity to review global efforts to date and make recommendations for the future.

The first International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Forensics was held in Vienna in July. It was attended by around 300 technical experts, law enforcement officials and policy-makers from 76 countries and eight organizations.

The number of countries which have ratified the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material continues to grow, but more need to do so in order for this important nuclear security instrument to enter into force. The CPPNM Amendment will be a special focus of a Treaty Event which we will hold during the General Conference next week to promote universal adherence to multilateral treaties adopted under Agency auspices.

Nuclear Energy

Mr Chairman,

Turning now to nuclear energy, there are 437 nuclear power reactors in operation in 30 countries today. There have been three new grid connections so far this year and 70 reactors are under construction. Thirty-three countries are considering, planning or starting nuclear power programmes. Our latest projections for global use of nuclear power show continued growth in the years to 2030, but at a slower rate than was previously expected. The new low projection is for nuclear power to grow by eight percent in the period and the high projection is for growth of 88 percent.

Uranium resources are more than adequate to meet projected requirements for the foreseeable future. This was a key finding of the authoritative reference report on uranium, known as the Red Book, which we published last week with the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The Agency continues to assist Member States that are interested in introducing nuclear power to do so safely and sustainably. An Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review mission was held in Jordan in August.

Development of the necessary capabilities and infrastructure for nuclear science and technology programmes, including nuclear power, often requires access to research reactors. I recently approved a new initiative, IAEA designated International Centre based on Research Reactors (ICERR), which will help Member States gain access to international research reactor infrastructure.

Last month, the 8th INPRO Dialogue Forum brought together nuclear technology holders and users, as well as other stakeholders from interested countries, to discuss the role of economics, resource availability and institutional arrangements for the sustainable development of nuclear energy systems.

During a visit to Sweden in June, I had an opportunity to see the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, where impressive research is being carried out on a long-term repository for nuclear waste. As you know, radioactive waste management will be the subject of next week’s Scientific Forum. This is an important issue for all Member States, whether they have nuclear power programmes or use radioactive materials for medicine, industry, agriculture and research.

Next week, we will host a side event on the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage in the context of the nuclear liability regime. Entry into force of this Convention will be an important step towards establishing a global nuclear liability regime.

The 25th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference will take place in St Petersburg, Russia, from 13 to 18 October.

Nuclear Applications

Mr Chairman,

Work on our strategy to modernise the nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, known as the ReNuAL project, is progressing well. I look forward to welcoming you all to the ground-breaking ceremony on September 29.

Following consultations with Member States, our strategy for ReNuAL has been updated. Possible elements that go beyond the 31-million-euro budget, to be referred to as ReNuAL Plus, could be implemented following the successful completion of the ReNuAL project, subject to the availability of additional funds.

One of these proposed elements is the establishment of Biosafety Level 3 laboratory capabilities for the Animal Health and Production Laboratory. The Agency is actively exploring possibilities for collaboration with Austria to establish such capabilities at a facility in Mödling, near Vienna.

ReNuAL is an extremely important project for the Agency which will benefit all Member States. I appeal to all countries to contribute generously.

On September 29, we will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. This unique partnership has had a significant economic impact in many Member States, improving food safety, food security and sustainable agriculture. I am confident that our strong collaboration will continue for many years to come, and that it will be further strengthened by the modernisation of the Seibersdorf laboratories.

Nuclear Verification

Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols

I will now turn to nuclear verification.

Since my last report to the Board, Cambodia has amended its small quantities protocol and an additional protocol with India has entered into force.

The number of States with additional protocols in force now stands at 124. I strongly hope that remaining States will conclude additional protocols as soon as possible. I also ask the 12 States without NPT safeguards agreements in force to bring such agreements into force without delay, and I call on States with the old small quantities protocols to amend or rescind them, if they have not yet done so.

State-Level Concept

Mr Chairman,

The Board has before it the Supplementary Document to the Report on the Conceptualization and Development of Safeguards Implementation at the State Level.

As you know, we have engaged in extensive dialogue on this subject since autumn 2013. The document before you represents our best effort to respond to questions and comments from Member States. We found the consultations very useful and appreciate the time and energy which Member States devoted to the process. We hope the Supplementary Document will lead to a better understanding of issues related to the State-level concept. It will be the reference point should any inconsistency between the documents on this subject be identified.

The State-level concept is part of our continuing efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of safeguards implementation, while improving its efficiency. It involves implementing safeguards in a manner that considers a State’s nuclear and nuclear-related activities and capabilities as a whole, within the scope of the State’s safeguards agreement.

The State-level concept does not, and will not, entail the introduction of any additional rights or obligations on the part of either States or the Agency, nor does it involve any modification in the interpretation of existing rights and obligations.

It is applicable to all States, but strictly within the scope of each individual State’s safeguards agreement.

While ‘State as a whole’ considerations in safeguards implementation are long-standing, State-level safeguards approaches have so far been implemented only for the 53 States under integrated safeguards. Our focus for the immediate future is on updating these existing approaches. The Agency plans to progressively develop and implement State-level approaches with respect to other States, strictly within the scope of their existing safeguards agreements. We will consult with the State and/or regional authority concerned as State-level approaches are developed.

Safeguards implementation is constantly evolving and it is important that States fully understand safeguards implementation issues, particularly as they relate to themselves. The release of this Supplementary Document is part of a continuing process of consultation, not the end. This week’s discussions in the Board will be an important part of this process.

We will continue to engage in open, active dialogue on safeguards matters with Member States. As the Agency and Member States gain further implementation experience, we will issue periodic update reports.

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Mr Chairman,

As my report on Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea makes clear, the nuclear programme of the DPRK remains a matter of serious concern.

DPRK statements reiterating the country’s “right” to conduct further nuclear tests, as well as its intention to restart its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, are deeply regrettable, as are previous statements about uranium enrichment activities and the construction of a light water reactor. Such actions are clear violations of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

I call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations, to cooperate promptly with the Agency, and to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that have arisen during the absence of Agency inspectors from the country. The Agency will continue to maintain its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme.

Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran

I will now turn to the implementation of safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. However, the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

Last month, I held meetings in Tehran with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr Hassan Rouhani, and other senior officials as part of my efforts to advance high-level dialogue between the Agency and Iran.

I stressed the importance of the timely implementation of the Framework for Cooperation. I noted Iran’s statement of its firm, high-level commitment to implementing the Framework for Cooperation and its stated willingness to accelerate the resolution of all outstanding issues.

Iran has implemented three of the five practical measures agreed with the Agency in the third step of the Framework for Cooperation. Two of these were implemented after the agreed deadline of 25 August. Iran has begun discussions with the Agency on the two remaining practical measures.

The Agency asked Iran to propose new practical measures by 2 September to be implemented by Iran in the next step of the Framework for Cooperation. Iran has yet to propose such measures.

In order to resolve all outstanding issues, past and present, it is very important that Iran continues to implement, in a timely manner, all practical measures agreed under the Framework for Cooperation, and that it proposes new measures that we can agree upon for the next step.

The Agency continues to undertake monitoring and verification in relation to the measures set out in the Joint Plan of Action agreed between the E3+3 and Iran, which has been extended. Continuation of our activities will require additional funding of one million euros, of which around 300,000 euros have so far been pledged. I invite Member States which wish to do so to make contributions.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

As far as safeguards implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic is concerned, the Board will recall that, in May 2011, I reported that it was very likely that a building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site was a nuclear reactor that should have been declared to the Agency by Syria.

Since my report of August last year, no new information has come to our attention that would affect that assessment. The Agency remains unable to provide any assessment concerning the nature or operational status of other locations referred to in my report of May 2011.

I urge Syria to cooperate fully with the Agency in connection with all unresolved issues.

Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East

As my report on Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East shows, there remain long-standing and fundamental differences of views among countries of the region with regard to the application of comprehensive Agency safeguards to all nuclear activities in the region. In these circumstances, it has not been possible to make further progress in fulfilling my mandate from the General Conference in this area. I will continue my consultations.

Management Issues

As we prepare the Programme and Budget for 2016–2017, the Agency’s priorities will remain unchanged: technical cooperation, including the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), nuclear safety and security, and ReNuAL. Nuclear energy remains a priority in accordance with the Statute.

I am keenly aware of the financial difficulties which many Member States continue to face. In my guidance to senior managers, I have again requested that strict prioritization and efficiency measures be applied, wherever possible. At the same time, Member State needs are increasing, especially in nuclear safety, technical cooperation, nuclear security and nuclear applications, and IAEA membership continues to grow. Therefore, as was the case in the current biennium, the proposal which I will submit to you early next year will strike a balance between the increasing needs of Member States for Agency assistance, and their capacity to contribute.

I commend the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities for the successful outcome of its work and thank the two co-Chairs for their effective leadership. Subject to a decision of the Board on the Working Group report, we will work on the Working Group’s recommendations.

We have made considerable investment in systems to improve HR management. With the launch of AIPS Plateau 3 in the coming months, we expect to see efficiencies, streamlining of processes and new functionality that will help us to better manage our most valuable resource — our staff.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I wish to thank three recently retired directors for their service and dedication – Mr Rethy Chhem, of the Division of Human Health, Mr Marco Marzo, of the Division of Operations A in the Department of Safeguards, and Mr Nobuhiro Muroya, of the Division of Operations C. All three made an important contribution to the work of the Agency.

I also wish to inform you of two senior appointments in my office. Following the departure of Mr Satoshi Suzuki, Ms Tomiko Ichikawa is now Special Assistant for Management, while Mr Derek Lacey has taken up his post as Special Assistant for Nuclear Safety and Security, and for Safeguards.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

 

IAEA experts to visit Japan for Fukushima seawater sampling

Two IAEA experts will visit Japan from 8 to 14 September 2014 to collect water samples from the sea near TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, in an exercise to support high-quality gathering and analysis of radioactivity data by the responsible authorities in Japan.

The visit by the experts is the first follow-up activity to the advisory points on marine monitoring included in a report by the IAEA International Peer Review Mission on Mid- and Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4, which in late 2013 reviewed Japan’s efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of the plant.

Advice from that mission included conducting interlaboratory comparisons in order to foster greater transparency and confidence in the marine monitoring results produced, as well as presenting these results to the public in a scientifically correct but understandable way.

Water samples collected during the forthcoming visit will be shared between the IAEA Environment Laboratories and Japanese laboratories, and analysed independently by each. The results will then be compared to check the quality of the analyses and document the reliability and comparability of data.

The IAEA and Japan are also discussing the details of their cooperation regarding marine monitoring. The IAEA runs similar exercises for analytical laboratories worldwide, to help improve analytical capabilities.

Photos taken during the collection of water samples will be provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

Press Arrangements for IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, 15 – 19 September 2014

The IAEA Board of Governors will convene a meeting at the Agency’s headquarters starting at 10:30 CEST on Monday, 15 September 2014 in Boardroom C of the C-Building, in the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

The Board of Governors meeting is closed to the press.

Director General Yukiya Amano will open the meeting with an introductory statement. His statement will be released to journalists after delivery and posted on the IAEA website.

Director General Amano is also expected to hold a News Conference at 14:30 CEST on Monday, 15 September 2014, in the Press Room of the M-Building.

Live video streaming of the News Conference will be available online from 14:30 (no login needed).

NB: THIS IS A VIEW-ONLY CHANNEL.

Board discussions are expected to include: the Programme Performance Report for 2012-13; progress in the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety; the Nuclear Security Report 2014; and the implementation of safeguards in Iran, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Photo-Op:

There will be a photo opportunity at the beginning of each session, morning and afternoon, of the meeting.

Press Working Area:

The Press Room on the M-Building’s ground floor will be available as a press working area starting from 08:30 on 15 September 2014. The area outside Board Room C will also be set up for the media, with high capacity WiFi.

Accreditation:

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation, to request it at UNIS Vienna.

Others should contact Ms Theresa Mackay for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [+43-1] 2600-22048 or [+43-1] 2600-21273.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA Director General comments on visit to Iran

Tehran – IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited the Islamic Republic of Iran on 17 August, and held meetings with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Hassan Rouhani; Vice-President and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Dr Ali Akbar Salehi; and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif.

During a meeting with the media in Iran, the Director General made the following comments:

“This has been a short visit, but a useful one. I was honoured to meet with President Rouhani this morning, as well as with Foreign Minister Zarif, and Vice-President Salehi.

“This is my third visit as Director General to Tehran, and the first since the signature of the Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation last November (11 November 2013). My purpose today was to meet with high-level policy makers, to discuss how to strengthen cooperation and dialogue as agreed under the Framework for Cooperation, as well as in other areas.

“I was very glad to hear from the highest levels a firm commitment to the implementation of the Framework for Cooperation, and to resolve all present and past issues through dialogue and cooperation with the IAEA.

“During the visit, officials on both sides have been able to plan how to move ahead with the existing practical measures, including the five measures from 20 May.

“We have proposed discussions on a number of new practical measures, to be taken up as the next step under the Framework for Cooperation. I hope these can take place in the near future.

“We have also followed up on issues related to the use of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators. In this context, I would like to make some comments on one of the practical measures being addressed under the Framework for Cooperation.

“With regard to the practical measure concerning Iran’s provision of ‘information and explanations for the Agency to assess Iran’s stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators’, at this stage, our thoughts are that:

“Iran has provided information and explanations to the Agency on Iran’s decision, in early 2000, to develop safer detonators. Iran has also provided information and explanations to the Agency on its work post-2007 related to the application of EBW’s in the oil and gas industry which is not inconsistent with specialized industry practices.

“The Agency will need to consider all past outstanding issues, including EBWs, integrating all of them in a system and assessing the system as a whole.

“As a final comment, the Agency remains committed to working with Iran, to resolve all past and present issues, through cooperation and dialogue.In order to resolve all outstanding issues, past and present, it is very important that the Framework for Cooperation continues to be implemented.”

IAEA Director General to visit Iran

The Director General of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, will visit Iran for meetings on 17 August 2014 with Iranian leaders and senior officials.

The visit is part of the efforts to advance dialogue and cooperation between the Agency and Iran.

IAEA statement on seized nuclear material in Iraq

The following is a statement attributable to IAEA Spokesperson Gill Tudor on reports that Iraq has notified the United Nations that nuclear material has been seized from Mosul University:

‘The IAEA is aware of the notification from Iraq and is in contact to seek further details. On the basis of the initial information we believe the material involved is low-grade and would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk. Nevertheless, any loss of regulatory control over nuclear and other radioactive materials is a cause for concern.’

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano speech at International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Forensics, 7 July 2014

Thank you, Madam President.

Good morning, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am pleased to see so many of you here for this IAEA International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Forensics.

Your presence is a reflection of the growing importance which the countries of the world attach to preventing nuclear and other radioactive materials from being misused by terrorists or other criminals.

National authorities have primary responsibility for ensuring that such materials, and the facilities in which they are housed, are properly secured.

But terrorists and criminals operate across international borders, so a coordinated international response is essential. The IAEA plays the central role in helping countries to ensure that nuclear and other radioactive materials do not fall into the wrong hands.

Globally, the protection of these materials and related facilities has undoubtedly improved in the past decade. But much remains to be done.

In the 20 years to 2013, our Member States reported nearly 2,400 confirmed incidents of nuclear and other radioactive material falling out of regulatory control. These are figures compiled by the IAEA Incident and Trafficking Database.

Of greatest concern were 16 incidents which involved the unauthorized possession of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. As recently as 2011, there was evidence of the existence of organized networks of sellers and buyers for this material.

Experience has shown that the harder law enforcement agencies look for nuclear and other radioactive material, the more they find. The question then is to determine the precise nature of material that is seized. Where did it originate? What threat does it pose? Is there more?

 

This is where nuclear forensics comes in. By helping to determine the origin and history of seized materials, nuclear forensics provides important answers that can guide investigations.  

Investigators need the specialist knowledge to manage crime scenes effectively in the case of a nuclear security incident.

They must establish an appropriate chain of custody in dealing with evidence and seized material must be analysed in accordance with well documented procedures. This helps to establish confidence in the conclusions of nuclear forensic investigations and can contribute to successful prosecutions of perpetrators.

Nuclear forensics was first mentioned in resolutions of the IAEA General Conference – the annual high-level meeting of all our Member States – in 2002. It called for the development of guidelines for the conduct of nuclear forensics examinations.  

That same year, the IAEA organized a successful International Conference on Advances in Destructive and Non-Destructive Analysis for Environmental Monitoring and Nuclear Forensics.

The use of nuclear forensics has grown considerably since then. Our role has also expanded.

The IAEA Nuclear Security Plan 2014–2017, which we are now implementing, reflects the growing importance of nuclear forensics for the effectiveness and sustainability of national nuclear security frameworks.

The Agency is implementing research projects on issues such as improving technical measures to detect illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials, developing relevant instruments and methods, and applying nuclear forensics to prevent, and respond to, nuclear security events.

We also prepare nuclear forensics guidance documents and provide training.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

By determining the origin of seized nuclear and other radioactive materials, nuclear forensics can help to identify gaps in the implementation of international legal instruments and indicate what may need to be done to improve the control of these materials at facilities.

One vital element of the international legal framework has still not come into force because not enough countries have adhered to it – the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

This is a major piece of unfinished business in international efforts to ensure that nuclear material is properly secured.

Under the Amendment, nuclear forensics can play a role in enabling the prosecution or extradition of alleged offenders and the provision of assistance by State Parties in connection with criminal proceedings.

Adherence by another 22 States Parties to the Amendment is needed for this vitally important nuclear security instrument to enter into force. I encourage all countries to adhere to the Amendment as soon as possible.

Nuclear forensics can also play a role in international cooperation in the event of theft or any other unlawful taking of nuclear material. This can make it easier to recover and secure such material.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For nuclear forensics to be effective, countries need fully trained experts capable of making accurate measurements that will stand up in court.

Everyone involved in a nuclear security investigation must clearly understand the importance of correct procedures for forensics evidence and its legal admissibility.

We must keep up with technological developments and ensure that the best science is used.

You will consider these issues, and many others, at your conference this week. The IAEA is committed to playing its part in ensuring that the extremely important science of nuclear forensics continues to progress.

I wish you every success in your deliberations.

Thank you.

Rescheduled: IAEA briefing in advance of the International Conference on Nuclear Forensics

3 July 2014

Participants in an IAEA-organized Conference starting 7 July 2014 will review nuclear forensics as an essential element of security infrastructure and discuss recent developments related to the application of nuclear forensics in support of law enforcement investigations and nuclear security assessments. Mechanisms for achieving further international cooperation and enhancing IAEA support to Member States that request assistance in developing nuclear forensics capabilities will be proposed and discussed.

Part of the opening session of the 7 –  10 July International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Forensics: Countering the Evolving Threat of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control, during which statements will be delivered by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Conference President Her Excellency Ms Susan Jane le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, the British Ambassador to the International Organizations in Vienna as well as the British Ambassador to Austria, will be open to journalists.

In addition, IAEA experts are offering a media briefing to highlight the objectives of the conference and the IAEA’s work in the field. The informal, on-the-record discussion will be hosted by Khammar Mrabit, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security.

The media briefing is set to start at 9:00 on Monday, 7 July 2014 in Room M6 of the Vienna International Centre’s M-Building. (Please note rescheduled time.) 

Statements are scheduled to be given from 10:00 – 10:45 on Monday, 7 July in Boardroom A in the Vienna International Centre’s M-Building. A final programme is available on the meeting website.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms Elizabeth Dobie-Sarsam for accreditation. Please email [email protected]; tel:[+43-1] 2600-21273. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation, to request it at UNIS Vienna.

Press Contacts

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA Team Reviews Safety Progress at Bulgarian Nuclear Power Plant

Kozloduy, Bulgaria An international team of nuclear installation safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today completed an assessment of how the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Bulgaria has followed up on an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission undertaken in 2012.

Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme and are typically conducted within two years of the initial OSART mission. At the request of the Government of Bulgaria, the IAEA assembled a team of experts to conduct the follow-up OSART mission at Kozloduy NPP from 23-27 June 2014.

The initial OSART mission in November-December 2012 made a number of recommendations and suggestions for consideration by the Kozloduy NPP operators, who developed corrective action plans. The follow-up mission team found that the Kozloduy plant had achieved the level of “resolved” or “satisfactory progress” in all of the recommendations and suggestions made by the 2012 OSART.

Areas in which the issues have been resolved include:

   -  developing written procedures for dose assessment from neutrons and performing neutron dose assessment for all relevant staff ;

   -  reinforcing contamination control practices and improving measures to prevent the spread of contamination;

   -  establishing mobile off-site information centres for conducting press conferences jointly with off-site authorities, in case of general emergency.

Issues which have achieved satisfactory progress toward resolution, but need further work, include:

   -  finalising severe accident management guidelines for situations that involve open reactor conditions or spent fuel pools;

   -  further improving analyses of the cause of events connected to human performance.

These issues will need a longer time to resolve, and the plant has scheduled actions to address them.

The team handed over a draft of its findings to Kozloduy NPP management officials in the form of Technical Notes for factual comments. These Technical Notes and comments from Kozloduy NPP and the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Authority will be reviewed by the IAEA. The final report will be submitted to the Government of Bulgaria within three months.

The team was made up of experts from the UK and the IAEA.

The review was based on the IAEA’s Safety Standards and covered the areas of Operations; Maintenance; Technical Support; Operating Experience; Radiation Protection; and Emergency Planning and Preparedness.

Background

The IAEA conducts approximately six OSART and six OSART follow-up missions each year.

General information about OSART missions can be found on the IAEA Website.

An OSART mission is designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety of NPPs. It is not a regulatory inspection, nor is it a design review or a substitute for an exhaustive assessment of the plant’s overall safety status.

The IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the nuclear safety framework worldwide in the light of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The plan was unanimously endorsed by IAEA Member States during the Agency’s 55th General Conference in September 2011. The Action Plan recommended: “Each Member State with Nuclear Power Plants to voluntarily host at least one IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission during the coming three years, with the initial focus on older nuclear power plants. Thereafter, OSART missions to be voluntarily hosted on a regular basis.”

Press Contacts

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Jordan’s Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Amman, Jordan – Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded an 11-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in Jordan.

The mission team said in its preliminary findings that Jordan’s nuclear regulator, the Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC), faces challenges because it is a relatively new body that handles a high workload while also working to recruit, train and keep competent staff.  The team also noted that a recent merger provided the regulator with more of the resources it needs to perform its duty.

The team made recommendations and suggestions to the regulatory body and the Government to help them strengthen the effectiveness of Jordan’s regulatory framework and functions in line with IAEA Safety Standards.

Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, told the mission’s closing meeting that Jordan’s invitation to host the mission demonstrated dedication to improve radiation and nuclear safety, and to learn from international experience.

John Loy, Deputy Director General Operations at the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, headed the 18-member review team, which comprised experts from Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Egypt, France, Ireland, Lebanon, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States as well as four IAEA staff members and an observer each from Malaysia and Japan.

“The regulatory body’s merger in April 2014 into the EMRC added to its challenges because it now has to operate as part of a new body,” Loy said. “However, it also presents a vital opportunity to strengthen Jordan’s radiation and nuclear regulatory infrastructure by providing more resources and influence.”

The Jordanian government invited the mission, which included site visits to observe inspections as well as interviews and discussions with staff from EMRC and other organizations.

“We believe that the recommendations and suggestions made by the IRRS team will help EMRC in strengthening its regulatory infrastructure and framework in light of the international guidelines embodied in the IAEA safety standards and good practices observed in other regulatory authorities,” said EMRC Chairman Farouq Al–Hyari.

The main observations of the IRRS Review team comprised the following:

   -  The regulatory body, founded in 2007 and merged with other regulators in April 2014 to form EMRC, faces large challenges in terms of its regulatory workload, management system building and staff recruitment and training;

   -  The new EMRC structure and revision of the radiation and nuclear safety law represents an important opportunity to strengthen Jordan’s radiation and nuclear safety infrastructure;

   -  The Government has shown commitment to radiation and nuclear safety through measures including becoming party to international conventions. It could further demonstrate its commitment by adopting a formal national policy and strategy for safety that defines the role of the Minister of Energy in relation to EMRC and protects the independence of regulatory decision-making.

Good practices identified by the IRRS team comprised the following:

   -  Jordan is contributing to and making good use of the global nuclear safety regime;

   -  EMRC is promoting safety culture, including through inventive ways;

   -  Orphan and disused radioactive sources are transferred for safe storage to a radioactive waste storage facility; and

   -  EMRC has a resident inspector at the construction site of the Jordan Research and Test Reactor.

The mission identified issues in need of attention or improvement, including the following:

   -  The Government should ensure that EMRC is provided with adequate human resources with the necessary competence to effectively regulate nuclear and radiation risks in the country, in particular considering the country’s preparations to introduce nuclear power;

   – EMRC should continue working on its human resources development planning and associated staff training programme;

   – EMRC should optimize the use of its resources for licensing, reviewing, assessing and inspecting facilities considering their safety significance;

   – The Government should issue regulations and instructions that have already been drafted by EMRC, and EMRC should further develop guides to support these regulations, and

   – The Government should ensure that formal coordination arrangements are established between EMRC and other Government agencies including the Ministries of Health, Interior, Environment and Labour.

The final mission report will be provided to the Jordanian Government in about three months.

About IRRS Missions

IRRS missions are designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure safety in this area. This is done through consideration of regulatory, technical and policy issues, with comparisons against IAEA safety standards, and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere.

More information about IRRS missions is available on the IAEA Website.

IAEA Press Office

Susanna Lööf [43] 699 165 22046
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA Team Reviews Safety Progress at Swiss Nuclear Power Plant

Mühleberg, Switzerland An international team of nuclear installation safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today completed an assessment of how the Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Switzerland has followed up on an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission undertaken in October 2012.

Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme, and are typically conducted within two years of the initial OSART mission. At the request of the Government of Switzerland, the IAEA assembled a team of experts to conduct the follow-up OSART mission at Mühleberg NPP from 16-20 June 2014.

The initial OSART mission made a number of recommendations and suggestions for consideration by the operator at Mühleberg, which developed corrective action plans. The follow-up mission found that in the past 20 months, the operator has resolved or made satisfactory progress in all of the 2012 OSART recommendations and suggestions.

Among the issues resolved, it has:

- Strengthened the utility’s monitoring function over the nuclear power plant;

- Further minimized radiation doses to workers and improved measures to prevent contamination;

- Confirmed that safety cables are able to resist environmental conditions as required for long-term operation.

The team identified some issues which have achieved satisfactory progress toward resolution, but need further work. For example, the team proposes that the plant should:

- Continue to improve its industrial safety programme;

- Clarify management expectations to ensure that shift operators fulfill all expectations correctly;

- Reinforce a timely and thorough analysis of operational experience.

The team handed a draft of its findings to Mühleberg NPP management officials in the form of Technical Notes for factual comments. These Technical Notes and comments from Mühleberg NPP and the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate will be reviewed by the IAEA. The final report will be submitted to the Government of Switzerland within three months.

The team comprised experts from Germany and the IAEA.

The review was based on the IAEA’s Safety Standards and covered the areas of management, organization and administration; operations; maintenance; technical support; operating experience; radiation protection; chemistry; emergency planning and preparedness; long term operation; and severe accident management.

Background

The IAEA conducts approximately six OSART and six OSART follow-up missions each year.

General information about OSART missions can be found on the IAEA Website.

An OSART mission is designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety of NPPs. It is not a regulatory inspection, nor is it a design review or a substitute for an exhaustive assessment of the plant’s overall safety status.

The IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the nuclear safety framework worldwide in the light of the March 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The plan, which was unanimously endorsed by IAEA Member States in September 2011, called on all IAEA Member States with NPPs to voluntarily host at least one OSART mission within three years, with the initial focus on older nuclear power plants. After that, the Plan recommends that Member States voluntarily host OSART missions on a regular basis.
Press Contacts

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA briefing, meeting to offer insights into nuclear fuel cycle

Participants in an IAEA-organized meeting next week will analyse uranium supply-demand scenarios and discuss new developments in uranium geology, exploration, mining and processing, as well as environmental requirements.

All sessions of the 23-27 June International Symposium on Uranium Raw Material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Exploration, Mining, Production, Supply and Demand, Economics and Environmental Issues are open to journalists.

In addition, IAEA experts are offering a media briefing to highlight the various stages of the nuclear fuel cycle and the IAEA’s work in the field. The informal, on-the-record discussion will be hosted by Gary Dyck, head of the IAEA Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section.

The media briefing is set to start at 14:00 on Monday, 23 June 2014 in room M3 of the Vienna International Centre’s M-Building.

The Symposium’s Opening Session is scheduled to be held from 10:00 to 13:00 on Monday, 23 June in Boardroom B in the Vienna International Centre’s M-Building. The location and timing of other sessions are available in the programme, available on the meeting website.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms Elizabeth Dobie-Sarsam for accreditation. Please email IAEA Press Office; tel: [+43-1] 2600-21273. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation, to request it at UNIS Vienna.

Press Contacts

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

Director General Amano – Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT TO THE

BOARD OF GOVERNORS, Director General Yukiya AMANO

Vienna

2 June 2014

Mr Chairman,

Since the last meeting of the Board, two countries have applied for membership of the Agency: the Republic of Djibouti and the Union of the Comoros.

A number of important reports are on the agenda of this meeting.

The Agency’s Annual Report for 2013 serves as the Board’s report to the General Conference, as well as the Agency’s report to the United Nations General Assembly and the general public. As the report shows, the Agency’s programme continues to make a real difference to the lives of many people throughout the world.

Technical Cooperation

The Technical Cooperation Report for 2013 presents our work to make nuclear science and technology available for peaceful purposes. The main focus of TC spending last year was in the field of health and nutrition, followed by nuclear safety and security, and then by food and agriculture.

As you may recall, the 2013 Scientific Forum focussed on our activities in the marine environment. Let me highlight some areas of our work in this area. In Africa, a regional IAEA project is helping countries to monitor marine pollution using nuclear analytical techniques. Countries in Asia and the Pacific have developed capacities in radiation monitoring through the marine benchmark study on the possible impact of radioactive releases caused by the Fukushima Daiichi accident. There has been good cooperation between technically advanced and less experienced countries. In Latin America, the Agency has supported the establishment of a network of laboratories to monitor marine pollutants.

Human capacity-building remains an integral part of the technical cooperation programme. Agency-sponsored postgraduate courses in radiation protection and safety of radioactive sources were provided for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe in 2013. Distance learning also continues to grow. The AFRA-Network for Education in Nuclear Science and Technology is promoting HR development in Africa, while in Asia and the Pacific, nuclear medicine professionals are receiving online training.

A growing number of countries in Africa are focussing on cancer control and establishing radiation medicine centres. We are providing broad support in this area, including in quality management. IAEA regional training courses in Asia and the Pacific have helped to put national training programmes on a more sustainable footing. In Europe, a focus on the integration of nuclear medicine, diagnostic radiology and radiotherapy into comprehensive health care programmes is helping to ensure compliance with international standards. In Latin America, the focus in 2013 was on strengthening essential capabilities in national health care institutions. As far as the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy is concerned, we anticipate that increased funding will become available to assist Member States as a result of our growing partnerships with regional and international organizations, donors and development banks.

New resources for the TC programme totalled 78.2 million euros in 2013, which included 10.7 million euros in extra-budgetary contributions. We also achieved our highest implementation rate in ten years – 83.7%.

Nuclear Applications

            Mr Chairman,

I have circulated a document entitled Strategy for the Renovation of the Nuclear Sciences and Applications Laboratories in Seibersdorf. It outlines a 31-million-euro project, known as ReNuAL, to modernize the laboratories. When completed, this will greatly improve the ability of the laboratories to respond to Member State needs. The support of all Member States is crucial to the success of this very important project. I encourage all countries in a position to do so to contribute to ReNuAL and I thank those which have already done so. I plan to invite you to a ground-breaking ceremony at Seibersdorf in September.

Under-nutrition causes more than one third of all deaths of children under five years of age. Many of these are preventable. Stable isotope techniques can be beneficial in the evaluation of interventions that address malnutrition. Last week, the Agency hosted the International Symposium on Understanding Moderate Malnutrition in Children for Effective Interventions, in partnership with the World Food Programme and other organisations. More than 400 participants from 85 countries attended. Recommendations for programmes and policy makers will be published soon.

This year, we celebrate two important 50th anniversaries. Today, we mark the anniversary of the Nuclear Data Section, which develops and disseminates fundamental nuclear and atomic data. Accurate data are the basis of nuclear science and technology. 

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture is also 50 years old. This is an effective partnership which makes an important contribution to food safety, food security and sustainable agriculture in Member States. The anniversary will be celebrated in September in conjunction with the ground-breaking for the ReNuAL project.  

Nuclear Safety and Security

            Mr Chairman,

            The Sixth Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety was held from 24 March to 4 April in Vienna. Contracting Parties decided that a Diplomatic Conference should be held in order to consider a proposal to amend Article 18 of the Convention, which addresses the design and construction of nuclear power plants. As Depositary for the Convention, I will do what is necessary on my part to convene the Conference within one year.

Progress continues to be made in implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The seventh in our series of International Expert Meetings took place in March, entitled Severe Accident Management in the Light of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. My next report to the Board on implementation of the Action Plan will be in September.

Work continues on the IAEA report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The final meetings of the expert Working Groups took place last month. The report is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.

In March, I participated as an observer in the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague. Leaders from more than 50 countries pledged to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear security and reconfirmed their strong support for the IAEA’s central role.  

            Since my last report to the Board, three countries – Peru, Djibouti and the Republic of Korea – have ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. This is encouraging. But another 23 ratifications are required for this important nuclear security instrument to finally enter into force. On June 12 and 13, the Agency will hold a seminar in Vienna to encourage adoption of the Amendment. I ask all countries which have not yet done so to ratify the Amendment as soon as possible.

Next month, we will host an International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Forensics: Countering the Evolving Threat of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control.

Nuclear Energy

Mr Chairman,

Turning now to nuclear energy, the second International Conference on Human Resource Development for Nuclear Power Programmes took place last month. Participants agreed that capacity building is important for ensuring a supply of qualified staff for safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programmes. They invited the Agency to further expand its support for capacity building, including by documenting good practices and developing tools and guidance. Member States were encouraged to make use of available IAEA services.

We will host an International Symposium on Uranium Raw Material for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, starting on June 23, which is aimed at boosting understanding of the adequacy of uranium sources to meet future demand.

Preparations are well underway for the Scientific Forum in September, which will focus on the science and technology behind the management of radioactive waste. I thank the Member States which are helping us put together an interesting and informative programme.

Assurance of Supply

My latest report on the establishment of the IAEA LEU Bank has been distributed. A technical briefing for Member States was held last week. Substantial additional work has been undertaken with Kazakhstan to define and agree on the technical requirements for the LEU Bank. Negotiations with the Government of Kazakhstan on a Host State Agreement and supporting technical agreements have made good progress. In cooperation with Kazakhstan, we are evaluating the safety relevance of a geological fault near the proposed site.

We remain firmly committed to establishing the LEU Bank in Kazakhstan in accordance with the relevant resolution of the Board of Governors. I will keep the Board informed of progress.

Nuclear Verification

Safeguards Implementation Report for 2013

       Mr Chairman,

Turning now to nuclear verification, the Safeguards Implementation Report for 2013 has been distributed. It details our work implementing safeguards in the 180 States with safeguards agreements in force at that time. Findings are based upon our evaluation of the information available to the Agency in exercising its rights and fulfilling its obligations under these agreements. We draw our conclusions on the basis of these findings.

As the report shows, we have continued to improve the efficiency of safeguards implementation. Improved cooperation from State and regional authorities has been an important factor in maintaining this trend.

Consultations with Member States on safeguards implementation at the State level are continuing. We have held five technical meetings so far. As indicated previously, we are preparing a supplementary document to my report on the conceptualisation and development of safeguards at the State level, in accordance with the General Conference resolution.  

ECAS Project

I will briefly update the Board on the status of the ECAS project – Enhancing Capabilities of the Safeguards Analytical Services.

The transition of laboratory functions to the Nuclear Material Laboratory building is well underway. Infrastructure and security upgrades at the Seibersdorf premises will continue into 2015, along with the construction of new training and administrative space for the Laboratory.

The ECAS project is still some eight million euros short of the approved budget of 81 million euros. I thank Member States that have contributed recently and encourage all States in a position to do so to make a financial contribution.

Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols

You have before you a draft additional protocol for the Kingdom of Cambodia. Since my last report, an additional protocol has entered into force for Saint Kitts and Nevis. This brings the number of States with additional protocols in force to 123. I strongly hope that all other States will conclude additional protocols as soon as possible.

Safeguards agreements are now in force for 181 States. I ask the 12 States without safeguards agreements in force to bring such agreements into force without delay. I also call on States which still have the old small quantities protocols to amend or rescind them.

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

            Mr Chairman,

I remain seriously concerned about the nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

It is now more than five years since Agency inspectors were asked to leave the DPRK. Nevertheless, the Agency maintains its readiness to play an essential role in verifying the DPRK’s nuclear programme. I call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate promptly with the Agency in implementing its Safeguards Agreement, and to resolve all outstanding issues.

Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr Chairman,

Concerning safeguards implementation in Iran, the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. However, the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

I welcome the fact that the practical measures agreed with Iran under the Framework for Cooperation have been implemented by Iran as planned. Iran has engaged with the Agency substantively, including in the clarification of issues related to the use of exploding bridge wire detonators. We are analysing the information provided by Iran in April and May. Iran’s engagement with the Agency has helped us to gain a better understanding of its nuclear programme. Iran’s agreement on 20 May to implement five additional practical measures is a further welcome step forward.

The Agency will provide its assessment in due course, after acquiring a good understanding of the whole picture. This is the most effective approach in helping the Agency to provide an impartial and factual assessment. This does not exclude the possibility of the Agency making known its initial thoughts on specific issues in the meantime, as appropriate.

 In order to resolve all outstanding issues, past and present, it is very important that Iran continues to implement the Framework for Cooperation.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic

Concerning the Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic, there have been no significant developments since my last statement to the Board. I renew my call to Syria to cooperate fully with us in connection with unresolved issues related to the Dair Alzour site and other locations. I will continue to keep the Board informed.

Management Issues

Turning now to management issues, I am pleased that the Programme and Budget Committee was able to recommend to the Board the transmittal to the General Conference of the Agency’s financial statements, on which we have again received an unqualified audit opinion from the External Auditor.

The Committee also recommended approval of the 2015 budget update. My proposal was for zero real growth compared with 2014. Priorities in the Regular Budget remain as proposed in the 2014–2015 Programme and Budget. I am pleased to note the support expressed for my proposal and look forward to your adoption of the budget for 2015. I assure the Board that I remain committed to vigorously implementing efficiency and cost-saving measures throughout the coming biennium. I express my appreciation to Ambassador Paradas and Ambassador Oyugi, co-Chairs of the Working Group on Financing the Agency’s Activities, for their leadership in steering this important Working Group.

Finally, Mr Chairman, I wish to inform you of the departure of two senior Agency staff members. Mr Daud Mohamad, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, will be leaving us shortly. I thank Daud warmly for his loyal and effective service.

Mr Graham Andrew, my Special Assistant for Nuclear Safety and Security and for Safeguards, will also retire soon. Graham has served the Agency with distinction for 13 years and made a major contribution to our work. I have greatly valued his wisdom and advice.

I wish Daud and Graham good health and every success in the future.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Press Arrangements for IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, 2-6 June 2014

 

26 May 2014

|

The IAEA Board of Governors will convene a meeting at the Agency’s headquarters starting at 10:30 CEST on Monday, 2 June 2014 in Boardroom C of the C-Building, in the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

The Board of Governors meeting is closed to the press.

Director General Yukiya Amano will open the meeting with an introductory statement. His statement will be released to journalists after delivery and posted on the IAEA website.

Director General Amano is also expected to hold a News Conference at 14:30 CEST on Monday, 2 June 2014, in the Press Room of the M-Building.

Live video streaming of the News Conference will be available online from 14:30 (no login needed).

NB: THIS IS A VIEW-ONLY CHANNEL.

Board discussions are expected to include: the IAEA Annual Report for 2013; the Technical Cooperation Report for 2013; the Safeguards Implementation Report for 2013; and the implementation of safeguards in Iran, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Photo-Op:

There will be a photo opportunity at the beginning of each session, morning and afternoon, of the meeting.

Press Working Area:

The Press Room on the M-Building’s ground floor will be available as a press working area starting from 08:30 on 2 June 2014. The area outside Board Room B will also be set up for the media, with high capacity WiFi.

Accreditation:

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation, to request it at UNIS Vienna.

Others should contact Ms. Jayne Stringer for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [+43-1] 2600-21279 or [+43-1] 2600-21273.

Clarification on RIA Novosti story

On 21 May, RIA Novosti news agency published a story headlined ‘IAEA Says Impossible for Ukraine to Switch to US Nuclear Fuel, based on apparent remarks by an Agency official during a news conference in Moscow.

There was some confusion about the official’s remarks, which were made in Russian. The resulting RIA Novosti story does not accurately reflect his words, nor the position of the IAEA, which is as follows:

-          The choice of supplier for nuclear fuel is the prerogative of the nuclear operator. Such an approach is not unique to Ukraine.

-          Any change in the supply of fuel to a nuclear power plant requires careful safety assessment and testing.

-          Any such modifications should be approved by the national regulatory body in accordance with national laws, applicable safety regulations and industry best practices.

IAEA Team Reviews Safety Progress at French Nuclear Power Plant 19-23 May 2014

Gravelines, France – An international team of nuclear installation safety experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has evaluated the Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in France to assess how the station has followed up on an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission undertaken in 2012.

The IAEA assembled a team of experts at the request of the Government of France to conduct the follow-up OSART mission at Gravelines NPP from 19-23 May 2014. Follow-up missions are standard components of the OSART programme; they are typically conducted 15-24 months after the initial OSART mission.

The IAEA mission in 2012 made a number of recommendations and suggestions for consideration by the Gravelines NPP operators.  The station thoroughly analyzed the OSART recommendations and suggestions and developed corrective action plans. In 18 months, the Gravelines plant has achieved the level “resolved” or “satisfactory progress” in almost all of the recommendations and suggestions made by the OSART in November 2012. During the follow-up mission, the team assessed that the operators have resolved the issues in several areas, including:

  -  Undertaking initiatives to improve fire prevention.

  -  Reinforcing contamination control practices.

  -  Enhancing capabilities to protect emergency workers in the event of a release of radioactivity.

The team identified some issues which have achieved satisfactory progress toward resolution, but need further work, including:

  -  Further improvement of measures to preventing the ingress of items or chemicals into circuits and equipment.

  -  Comprehensive application of the corrective actions programme.

  -  Reinforcement of the containment protection system in the event of an extremely adverse situation.

The team identified the following issue as one which has made insufficient progress toward resolution and needs further work:

  -  Emergency response arrangements do not follow current IAEA safety standards recommending that the plant should have a person on the site at all times with the authority and responsibility to initiate appropriate emergency response measures.

The team handed over a draft of its findings to Gravelines NPP management officials in the form of “Technical Notes” for factual comments. These technical notes will be reviewed at IAEA headquarters after receiving comments from Gravelines NPP and the French nuclear regulatory authority, ASN. The final report will be submitted to the Government of France within three months.

The team was made up of experts from Hungary, the United Kingdom and the IAEA.

The review covered the areas of Management, Organization and Administration; Operations; Maintenance; Technical Support; Operating Experience; Radiation Protection; Chemistry; Emergency Planning and Preparedness; and Severe Accident Management. The conclusions of the follow-up review are based on the IAEA’s Safety Standards.

The IAEA conducts approximately six OSART and six OSART follow-up missions each year. The management and staff of Gravelines NPP were cooperative, open and frank during the review.

Background

General information about OSART missions can be found on the IAEA Website.

An OSART mission is designed as a review of programmes and activities essential to operational safety of NPPs. It is not a regulatory inspection, nor is it a design review or a substitute for an exhaustive assessment of the plant’s overall safety status. Experts participating in the IAEA’s June 2010 International Conference on Operational Safety of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) reviewed the experience of the OSART programme and concluded: In OSART missions to NPPs are assessed against IAEA Safety Standards which reflect the current international consensus on what constitutes a high level of safety; and

  -  OSART recommendations and suggestions are of utmost importance for operational safety improvement of NPPs.

The IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan defines a programme of work to strengthen the nuclear safety framework worldwide in the light of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The plan was unanimously endorsed by IAEA Member States during the Agency’s 55th General Conference in September 2011. The Action Plan recommended: “Each Member State with Nuclear Power Plants to voluntarily host at least one IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission during the coming three years, with the initial focus on older nuclear power plants. Thereafter, OSART missions to be voluntarily hosted on a regular basis.”

Press Contacts

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA to Host International Symposium on Moderate Malnutrition in Children

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) event next week will focus on moderate malnutrition in children, with the aim of identifying areas in which further research is needed for effective prevention and treatment. 

The IAEA ‘International Symposium on Understanding Moderate Malnutrition in Children for Effective Interventions’ will be held on 26-29 May, 2014, at the IAEA’s Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Malnutrition is one of the most serious health problems facing poor countries, where it is a factor in more than one third of all deaths of children under five years of age.

The IAEA is developing and promoting standardized protocols for assessing body composition using stable isotope techniques, methods that complement other measures used to monitor global efforts in improving infant and child nutrition. The Agency also assists Member States in building the technical capacity to monitor sustainable interventions aimed at managing malnutrition.

More than 470 participants, from more than 68 countries and 22 international organizations, have registered for the Conference.

The following parts of the Conference, held in Boardroom A, 2nd floor of the M Building at the Vienna International Centre (VIC), are open to journalists:

   -  The opening session at 16:00 on Monday, 26 May. IAEA Deputy Director General Daud Mohamad will speak at this session.

   -  Session one including panel discussions to be held from 9.00-12.00 on Tuesday, 27 May. The first panel focuses on UN Agencies’ response to challenges related to the management of moderate malnutrition, while the second will highlight experiences and challenges in countries that manage moderate malnutrition successfully.

   -  The closing session, set to start at 16:00 on Thursday, 29 May.

More information about the Conference, including a daily programme, is available here.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms Elizabeth Dobie-Sarsam for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [43-1] 2600-21273.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

Joint Statement by Iran and IAEA

On 20 May 2014 the IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) held another technical meeting within the Framework for Cooperation agreed between the parties last November.

During the meeting the two sides reviewed the good progress that had been made on the seven practical measures that were agreed three months ago.

Iran and the Agency also reached agreement on five additional practical measures (see attached) to be implemented in the next step.


Attachment

 

PRACTICAL MEASURES IN RELATION TO THE

FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION AS AGREED ON 20 MAY 2014

 

The Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed on the following practical measures to be implemented, pursuant to the Framework for Cooperation, by Iran by 25 August 2014.

          (1)            Exchanging information with the Agency with respect to the allegations related to the initiation of high explosives, including the conduct of large scale high explosives experimentation in Iran.

          (2)            Providing mutually agreed relevant information and explanations related to studies made and/or papers published in Iran in relation to neutron transport and associated modelling and calculations and their alleged application to compressed materials.

          (3)            Providing mutually agreed information and arranging a technical visit to a centrifuge research and development centre.

          (4)            Providing mutually agreed information and managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities.

          (5)            Concluding the safeguards approach for the IR-40 reactor.

 

Press Contacts
IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA statement following meeting with Iran

Today the Agency and Iran held another technical meeting where progress was reviewed on the implementation of the practical measures that were agreed three months ago under the Framework for Cooperation. The Agency noted that Iran has taken several actions and that some related work continues.
 
Discussions on additional practical measures to be implemented in the next steps are ongoing.

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Pakistan’s Nuclear Regulatory Framework

IslamabadSenior international nuclear experts today concluded a 12-day Integrated  Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency that reviewed Pakistan’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety.

The mission reviewed the effectiveness of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) in regulating the safety of the use of nuclear and radioactive material. The authority’s mandate covers nuclear power plants, research reactors, waste management facilities, radiation source applications and facilities, decommissioning activities and transport of radioactive material.

The team made recommendations and suggestions to the PNRA and the Government to help them strengthen the effectiveness of Pakistan’s regulatory framework and functions in line with IAEA Safety Standards.

“PNRA has a well-established regulatory and legal framework that is based on IAEA safety standards. It conducts effective regulatory activities for nuclear power plants, including licensing, inspection, enforcement, lessons learned and emergency preparedness,” said Liu Hua, IRRS mission Team Leader and Vice Administrator of China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration.

PNRA Chairman Anwar Habib said the authority would seriously consider all recommendations and suggestions provided by the Mission.

“We believe that these will further improve our work and effectiveness, enhancing the confidence of our stakeholders, including the Government and the public,” he said.

The 21-member review team comprised experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Lithuania, Slovenia, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States, as well as four IAEA staff members and one observer from Japan. The Pakistani Government had invited the mission, which included site visits to observe inspections, an emergency exercise and interviews and discussions with PNRA staff and other organizations.

The main observations of the IRRS Review team included the following:

  • PNRA is an independent and competent regulatory body, empowered with the full scope of regulatory powers required by the IAEA standards, and is provided sufficient resources; and
  • The legislation and associated regulations provide a binding legal framework for nuclear and radiation safety in Pakistan.

Good practices identified by the IRRS team included:

  • The Government’s willingness to provide PNRA with sufficient financial resources;
  • A comprehensive national education system to support the nuclear programme, and a well-developed PRNA training programme to maintain staff technical and regulatory competence during a rapid expansion;
  • The development and implementation of a national public awareness programme for nuclear and radiation safety.

The mission also identified issues in need of attention or improvement, including the following:

  • The IAEA Fundamental Safety Principles should be fully incorporated into the Pakistan safety framework and the primary responsibility for safety should be clearly assigned;
  • The legal responsibilities and obligations with respect to the financial provisions for the management of radioactive waste, spent fuel and decommissioning should be clearly stipulated;
  • The National Radiation Emergency Coordination Center at PNRA should be modernized;
  • Regulations and regulatory guides that take the latest IAEA Safety Standards into account should be finalized and issued.

The final mission report will be delivered to the Government of Pakistan in about three months.

Quick Facts

Pakistan has three operating nuclear power reactors and two nuclear power reactors under construction at one site. It also has a large variety of nuclear installations and radioactive source users including research reactors, radioactive waste treatment, and medical and industrial applications.

About IRRS Missions

The IRRS missions review a broad spectrum of the nuclear legal and regulatory framework, resulting in recommendations to improve compliance with the IAEA safety standards and suggestions for further possible enhancement of the regulatory framework.

This is done through consideration of both regulatory technical and policy issues, with comparisons against IAEA safety standards and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere. IRRS missions are designed to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the national nuclear regulatory infrastructure of States, while recognizing the ultimate responsibility of each State to ensure safety in this area.

The IAEA encourages countries that have hosted initial IRRS missions to invite follow-up missions two to four years after the initial missions.

More information about IRRS missions is available on the IAEA Website.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

IAEA to Host International Conference on Human Resource Development

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) event next week will focus on the global challenges of capacity building, human resource development, education and training, knowledge management and knowledge networks in the field of nuclear power.

The IAEA ‘International Conference on Human Resource Development for Nuclear Power Programmes: Building and Sustaining Capacity’, which will be held on 12-16 May 2014 at the IAEA’s Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, will also include themes reflected in the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.

Capacity building is a major first step in the process of ensuring a sustainable supply of suitably qualified people who are ready to assume their responsibilities for safe, secure, responsible and sustainable use of nuclear technologies.  To support its Member States’ efforts to enhance their human resource development, the IAEA held a major conference on the issue in 2010, when participants recommended holding similar meetings every four to five years.

More than 300 participants, from more than 70 countries and four international organizations, have registered for the Conference.

Members of the press are invited to attend all sessions of the Conference beginning at 14:00, 12 May 2014 in Boardroom C of the C-Building at the Vienna International Centre (VIC).

Opening session speakers will include Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety and Security, and Alexander Bychkov, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy.

More information about the Conference, including a daily programme, is available here.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others shouldemail [email protected] or call [43-1] 2600-21273.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

Tsetse fly genome breakthrough brings hope for African farmers

Understanding DNA code for carrier insect will help scientists working to control livestock disease

Rome and Vienna – Scientists have cracked the genetic code of the bloodsucking tsetse fly, prompting hope that the breakthrough will help future efforts to control one of the most devastating livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa spread by the insect.

The tsetse genome was sequenced and annotated during a 10-year international collaborative effort that involved the Insect Pest Control Laboratory run jointly by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. The achievement allows scientists to better study the fly’s genes and their functions, knowledge that should open the door for researching ways to control the insect.

Found only in Africa, tsetse flies are vectors for the single-cell parasites that cause trypanosomiasis, or nagana, an often-lethal disease that affects some 3 million animals in the region each year at massive costs to farmers’ livelihoods and food security.

The disease leads to a debilitating chronic condition that reduces fertility, weight gain, meat and milk production, and makes livestock too weak to be used for ploughing or transport, which in turn affects crop production.

Humans bitten by carrier flies can develop African sleeping sickness, which can be fatal without treatment.

No vaccine against the disease exists for livestock or humans because the parasite is able to evade mammalian immune systems, so control methods primarily involve targeting tsetse flies through trapping, pesticide treatments and sterile male release strategies.

“Decoding the tsetse fly’s DNA is a major scientific breakthrough that opens the way for more effective control of trypanosomiasis, which is good news for millions of herders and farmers in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Kostas Bourtzis of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.

“Detection and treatment of trypanosomiasis is currently expensive, difficult and dangerous for the livestock as it often involves toxic drugs, but this new knowledge will accelerate research on tsetse control methods and help scientists develop new and complementary strategies to reduce the use of costly drugs and insecticides,” he said.

Unique biology

In their contribution to decoding the genome, scientists from the FAO/IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratory focused on the tsetse fly’s relationship with a symbiotic bacterium, Wolbachia, which in many insect species affects its host’s biology and physiology, including reproduction, mating behaviour and capacity as a vector.

“Our group was involved in the discovery of the horizontal transfer of large stretches of genomic sequence from the Wolbachia bacteria into the tsetse genome,” Bourtzis said. “How these gene insertions affect the biology of the tsetse is currently being investigated.”

The tsetse fly’s complex relationship with Wolbachia and two other symbiotic bacteria are part of its unique biology, which also involves feeding exclusively on vertebrate blood, giving birth to live young, and feeding young by lactation.

A first set of findings on the tsetse fly genome will be published in the journal Science on Friday in a paper entitled ‘Genome Sequence of the Tsetse Fly (Glossina morsitans): Vector of African Trypanosomiasis’.

Sterile insect technique

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division is currently supporting 14 African nations in their efforts to tackle the trypanosomiasis problem by controlling tsetse fly populations by integrating the sterile insect technique with other control methods. 

A form of insect birth control, the sterile insect technique involves releasing mass-bred male flies that have been sterilized by low doses of radiation into infested areas, where they mate with wild females. These do not produce offspring and, as a result, the technique can suppress and, if applied systematically on an area-wide basis, eventually eradicate populations of wild flies.

Tsetse flies were successfully eradicated from the island of Zanzibar using the sterile insect technique and are currently being suppressed in parts of southern Ethiopia. In January, Senegal reported that it was making significant progress in infested areas in the Niayes with the same method.

Established in 1964, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture uses the talents and resources of both organizations to broaden cooperation among their member countries in applying nuclear technology and related biotechnologies to improve sustainable food security.

Related links

Science for free access to full article upon log-on
FAO/IAEA Programme: Insect Pest Control
Senegal nears first victory in war on tsetse fly
1997 press release: Expert Group Confirms: Tsetse fly eradicated on Zanzibar

IAEA Video PAVING THE WAY FOR TSETSE ERADICATION – Ethiopia’s Journey
PHOTO ESSAY
TEXT STORY

Press Contacts
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IAEA Director General Amano meets H.E. Mr Shimon Peres, President of Israel

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met with President Shimon Peres of Israel on 31 March 2014, during the President’s State Visit to Austria.

During their meeting, the Director General and President Peres discussed areas of common interest.

They discussed ongoing cooperation between Israel and the Agency in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  “Israel is a valued partner for the Agency in the region, and beyond,” the Director General noted. “The Agency greatly appreciates our valuable collaboration with Israel in such areas as nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, and application of the sterile insect technique.”

On issues affecting the region, the Director General encouraged work towards a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

On Iran, the Director General briefed the President on progress under the IAEA/Iran Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation.  He also briefed on the Agency’s monitoring and verification role under the Joint Plan of Action, agreed by the EU/E3+3 and Iran. He stated that the Agency would continue to act in a technical, factual and impartial manner, in accordance with its Statute, in its work to clarify all outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear activities.

The Director General and President Peres also discussed issues related to Syria, and the DPRK.

Multimedia and Audio from the meeting

Photographs from the Meeting

Press Contacts

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

News conference to wrap up Convention on Nuclear Safety Review Meeting

A review meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety will end with a news conference on Friday, 4 April, in Vienna.

More than 800 delegates have attended the two-week Sixth Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety. Such meetings are convened every three years to hold peer discussions of the parties’ nuclear safety activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which serves as the Secretariat for the Convention, has hosted the meeting.

In addition to reviewing each other’s work, participants have discussed proposals to strengthen the Convention, which entered into force in 1996. An incentive instrument, it aims to commit participating States and organizations to maintain a high level of nuclear safety by setting international benchmarks. The 76 Contracting Parties to the Convention have committed to report on the implementation of their obligations, with the reports being reviewed by participants in meetings held every three years.

One day of the meeting was devoted to discussions on lessons learned from the March 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

More information about the Convention, including links to national reports from parties is available here.

Senior officials at the meeting include:

- President: André-Claude Lacoste, Former Chairman of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (France)

- Vice-President: Sukho Lee, Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety (Republic of Korea)

- Vice-President: Khoirul Huda, Badan Pengawas Tenaga Nuklir (Indonesia)

Media Opportunities

Media have the following opportunities to cover the review meeting:

- Session to finalize and approve Summary Report – Thursday, 3 April, 15:30-17:00, Boardroom A, M-Building

- News conference – Friday, 4 April, 14:30 M6, M-Building. The news conference will be streamed live online and available for downloading afterwards. Please note that this is a view-only channel.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms Jayne Stringer for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [43-1] 2600-21279 or [43-1] 2600-21273.

Malfunction briefly leaves radioactive IAEA lab source exposed

Equipment containing radioactive material at the IAEA’s Laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria, briefly malfunctioned on 24 March 2014 when its protective shield temporarily failed. While undergoing maintenance, the protective shield of a gamma source used for blood and insect irradiation became blocked in an unsafe position until IAEA safety staff restored the source into a safe configuration.

Radiation exposure to staff who were close to the equipment was extremely low. The event posed no threat to other on-site workers or the facility, and it released no radioactive material into the environment.

The IAEA has notified the Austrian authorities of the details, and will continue to study the incident to prevent any recurrence.

Press Contacts
IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

Parties to Convention on Nuclear Safety Hold Review Meeting, 24 March to 4 April

The 76 parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety will start a two-week meeting on Monday, 24 March, in Vienna, to review their work under the Convention.

The Sixth Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety will be hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is the Secretariat for the Convention.

The Convention, which entered into force in 1996, is an incentive instrument that aims to commit participating States to maintain a high level of nuclear safety by setting international benchmarks. Parties’ obligations under the Convention are similar to principles laid out in IAEA documents. Countries that are parties to the Convention have committed to report on the implementation of their obligations, with the reports being reviewed by participants in meetings held every three years.

An extraordinary meeting was held in 2012 to review and discuss lessons learned from the March 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and to review the effectiveness of the provisions of the Convention. One session at this year’s meeting is devoted to the accident. Proposals to strengthen the Convention will be also discussed.

More information about the Convention, including links to national reports from parties that have chosen to make them public, is available here.

Senior officials at the meeting will include:

- President: André-Claude Lacoste, Former Chairman of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) (France)

- Vice-President: Sukho Lee,  Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety  (Republic of Korea)

- Vice-President: Khoirul Huda, Badan Pengawas Tenaga Nuklir (Indonesia)

Press Opportunities

Media have the following opportunities to cover the review meeting:

- Opening Plenary Session – Monday, 24 March, 10:00 – 12:30, Boardroom A, M-Building, Vienna International Centre (VIC), including remarks from President Lacoste and Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security

- News briefing – Monday, 24 March, 12:30, Press Room, M-Building  

- Session to finalize and approve Summary Report – Thursday, 3 April, 15:30-17:00, Boardroom A, M-Building

- News conference – Friday, 4 April, 14:30 Press Room, M-Building

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms Jayne Stinger for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [43-1] 2600-21279 or [43-1] 2600-21273.

IAEA Hosts International Experts’ Meeting on Severe Accident Management after Fukushima

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will hold an expert meeting to share knowledge on ways to mitigate the impact of severe nuclear emergencies, drawing on lessons learned from the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The International Experts’ Meeting on Severe Accident Management in the Light of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant will convene from 17 to 20 March 2014 at the Agency’s headquarters in Vienna. Experts will share and discuss best practices, and lessons from past accidents will be reviewed.

The meeting is part of a series of expert meetings held to promote the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which sets out steps to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide in light of the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi. The Action Plan was endorsed by the IAEA’s General Conference in September 2011.

More than 200 participants, representing 48 IAEA Member States and four international organizations, will take part in the expert meeting. A report will be published on the IAEA website after the meeting.

Media Access

Journalists are invited to attend the 90-minute opening session, set to start at 14:00 on 17 March in Boardroom D, on the 4th floor of the Vienna International Centre’s C-Building.

A news conference with Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, and meeting Chair Mohammad Anwar Habib, Chairman of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), will take place at 15:30 on Thursday, 20 March in Boardroom D.

Accreditation

All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. Others should contact Ms Jayne Stinger for accreditation. Please email [email protected] or call [43-1] 2600-21279 or [43-1] 2600-21273.

Background Information

Reports from earlier International Experts’ Meetings:

Press Contacts
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IAEA Completes Nuclear Security Review Mission in the Republic of Korea

Daejeon, Republic of Korea (ROK) — A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts today completed a mission to review national nuclear security practices in the Republic of Korea.

At the request of the Government of the ROK, the IAEA conducted a two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission that reviewed the nation’s nuclear security-related legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities, as well as security arrangements applied to the transport of nuclear material and radioactive sources, and to computer systems. In addition, the team reviewed physical protection systems at Hanbit Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), operated by Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP), and at the High-Flux Advanced Neutron Application Reactor (HANARO), operated by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI).

The IPPAS team concluded that Korea is working well to conduct strong and sustainable nuclear security activities. Moreover, the team identified a number of good practices in the national nuclear security regime, and at the visited facilities. The team also made recommendations and suggestions for continuous improvement in nuclear security. 

The IAEA team was led by Joseph Sandoval, a staff member at the Sandia National Laboratories in the United States, and it included eight experts from six nations and the IAEA. The team met in Daejeon with officials from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC), representatives of the Korea Institute of Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Control (KINAC), the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), KAERI, and the Korea Electric Power Corporation Nuclear Fuel (KEPCO NF). They conducted site visits to the Hanbit NPP, the HANARO research reactor, the irradiation facility at KAERI’s Advanced Radiation Technology Institute (ARTI), and the KHNP Cyber Security Center.

“Successful development of a nuclear power programme necessitates a strong commitment to security, and the example given by the ROK strengthens the message about the value of applying the IAEA Security Guidance and the use of its advisory services,” said Carlos Torres Vidal, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security of Materials and Facilities Section.

“The IPPAS mission was very useful in improving the ROK’s nuclear security regime. The Republic of Korea will implement the recommendations and suggestions in the near future, and we intend to invite a follow-up mission afterwards,” said Kim Yong-Hwan, the Secretary General of NSSC.

Background

The mission was the 62nd IPPAS mission conducted by the IAEA since the programme began in 1995. The ROK was the 40th country which hosted an IPPAS mission.

IPPAS missions are intended to help States strengthen their national nuclear security regime. The missions provide peer advice on implementing international instruments, and IAEA guidance on the protection of nuclear and other radioactive material and associated facilities.

The missions call upon a team of international experts to assess a nation’s system of physical protection, compare it with international best practices and make recommendations for improvement. IPPAS missions are conducted both on a nationwide and facility-specific basis.

Related Resources

 

Press Contacts

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IAEA, EU Senior Officials Review Nuclear-related Cooperation, Chart Way Ahead

Vienna, Austria, 21 February 2014 | International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and European Union officials met this week for the second annual Senior Officials Meeting to review and further strengthen their nuclear-related cooperation.

The second Senior Officials Meeting followed the visit of IAEA Director General Mr Yukiya Amano in Brussels earlier this month where he met with the President of the EU Commission Mr José Manuel Barroso, Energy Commissioner Mr Günther Oettinger and other high level EU officials to discuss enhanced cooperation between the EU institutions and the IAEA. In addition, Amano met with the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on 2 February in Munich. Read the rest

Japan Reports New Water Leak at Fukushima Daiichi; IAEA Sees No Danger to Public

Japanese authorities have informed the IAEA that a leak from an overflowing water storage tank at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was detected in the late evening of February 19. About 100 cubic metres of radioactive water leaked to the ground adjacent to the tank storage area before the leak was stopped about six hours later.

Based on the information provided, IAEA experts consider that the leak poses no danger to the public.

IAEA experts also consider actions taken by Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) following the leak to be appropriate. These include an NRA recommendation that TEPCO remove soil contaminated by the leaked water, which will reduce the risk that contaminated water will be spread further through rain and groundwater.

Japan has not asked the IAEA for any assistance in connection with the leak from the tank. The IAEA will continue monitoring developments.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
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IAEA Hosts International Experts’ Meeting on Radiation Protection after the Fukushima Accident

Vienna – An IAEA International Experts’ Meeting (IEM) on Radiation Protection after the Fukushima Daiichi Accident- Promoting Confidence and Understanding, began today in Vienna.

During the week-long meeting, experts on radiation protection will discuss such topics such as the management of radiation exposures, potential health effects from the March 2011 accident at TEPCO’ Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, land management and public communication. Lessons from past accidents will also be reviewed.

The meeting will focus on the following areas:

  • Key radiation protection issues to be addressed by the international community;
  • Long-term strategies in response to nuclear or radiological accidents;
  • Assistance for IAEA Member States in reviewing and updating their radiation protection programmes as appropriate; and
  • Support for the IAEA’s work in the area of radiation protection.

Read the rest

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of the US Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Washington, D.C., United States of America – An international team of senior nuclear safety experts today concluded a nine-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review the regulatory framework for the safety of operating nuclear power plants in the United States of America (USA).

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission was a follow-up to the IRRS mission to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that was conducted in 2010, with the key additional aim of reviewing whether the response of the US regulatory regime to the implications of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi plant had been timely and effective.

Read the rest

Update: Remarks by IAEA Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta

The following is a transcript of remarks to reporters today by Tero Varjoranta, IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards, upon arrival at the Vienna airport:

“I am sure you are all aware of the joint press statement that we made with our Iranian counterparts. As you know, we reviewed the progress so far done after November and of course the progress has been as planned, and Iran has taken all the initial pragmatic measures that they were supposed to do. And we were able to agree on seven pragmatic measures now that Iran must take by the 15th of May.”

Question: Do you have any indication on the detonator issue that they are ready to answer questions they have not answered before?

Tero Varjoranta: What we discussed was that we will assess the first part of the past issues, which are related to detonators so we will discuss this we have a certain joint idea of how to proceed and then of course we have our own plans so we have plan, things are looking good at this point in time.

Question: Generally, broadly, has the level of trust improved between the sides? Are you able to engage in a more confident way?

Tero Varjoranta: Since November, when we started this framework of cooperation everything has gone as planned.

Question: But what about trust?

Tero Varjoranta: These things take time. And so far, everything has gone as planned.

Question: In these seven points, are all the interests of the agency covered? Do you expect to have any further agreements after May 15?

Tero Varjoranta: There will be new steps. This is the second step. These are the seven measures right now. And after May 15 there will be more.

Question: What has Iran told you about laser enrichment?

Tero Varjoranta: We agreed that we will be provided with more information and also we will carry out a technical visit to their laser centre that is of particular interest for us.

Question: Is it clear that Iran might have a small-scale laser enrichment programme that they have not discussed with you before?

Tero Varjoranta: We have quite a good understanding of how we approach the laser enrichment issue and in that respect we have a plan how to proceed. And in that respect I feel confident that we will find out what we need to know.

Question: Would you say a lot of work remains on the PMD investigation?

Tero Varjoranta: Certainly. This is the first step that is taking place now.

Question: So there’s a long way to go?

Tero Varjoranta: Yes, there are still a lot of outstanding issues, but progress has been good so now we start.

Question: Can you repeat that answer?

Tero Varjoranta: With the respect to the past outstanding issues, we have agreed on the first measures to take place by 15th of May, so there’s still of course work to be done on the past issues, and we will address them all in due course.   

IAEA Press Office
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IAEA and Iran conclude talks in connection with the implementation of the Framework for Cooperation

On 8 and 9 February 2014, the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) held constructive technical meetings within the Framework for Cooperation that was agreed between the parties last November.

During the meetings, the two sides reviewed progress on the implementation of the six initial practical measures that were agreed three months ago. Iran has taken the initial practical measures that were foreseen.

Iran and the Agency reached agreement on seven practical measures to be implemented by Iran by 15 May 2014.

The agreed measures are:

1. Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Saghand mine in Yazd.

2. Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Ardakan concentration plant.

3. Submission of an updated Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) for the IR-40 Reactor.

4. Taking steps to agree with the Agency on the conclusion of a Safeguards Approach for the IR 40 Reactor.

5. Providing mutually agreed relevant information and arranging for a technical visit to Lashkar Ab’ad Laser Centre.

6. Providing information on source material, which has not reached the composition and purity suitable for fuel fabrication or for being isotopically enriched, including imports of such material and on Iran’s extraction of uranium from phosphates.

7. Providing information and explanations for the Agency to assess Iran’s stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators.

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
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IAEA and Iran Joint Media Statement in Connection with the Implementation of the Framework for Cooperation, 9 February 2014

 “On 8 and 9 February 2014, the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) held constructive technical meetings within the Framework for Cooperation that was agreed between the parties last November.

During the meetings, the two sides reviewed progress on the implementation of the six initial practical measures that were agreed three months ago. Iran has taken the initial practical measures that were foreseen. 

Iran and the Agency reached agreement on seven practical measures to be implemented by Iran by 15 May 2014.

Details of the measures that have been agreed will be reported by the Director General to the Board shortly.”

IAEA Press Office
[43] 1 2600 21273
[email protected]

World Cancer Day: Learn How the IAEA Assists Member States in the Fight Against Cancer

Ahead of World Cancer Day on 4 February, the International Atomic Energy Agency is inviting journalists to learn about the Agency’s cancer-related work during an informal, on-the-record discussion hosted by Kwaku Aning, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation. The event is set to start at 11:00 on Friday 31 January in room MOE75 of the Vienna International Centre’s M-Building.

Read the rest

DG Amano – opening remarks at press conference 24 January 2014

OPENING REMARKS AT NEWS CONFERENCE

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today, the IAEA Board of Governors held a special meeting to consider the Agency undertaking monitoring and verification of measures to be implemented by Iran in relation to the Joint Plan of Action.

The Board expressed its full support and gave its endorsement.

Read the rest

IAEA Head Reports Status of Iran’s Nuclear Programme

Vienna, Austria - The following is a statement by Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency:

“I have reported today to the Board of Governors the status, as of 20 January 2014, of Iran’s nuclear programme in relation to the Joint Plan of Action agreed between the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 24 November 2013.

“I am pleased to note that the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action has started today. This is an important development.

“The IAEA is ready to undertake monitoring and verification in relation to the nuclear-related measures set out in the Joint Plan of Action. For this purpose, I have requested the convening of a Board of Governors meeting later this week to seek its endorsement.”

Press Contacts
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Remarks by IAEA Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta

The following is an edited transcript of remarks to media today by Tero Varjoranta, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards:

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. As I’m sure you all already know, we have issued the first status report today to the Board of Governors, showing the factual situation as of today in the country. We had a very busy weekend. The weekend in Iran went very well – good cooperation. We could do our work in a very effective manner.  So if you have any questions at this point in time I can take a few before I have to go and continue the hard work that is only now beginning.”

Q. Can you confirm that Iran has implemented what they have promised?
A. “Yes, I can confirm that.”

Q. Can you elaborate a little bit more on what you have confirmed?
A. “Well, for example they have stopped producing the 20 percent uranium. They have also ceased to use the tandem configuration of centrifuges; in other words, the interconnections have been removed from the place. The dilution process of the 20 percent uranium has started and the conversion process of the same type of uranium is also ongoing. So these are a couple of major examples.”

Q. Are the cascades previously used to enrich to 20 percent in Fordow now enriching to 3.5 percent instead, or have these cascades been idled?
A. “Right now of course the situation is that the cascades are kind of taken out … so the production itself has stopped.”

Q. What arrangements have been made for IAEA inspectors and increased access?
A. “We have a very robust system in place with Iran. Nothing is dependent on one single thing only – we have different processes in place. As is the case with all safeguards approaches to any facility in the world, of course these details are something that we do not disclose.”

Q. What is the extra cost?
A. “We are expecting six million euros to be needed for this Joint Plan of Action for the next six months that has started now. That will roughly double the size of the inspection team that we have in place as of today.”

IAEA convenes Board meeting on Iran

The following is a statement by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano:

“I welcome the recent announcement by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton regarding the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme, which is to take effect as of 20 January.

“I have received a request from Iran and the E3/EU+3 that the Agency conducts monitoring and verification of nuclear-related measures in relation to the Joint Plan of Action.

“I have requested that a meeting of the Board of Governors be convened on 24 January, to consult with the Board regarding the request by Iran and the E3/EU+3 for the Agency to undertake monitoring and verification of nuclear-related measures in relation to the Joint Plan of Action.”

Press Contacts
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IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Belgium’s Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Brussels, Belgium – Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded a 12-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in Belgium.

The mission reviewed the effectiveness of Belgium’s nuclear regulator, the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) and its subsidiary Bel V, in regulating the safety of the use of radioactive material. Their regulatory authority covers nuclear power plants, research reactors, fuel cycle facilities, radioactive waste storage facilities, radioactive waste management and decommissioning, occupational radiation protection, public and environmental exposures, emergency planning and response, and transport of radioactive material. Read the rest

Mexico safely recovers abandoned radioactive source

Mexico has told the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) that it has safely recovered the dangerous radioactive source that had been abandoned in a field after being stolen last week.

Mexico’s nuclear regulator, the Comision Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS), said the delicate and complex recovery operation was successfully completed on the evening of 10 December using a Federal Police robot. Read the rest

Statement by IAEA and Iran following technical talks in Vienna

Following technical talks between IAEA and Iranian experts in Vienna today, here is a transcript of a joint statement by the IAEA and Iran as read by Tero Varjoranta, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards:

“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I have a joint statement to make. We had a productive meeting today. We reviewed firstly the implementation of the six practical measures that are part of the joint Cooperation Framework that we have with Iran, which was signed on November 11. That also included the technical visit that we did at the Heavy Water Production Plant in Arak on 8 December. We also began to discuss the next practical steps – step two. We aim to reach agreement on what those practical measures are in our next technical meeting, which is scheduled for 21st of January in Tehran. Thank you.”

Video and Audio from 11 December joint press statement by IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Tero Varjoranta and the head of delegation, Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Reza Najafi of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

Video: ftp://ftp.iaea.org/dist/adpi/131211Iran_IAEA_v

Audio: ftp://ftp.iaea.org/dist/adpi/131211Iran_IAEA_a

Mexico prepares to recover dangerous radioactive source from field

Mexico has told the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) that it is finalising plans for the safe recovery of the dangerous radioactive source that appears to have been abandoned in a field, after the truck transporting it was stolen.

Mexico’s nuclear regulator, the Comision Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS), said the delicate and complex recovery operation was being carefully planned to ensure minimal radiation exposure to those involved, and to prevent damage to the source. Read the rest

Mexico says stolen radioactive source found in field

Mexico has informed the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) that it has located a dangerous radioactive source that had been missing since the truck on which it was being transported was stolen on 2 December.

Mexico’s Comision Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS) said law enforcement authorities tracked the teletherapy device down to a field near the town of Hueypoxtla in Mexico State, very close to where the truck was stolen, at around 14:00 (20:00 UTC) on 4 December. Read the rest

Mexico informs IAEA of theft of dangerous radioactive source

Mexico has informed the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) of the theft of a truck carrying a dangerous radioactive source used in medical treatment.
 
Mexico’s Comision Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS) said the truck, which was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City at around 08:00 UTC on 2 December.
  
At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged.

The Mexican authorities are currently conducting a search for the source and have issued a press release to alert the public.

The IAEA has made an offer of good offices to Mexico, a process that makes the IAEA available to provide assistance if requested by a Member State, and the IEC remains in contact with the CNSNS.

Press Contacts
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IAEA Team Completes Review of Japan’s Plans to Decommission Fukushima Daiichi

Tokyo, Japan — An IAEA expert team today completed a review of Japan’s efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The International Peer Review of Japan’s Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4 conducted its visit from 25 November to 4 December 2013.

The 19-member team praised Japan for adopting a more proactive approach towards addressing the many complex challenges posed by the nuclear accident. Relevant authorities have evolved their strategies over time to develop sustainable solutions.

“Japan has established a good foundation to improve its strategy and to allocate the necessary resources to conduct the safe decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi,” said team leader Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA Director of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology. “The situation, however, remains very complex, and there will continue to be very challenging issues that must be resolved to ensure the plant’s long-term stability.” Read the rest

Iran tells IAEA no quake damage found at Bushehr NPP

Iran informed the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre on 28 November 2013 that no damage had been found at Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, after a magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit an area some 65 km northeast of the plant at approximately 14:00 UTC. It said the plant, which was in operation at the time of the earthquake, continues to operate normally.

Based on this information, and the assessment of the IAEA’s International Seismic Safety Centre — which considers the earthquake’s magnitude and ground shaking, as well as its location — the IEC is not currently seeking additional information from Iran.

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of Czech Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Prague, Czech Republic – An international team of senior nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded a 12-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in the Czech Republic.

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission team said in its preliminary findings that the Czech regulatory system for nuclear and radiation safety is robust and that the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SÚJB) is an effective and independent regulatory body.

The review, conducted at the request of the Government of the Czech Republic, identified a series of good practices and made recommendations to help enhance the overall performance of the regulatory system. IRRS missions, which were initiated in 2006, are peer reviews based on the IAEA Safety Standards. Read the rest

DG Amano Introductory Statement to IAEA Board of Governors

Mr Chairman,

I will begin by congratulating the Republic of San Marino on becoming the 160th Member State of the IAEA.

Technical Cooperation

          Mr Chairman,

As you know, the meeting of the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee ended yesterday. I am grateful for the strong support for the Agency’s TC activities shown by Member States.

For over fifty years now, the TC programme has proved its worth on the ground, helping Member States to use peaceful nuclear technology to bring real benefits to their people. The programme has proven to be adaptable and capable of responding to Member State needs effectively. At the moment, for example, work is proceeding on the development of an important new inter-regional project to improve understanding of the impact of climate change on fragile polar and mountainous ecosystems. The proposed four-year project would address the retreat of glaciers, the loss of permafrost, and the reduction in snow cover resulting from climate change. Read the rest

Statement by IAEA Director General on Geneva agreement

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano issued the following statement today following the agreement in Geneva between the P5+1 and Iran:

“The IAEA welcomes the agreement reached in Geneva, which is another important step forward following the agreement reached between the Agency and Iran on 11 November in Tehran. With the agreement of the IAEA’s Board of Governors, the Agency will be ready to fulfil its role in verifying the implementation of nuclear related measures.”

IAEA Mission Concludes Peer Review of the Russian Federation’s Nuclear Regulatory Framework

Moscow – Senior international nuclear safety and radiation protection experts today concluded a 10-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review the regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety at the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of Russia (Rostechnadzor).

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission team said in its preliminary findings that the Russian Federation had made significant progress since an earlier review in 2009. It also identified good practices in the country’s nuclear regulatory system.

The review included measures taken following the recommendations and suggestions made by the 2009 mission. In addition, the mission reviewed the role of Rostechnadzor in the national emergency planning and response system and looked at how the Russian regulatory system is using lessons learned from the 2011 accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Read the rest

Morocco, International Organizations and IAEA Member States Conduct “Bab Al Maghrib” Exercise to Test Emergency Response to Dirty Bomb Attack

Planning for the unthinkable, “accident State” Morocco and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have prepared a two-day emergency exercise starting on 20 November 2013 during which the response to a dirty bomb explosion will be assessed. Fifty-eight States and 10 international organizations will test their national and international preparedness to respond to a radiological emergency triggered by nuclear security event. The exercise, codenamed “Bab Al Maghrib” marks the first time such scenario is exercised on such a large and international scale. The IAEA and participating international organizations greatly appreciate Morocco’s offer to prepare and host this exercise.

“Bab Al Maghrib” is part of the ConvEx-3 IAEA exercise programme. ConvEx-3 exercises are conducted every three to five years and have, until now, always been based on an accident at a nuclear power plant. The scenario this year is different: a dirty bomb explosion with threats of further attacks and widespread radiological consequences. Read the rest

Statement by IAEA and Iran following technical talks in Tehran

Following technical talks between IAEA and Iranian experts in Tehran today, here is the text of a joint statement read by Tero Varjoranta, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards, and H.E Ambassador Reza Najafi of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

“Iran and the IAEA held constructive technical discussions to follow up the Joint Statement that was signed earlier today.

“At this meeting, preliminary arrangements to begin implementation of the six measures listed in the Annex to the Joint Statement were discussed. This will include a technical visit in the near future to the Heavy Water Production Plant at Arak. Future meetings at the working level will finalise the details of implementation.

“Further discussion will be held at the next technical meeting, scheduled for 11 December in Vienna.”

 

 

 

IAEA Director General Comments on Cooperation Framework with Iran

Tehran – The following are remarks by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, at a news conference after he signed a Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran: Read the rest

IAEA, Iran Sign Joint Statement on Framework for Cooperation

11 November | Tehran – The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran today signed the following “Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation”.

JOINT STATEMENT ON A FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) have agreed today, 11 November 2013, to strengthen their cooperation and dialogue aimed at ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme through the resolution of all outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA.

In this regard, it was agreed that Iran and the IAEA will cooperate further with respect to verification activities to be undertaken by the IAEA to resolve all present and past issues. It is foreseen that Iran’s cooperation will include providing the IAEA with timely information about its nuclear facilities and in regard to the implementation of transparency measures. Activities will proceed in a step-by-step manner.

The IAEA agreed to continue to take into account Iran’s security concerns including through the use of managed access and the protection of confidential information.

As a first step, Iran and the IAEA agreed to the practical measures listed in the attached Annex. Iran will provide the access and information within three months from the date of this Statement. The IAEA will report to the Board of Governors on progress in the implementation of these measures.

For the INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY:  For the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN:
Yukiya Amano
Director General
Ali Akbar Salehi
Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
President of the Atomic Energy Organization
of Iran
Place:  Tehran Place: Tehran 
Date:   11 November 2013 Date: 11 November 2013

 

ANNEX TO THE JOINT STATEMENT ON A FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION OF 11 NOVEMBER 2013

INITIAL PRACTICAL MEASURES TO BE TAKEN BY IRAN
WITHIN THREE MONTHS

  1. Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Gchine mine in Bandar Abbas
  2. Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Heavy Water Production Plant
  3. Providing information on all new research reactors
  4. Providing information with regard to the identification of 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants
  5. Clarification of the announcement made by Iran regarding additional enrichment facilities
  6. Further clarification of the announcement made by Iran with respect to laser enrichment technology

IAEA Press Office
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Updated: Media events during upcoming IAEA General Conference

Press Activities for the GC 2013 – please see www.iaea.org/press  for updates throughout the week.

Date Time Topic Description Location
17 Sep 10:00   The UK Mission will hold a press briefing with Baroness Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change. We will hold it on a London Double Decker Bus on the Plaza (impossible to miss). Tea will be served. VIC Plaza
17 Sep 10:45 – 12:15 Radon Radon in Homes – An Unrecognized Risk M4
17 Sep 11:00 Scientific Forum Opening of this year’s Scientific Forum: The Blue PLANET, Nuclear Applications for a Sustainable Marine Environment. For more information and the live stream to this event, please see the Forum Website. Board Room D, C building, fourth floor
17 Sep 15:00 IAEA and EC to sign MoU, Nuclear Safety IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger will sign the Memorandum on Nuclear Safety, establishing a framework for cooperation to help improve nuclear safety in Europe. Both officials will offer short statements. M02 foyer Read the rest