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
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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
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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
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[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

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

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

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

 

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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
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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.

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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
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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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