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General Conference Day 1 Highlights

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Delegates at the opening day of the 62nd IAEA General Conference. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

At the start of the plenary session on the first day of the IAEA’s 62nd General Conference, Marta Žiaková of Slovakia was elected by acclamation as President of the Conference. 

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in his opening statement highlighted the IAEA’s unique contribution to international peace and security and its work to improve the health and prosperity of millions of people through the peaceful use of nuclear technology. 

message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations was delivered at the plenary session and can be accessed here. 

During the plenary session 34 delegations took part in the debate. Their full statements are available here.

The following side events took place on Monday:

During an interactive demonstration of the use of virtual reality in emergency preparedness and response event, delegates experienced a radiological emergency in virtual reality. The event illustrated virtual responses using radiation detectors and other equipment to render a scene safe during an emergency.

A delegate participates in the interactive demonstration of the use of virtual reality in emergency preparedness and response side event at the General Conference. (Photo: Y. Yustantiana/IAEA)

At the event Road to ReNuAL: Progress in implementation and next steps, three Member States, Brazil, Jordan and Morocco, were added to the donor wall of the IAEA Nuclear Applications Laboratories, marking their recent contributions to the renovation of the laboratories. Over €32 million has been donated since 2014 towards the modernization of the IAEA’s nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria.

The annual Treaty Event promotes universal adherence to the multilateral treaties for which the IAEA Director General is depositary, notably those related to nuclear safety and security as well as to civil liability for nuclear damage. IAEA staff members from the Office of Legal Affairs provided information on all conventions adopted under IAEA auspices.

hands-on demonstration of handling disused sealed radioactive sources also took place today. Radioactive sources have many different uses, including treating cancer, killing bacteria in food, sterilizing medical supplies, irradiating seeds to enhance food production, supporting prospecting for oil and gas, measuring the density of soil for construction and detecting smoke. Once they reach the end of their useful life, it is vital to ensure the safe and secure long-term management of these sources to reduce radiation hazards to the public and the environment.

Delegates participate at the 'hands-on demonstration of handling disused sealed radioactive sources' side event that took place during the General Conference. (Photo: F. Nassif/IAEA)

There was a side event on the presentation of the IAEA’s energy planning tools used by approximately 150 Member States (regardless of their interest in nuclear power). Using these tools, energy planners and policy analysts can plan and create optimal supply mixes, ultimately proposing the most effective approach to meeting future energy needs.

During the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) Forum 2018, the focus was on the on the implementation of safety standards. The panellists highlighted the importance of implementation to ensure a high level of nuclear and radiological safety worldwide. The IAEA explained what trends had been identified by peer review and advisory services and participants asked about information sharing, timelines and quality of translations of standards.

Member States side events:

At the event Physical and Cyber Security of Nuclear Facilities organised by the United Kingdom, speakers shared the county’s experience and the collaborative approach among policy makers, regulators and industry for the development of best practice solutions for physical and cyber nuclear security.

Canada’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Roadmap: Co-Creating the Path Forward, featured presentations by the Canadian government, regulatory, laboratory and industry representatives on Canada’s work on SMRs. The discussion covered Canada’s path forward and key areas for international collaboration.

The event on the Review of Sogin’s Plans for Dismantling of Garigliano and Trino Reactor Pressure Vessels: Results organised by Italy, highlighted work on facilities that were subject to the IAEA Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS).

The event on Brazil’s Nuclear Programme, included a presentation of the different areas of the programme, and highlighted activities and issues on energy production, technology application and defence, including aspects of the development of a nuclear propulsion submarine.

The event Accelerated Progress in Fukushima Daiichi (1F) Decontamination and Decommissioning, organised by Japan, provided an opportunity for a dialogue between representatives from Japan and the audience to reveal the progress that has been achieved at Fukushima Daiichi in the past seven years since the accident.

The Nuclear digital transformation event, organised by France, provided examples from the French nuclear industry on numerous initiatives by large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups that are under way in various fields. This event provided an opportunity to meet pioneers of the digital transformation and to share practical cases.

Other activities:

Country Programme Framework (CPF)

A CPF is the frame of reference for the medium-term planning of technical cooperation between a Member State and the IAEA and identifies priority areas where the transfer of nuclear technology and technical cooperation resources will be directed to support national development goals.

Abdykalyk Rustamov, Director of the Kyrgyz State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry and Dazhu Yang, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, signed Kyrgyzstan’s Country Programme Framework for the period 2018-2023.

Ambassador James Alex Msekela, Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the IAEA, and Dazhu Yang, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, signed Tanzania’s Country Programme Framework (CPF) for the period of 2018–2022.

The IAEA and Russia signed a contract for the transport of low enriched uranium (LEU) and equipment through Russian territory to and from IAEA LEU Bank in Kazakhstan. Mark Bassett, IAEA LEU Bank Executive, and Oleg Kozin, Deputy Director General, TENEX, (the authorized organization to conclude the Transport Contract with the IAEA) are pictured here signing the contract.

The signing ceremony. (Photo: F. Nassif/IAEA) 

The LEU Bank will host a reserve of LEU, and act as a supplier of last resort for Member States in case the supply of LEU to a nuclear power plant is disrupted due to exceptional circumstances and the Member State is unable to secure LEU from the commercial market or by any other mean. LEU is the basic ingredient used to fabricate fuel for most nuclear power reactors.

The IAEA and China

IAEA Deputy Director General Juan Carlos Lentijo, Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, and Liu Yongde, Secretary General of China Atomic Energy Authority, signed Practical Arrangements for the establishment of an IAEA Capacity Building Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response in China. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Follow the IAEA and #IAEAGC for the General Conference or #Atoms4Climate for the Scientific Forum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for updates throughout the week.

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Last update: 24 Sep 2018

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