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General Conference: Day 4 Highlights


A range of exhibits featured at the 66th IAEA General Conference in Vienna this week, including this model of a research reactor. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Eleven countries have been newly elected to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for the period 2022-2023. 

The following side events took place on Thursday:

The launch of a new peer review service to support countries faced with limited resources and capacities for DSRS management, was presented at the event, Introducing Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources Technical Centre (DSRS-TeC) Peer Review Mission. Participants were informed that The Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources Technical Centre peer review (DSRS TeC) aims to increase and enlarge the accessible pool of resources and support for sustainable management of DSRS. DSRS TeC will review the technical proficiencies, operational processes, quality management and capabilities to operate at regional level and beyond. 

A panel of experts at the Enhancing Capacities of Member States in Africa to Achieve Food Security Through the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Techniques event addressed ways in which nuclear science and technology helps increase the efficiency of agricultural production, protects soil and water resources, ensures the safety and quality of food, and facilitates export and trade of agricultural produce. At the event, delegates reviewed the progress in the agricultural sector towards adapting to climate change on the African continent, with the help of nuclear science and technology. Participants agreed that nuclear techniques offer the means to help meet the growing demand for food. 

Participants at the Improving National Frameworks for Radiation Protection in Medical Exposure in Europe and Central Asia event, discussed how to enhance the protection and safety of patients in medical uses of ionizing radiation. They discussed ways of ensuring that every justified medical procedure is performed using the right dose to diagnose or treat disease. A panel discussion at the event focused on the challenges and common issues within regulatory frameworks related to medical exposure.  

The IAEA’s innovative approach to generating new information for policy makers on the nutritional and health benefits of underutilized crops improved through mutation breeding was the focus of the event, An Innovative Cross-disciplinary Approach to Improving and Evaluating the Nutritional Benefits of Underutilized Crops.  

At the Nuclear Hydrogen for Clean Energy Transitions: IAEA and OECD/NEA Perspectives event, the IAEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/NEA) shared the outcomes of their latest work on nuclear hydrogen as an enabler of clean energy transitions. Attendees heard about energy modelling activities; analyses of the competitiveness of, and business cases for, nuclear production of hydrogen; and current and future technologies for the large-scale production of low-carbon hydrogen using nuclear energy. 

Participants at the event, XCVD Presentation and Technical Demonstration, learned about The Next Generation Cerenkov Viewing Device (XCVD), an instrument for gross defect verification of spent fuel, which capitalizes on the recent progress in optics and embedded systems and saves verification results for accountability and traceability. A technical demonstration of XCVD showcased how the instrument combines performance and form to excel over past generations. The latest on the Robotized Cerenkov Viewing Device (RCVD), which will greatly increase the efficiency of larger spent fuel verification campaigns, was also presented to the participants. 

At the event, How Nuclear Forensics Supports Criminal Investigations, attendees took part in an interactive demonstration where they could experience a nuclear forensic examination and how to use a glovebox. The event showcased, through hypothetical scenarios and live demonstrations, how nuclear forensics can support criminal investigations through the examination of traditional forensics evidence contaminated with radionuclides at radiological crime scenes.  

Member States’ activities:

How nuclear techniques play a role in heritage science was the topic of the event, Atoms for Heritage — The Way Forward, where participants heard about the use of non-destructive techniques for the study, characterization, assessment and preservation of natural and cultural heritage. This side event was organized by Brazil, Egypt, France and the Netherlands.   

The discussion at the virtual session, Human-centricity as a Key Factor of Organizational Sustainability in the Nuclear Industry, organized by the Russian Federation, focused on the challenges faced by the nuclear industry and ways human-centricity – a human-centric approach – in the industry could lead to sustainability. During the session, senior experts discussed topics such as stress management and safety culture programmes.  

The virtues of experimental nuclear safety research facilities and the importance of international cooperation to support these were emphasized at the event, Key Contributions of Nuclear Research Facilities to Nuclear Safety, organized by France.  

The event, Together Towards Equal Representation of Women from All Regions, organized by Mexico and Women in Nuclear IAEA, aimed to enhance countries’ awareness of the importance of increasing the representation of women from underrepresented regions in IAEA activities.  

Other activities:

At the Senior Safety and Security Regulators’ Meeting today, heads of regulatory authorities and other senior regulatory officials in the fields of nuclear, radiation, transport and radioactive waste safety and nuclear security met to discuss regulatory challenges and share good practices. At the session participants also discussed IAEA secretariat initiatives to support regulatory bodies. 


Last update: 29 Sep 2022

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