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IAEA Director General, French President Discuss Nuclear Issues

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and France's President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, 19 October 2017. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed North Korea’s nuclear programme, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and world powers, and the role of nuclear power in sustainable development and combating climate change.

“We believe the situation in North Korea is very serious and difficult,” Mr Amano said on Thursday in Paris, where he had meetings with President Macron and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian. “North Korea’s nuclear tests, nuclear weapons and nuclear missiles pose a serious and global threat.”

Regarding Iran, Mr Amano confirmed that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented and that the IAEA has had access to all locations it needed to visit.

President Macron assured of France’s strong support for the IAEA’s role in monitoring and verifying Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA.

In Paris, Mr Amano also met representatives of Electricité de France (EdF) and the Areva group. He visited the Centre de l’ANDRA in Meuse, Haute-Marne, France’s northeast, where a deep geological repository for the country’s high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is planned.

At Centre de l’ANDRA, Mr Amano saw the underground laboratory, and the work to ensure safety at the site during its construction, operation and after its closure. He said the facility was testimony to how France is seriously addressing its responsibilities for high and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal.

ANDRA representatives briefed Mr Amano on their work with the IAEA in preparation for the facility. They noted that in November last year the IAEA conducted a peer review of the disposal facility, finding its safety options to be thorough. The French engineers also discussed their willingness to share their experience with other countries.

There are no high-level waste facilities in operation anywhere in the world today. France, Finland and Sweden are the three countries that have made the most progress towards operating such facilities.

IAEA Director General Amano (right) at Centre de l’ANDRA's underground laboratory in Meuse, Haute-Marne, where a deep geological repository for France’s high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is planned. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

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