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IAEA Director General Visits Spain, Marks 25 Years of Regional Regulators' Forum


Spain’s King Felipe VI and IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met on Friday to discuss the impact of the IAEA’s work and the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. (Photo: Casa de su Majestad el Rey, Spain)

“Spain’s unwavering support of the IAEA is invaluable as we face today’s global challenges and opportunities,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, following his first official visit to the country this week. “Spain has been a steadfast Agency partner, from supporting activities to secure nuclear safety and security in Ukraine to facilitating the transfer of nuclear science and technology knowledge for sustainable development.” Mr Grossi met with Spain’s King Felipe VI on Friday to discuss the impact of the IAEA’s work and the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology.

The IAEA Director General also met with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Castejon and José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, with whom he discussed maintaining and strengthening multilateralism and efforts to continue working to ensure that nuclear material is not diverted from peaceful purposes. “Our collective efforts are critical to address the current challenges facing nuclear non-proliferation,” Mr Grossi said.

Spain has responded to the IAEA’s call for support to reinforce surveillance in Ukraine. The country supports the work of the IAEA to guarantee the seven pillars of nuclear safety and security in nuclear facilities in Ukraine, stated Mr Albares.

During the week, Mr Grossi spoke with experts of the Elcano Royal Institute, a think-tank for international and strategic studies, and also met with the institute’s Director Charles Powell. “In a world faced with demanding challenges, thought and reason must more than ever guide action,” Mr Grossi said. “The work, research and analysis of this institution is invaluable to decision makers in Spain and Ibero-America.”

Mr Grossi also addressed nuclear professionals at the World Nuclear University’s Summer Institute, where he spoke about the role of the IAEA and the outlook for the nuclear sector, as well as the importance of gender diversity within the nuclear industry.

DG celebrates 25th anniversary of Ibero-American Forum for regulatory agencies

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Ibero-American Forum of Radiation and Nuclear Safety Regulatory Agencies (FORO) in Madrid, Spain, on 22 July. (Photo: D. Candano/IAEA)

On Friday, Mr Grossi joined high-level officials to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Ibero-American Forum of Radiation and Nuclear Safety Regulatory Agencies (FORO).

FORO was established in 1997 to foster the exchange of information and good practices among its member countries, which now include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay. Since its inception, FORO and the IAEA have cooperated to strengthen nuclear safety and security across the Ibero-American region.

The two have completed 15 projects related to the standardization of inspections for nuclear research reactors, emergency preparedness and response, licensing criteria and inspection programmes, control and transport of radioactive material, and tools such as SEVRRA – a system to evaluate risk in radiotherapy, among others. Seven joint projects are ongoing, and six IAEA-FORO technical documents have been developed, most recently one on safety culture published in Spanish in April 2022. “With increased opportunities for nuclear to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change and cancer, the international cooperation of regulators is of utmost importance,” Mr Grossi said.

Spain became a member of the IAEA in 1957 and has seven nuclear power reactors in operation, providing 20 per cent of the country’s electricity. The country has contributed to the IAEA by allocating experts, hosting fellowship and scientific visits, providing extrabudgetary funding and supporting the Agency’s nuclear decommissioning and waste management activities. In March 2019, Spain’s Guardia Civil Training Centre became the first law enforcement organization to be designated an IAEA Collaborating Centre in Nuclear Security.

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