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Iran is Implementing Nuclear-related JCPOA Commitments, Director General Amano Tells IAEA Board

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Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the Agency’s 35-member Board of Governors on Monday.

“As of today, I can state that Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments,” he said in his introductory statement to the Board. “The JCPOA represents a significant gain for verification. It is essential that Iran continues to fully implement those commitments. If the JCPOA were to fail, it would be a great loss for nuclear verification and for multilateralism.”

Mr Amano said IAEA inspectors had had access to all the sites and locations which they needed to visit. “The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement,” he added. “Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran continue.”

At a news conference later in the day, Mr Amano gave more details of the Agency’s activities in Iran.

“Our inspection work has doubled since 2013. IAEA inspectors now spend 3,000 calendar days per year on the ground in Iran,” he said. “We have installed some 2,000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear material and equipment. We collect and analyse hundreds of thousands of images captured daily by our sophisticated surveillance cameras in Iran — about half of the total number of such images that we collect throughout the world.”

Nuclear safety and nuclear energy

Two key reports to be considered by the Board of Governors this week are the Nuclear Safety Review and the Nuclear Technology Review (NTR) 2018.

The Nuclear Safety Review provides a global overview of nuclear security trends and priorities for 2018 and beyond, and sets out how the IAEA plans to further strengthen its work in nuclear safety, including waste management, while the NTR highlights global developments related to nuclear power as well as to a broad range of applications, including food and agriculture and health care.

On nuclear security, Mr Amano informed the Board that the IAEA is implementing the Nuclear Security Plan 2018-2021, which the Board adopted in September last year.

He announced the launch of a new IAEA service to assist Member States in the development of infrastructure for nuclear research reactors. “The first Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review for Research Reactors (INIR-RR) mission was conducted last month in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Amano noted that the IAEA’s energy modelling and planning tools were helping Member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. “These tools, already used by nearly 150 countries and 21 international organizations, enable experts to plan a country’s energy future, whether or not it includes nuclear power,” he said.

Mr Amano informed the Board that this year’s Scientific Forum in September will focus on climate change and the role of nuclear technology in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as in addressing the consequences of climate change.

Nuclear applications and technical cooperation

Mr Amano also noted the progress made in the modernization of the IAEA nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, near Vienna. This year, a new linear accelerator facility for the Dosimetry Laboratory will commence operations, while the new Flexible Modular Laboratory will be inaugurated in November. He expressed his gratitude to the 33 Member States, and other contributors, which have made over 32.5 million euros in financial and in-kind contributions to the modernization project.

Mr Amano said the most important Agency event this year would be the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology, which will take place in Vienna from 28 to 30 November.

“The conference will bring together ministers, technical experts and many others to consider how countries can make optimal use of nuclear science and technology in achieving their development goals”, he said. Among the important issues to be discussed at the conference is how this technology can help countries to produce more food, generate more electricity, treat diseases such as cancer, manage their water supplies, and respond to climate change, he added.

Another area of importance highlighted was the IAEA technical cooperation (TC) programme — a key mechanism for the delivery of IAEA services to Member States under the Agency’s Atoms for Peace and Development mandate. “In 2017, the TC implementation rate was 86.3%, an encouraging figure, which reflects the commitment and dedication of Member States and Agency staff, as well as increased regular budget funding for staff,” Mr Amano said.

As examples of successful TC programmes, he noted the Agency’s support for soyabean production in Indonesia, the launch of a new project entitled Educating Secondary Students and Science Teachers on Nuclear Science and Technology in the Philippines and support provided to Mexico after the 2017 earthquake to determine whether damaged structures are at risk of collapse.

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Last update: 14 May 2018

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