The International Atomic Energy Agency commends the Russian Federation, founding member of the IAEA and one of the key stakeholders in shaping the Agency over the past five decades, for organizing this commemorative event in the Diplomatic Academy. Russia has played a constructive role in, multilateral diplomacy and in addressing global challenges such as energy security, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
One of the key areas that has shaped our decades long cooperation has been the development of nuclear power applications for electricity generation. The Obninsk reactor that was connected to the grid as the world´s first nuclear power plant generating electricity testifies to the pioneering role of Russia in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. And now, some fifty years later, Russia is a staunch supporter of the IAEA´s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO). This project represents a unique platform for international cooperation and its role is recognized throughout the nuclear community.
I should also recall another recent initiative of President Putin, based on recognition of the fact that the expected expansion in nuclear power over the next few decades will drive a commensurate increase in demand for nuclear fuel cycle services and the need for an assurance of supply mechanism. This initiative, which is the most advanced among the proposals made by a number of governments, relevant to the development of a new, multilateral framework for the nuclear fuel cycle, resulted in the establishment of an International Uranium Enrichment Centre in Angarsk in 2007. The Agency has joined Russia on working to develop a proposal to set aside a fuel bank under IAEA control at Angarsk that would be available to States as a supply of last resort. I trust this joint proposal will attract broad international support, thereby facilitating the use of nuclear energy for development as well as addressing nuclear proliferation concerns.
The cooperation between the Agency and Russia has also been exemplary in support of efforts for the application of international standards and guidelines to enhance the safety and security of nuclear power plants, research reactors and radioactive sources. In addition, there has been valuable cooperation in the return to the country of origin of nuclear fuel no longer required for the operation of research reactors.
I take this opportunity of the meeting of the Diplomatic Academy marking 50 years of cooperation between the Agency and Russia, to express my personal appreciation of our professional and close working relationship. I assure the Russian Federation that the International Atomic Energy Agency looks forward to continue working with you to meet the dual challenge of harnessing the atom for peace, health and prosperity throughout the world, and helping to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.