(As prepared for delivery)
Good morning, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am very pleased to welcome you all to this Seventh Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
There have been important developments in many areas of nuclear safety since the Sixth Review Meeting three years ago.
The IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety made a valuable contribution to improving safety globally after the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011. The need to maintain a robust safety culture is now universally recognised.
Countries with nuclear power programmes took vigorous steps to reassess all aspects of safety and to make improvements, where necessary. Some countries reformed their regulatory systems.
Continuing Agency activities related to the Action Plan are now being implemented through our regular work.
In February 2015, Contracting Parties to the CNS held a Diplomatic Conference at which they adopted the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety. It contains principles to guide countries in achieving the objectives of the Convention. I understand that Contracting Parties have reported on actions taken in relation to the Vienna Declaration.
In August 2015, I published my Report on the Fukushima Daiichi Accident, along with five technical volumes by international experts.
The report distils lessons learned from the accident and provides a knowledge base for the future. It will serve as the key reference document for many years to come.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Every country that uses nuclear technology has a responsibility to create a robust framework for safety and security. This is a national responsibility that cannot be outsourced.
But effective international cooperation is also essential. The IAEA has a vital role to play in enabling countries to share experiences and best practices.
Last June, I outlined the way ahead for the Agency’s activities in my report on Building on the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.
My draft Nuclear Safety Review 2017, published in February this year, details priority activities for strengthening our work in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety.
For example, we plan to give increased attention to issues such as the safety of radioactive sources used in industry, health care and other non-power applications. We will continue to focus on regulatory effectiveness, safety culture and capacity-building.
We will also continue to strengthen IAEA safety standards and help Member States to apply them.
We will finalise a revised Safety Guide on ageing management and safe long-term operation of nuclear power plants. We will provide forums for Member States to share experience in strengthening severe accident management guidelines.
Offering peer review and advisory services, and supporting education and training, will remain an important part of our work.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Convention on Nuclear Safety is a very important mechanism which has contributed a lot to strengthening nuclear safety in the countries which are party to it.
I encourage all countries which have not yet done so to become parties to the Convention.
You have a very busy programme for the next two weeks. I wish you every success with the Seventh Review Meeting and I look forward to learning about the outcome.