Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, dear Colleagues,
Today, we gather here for this ground breaking event marking the start of construction of the extension to the IAEA´s Clean Laboratory. I thank you all for your participation in this event and your interest in this project.
Here in Seibersdorf we have six laboratories and we are going to break ground for the extension of the Clean Laboratory.
The objective of this project is to modernize the Clean Laboratory and install a secondary ion mass spectrometer. This new equipment will greatly enhance the Agency´s ability to perform timely and accurate isotope analysis of particles. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2010.
I would like to emphasize that the effectiveness of the Agency´s work depends to a considerable extent on maintaining a credible analytical capability. Therefore, from the very beginning of my work as Director General, the enhancement of the Agency´s analytical capabilities has been one of my top priorities.
As I informed the Board of Governors in March, we have also completed a realignment of the management of the laboratories. With the new arrangement, we can make the laboratories more effective and efficient in serving the needs of Member States.
Needless to say, our efforts to modernize the laboratories would be impossible without the active support of Member States. I thank all of you for the encouragement and support which you have given us. This is really a result of the joint efforts of all the members of the IAEA and the success of the project will belong to you all.
That said, I specifically thank the Governments of the Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the United States of America for their generous financial contributions. Our thanks also go to the Government of Austria for being an exemplary host of the Agency and for generously making additional land available for the Laboratories.
I also appreciate the valuable cooperation provided by the local authorities, the people of Seibersdorf and our friends and neighbours at the Austrian Institute of Technology. This is indispensable for ensuring the successful day-to-day operation of our laboratories.
Extending the Clean Laboratory will, of course, not be the end of the story. We hope construction of the new Nuclear Material Laboratory will start next year and that it will be completed by 2013. Further extrabudgetary funding will be required for this. Our budget estimates for the year 2011, which have been presented to the Board, include the programme Enhancing Capabilities of the Safeguards Analytical Services (ECAS) and the site development programme in Seibersdorf.
The work of the Seibersdorf Laboratories is not limited to safeguards activities. I hope today´s visit will give you an opportunity to gain more of an insight into the scientific work being carried out here by the Agency on behalf of all of you, the Member States.
As you know, in addition to the safeguards work, a wide range of programmes in human health, food and agriculture, industrial applications and the environment are also conducted here. All of our staff are proud of their work and will be pleased to respond to any questions you may have.
I have asked Deputy Director General Burkart to present to you some highlights of our laboratory activities in the field of nuclear sciences and applications.
With this, I would now ask the representatives of each regional group, as well as the donors, to join me in breaking the ground where the construction work of the Clean Laboratory Extension will soon commence.