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Closing Statement at Fifth Review Meeting of Contracting Parties to Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

Vienna Austria
5th Review Meeting of Contracting Parties

(As prepared for delivery)

Mr President, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

Your 12 days of hard work on the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management are drawing to a close.

This 5th Review Meeting has been very productive. It had one of the best attendance rates since the inception of the Joint Convention, with more than 600 delegates from 61 Contracting Parties taking part.

I encourage all Contracting Parties to take part in the review meetings and invite countries that have not yet done so to become party to the Convention. 

This meeting implemented modifications which were made to the guideline documents of the Joint Convention in 2014. I thank all of your for your contributions.

For the first time, a topical session was organized. It focused on the consequences of accidents at nuclear facilities and, in particular, on the activities of the IAEA in relation to the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

As you may know, the IAEA report on that accident was distributed to our Member States last week. I hope that the report will help to ensure that the lessons learned can be acted upon by governments, regulators and nuclear power plant operators throughout the world.

Needless to say, the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste is vital to global nuclear safety. Supporting the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste is one of the main activities of the IAEA.

Our work includes the development and application of safety standards and the organization of important events such as the 2014 IAEA Scientific Forum on Radioactive Waste Management. We are organizing an international conference on the same subject in 2016.

The recent launch of a new IAEA expert peer review service known as Artemis – Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation – reflects the importance which we attach to this area of our work.

This Review Meeting identified several overarching issues for the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. These included staffing, public involvement, the development and implementation of radioactive waste and spent fuel management strategies, as well as the management of disused sealed sources. Contracting Parties agreed to address some of these issues in their National Reports for the next Review Meeting.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Joint Convention plays an essential role in the establishment of a comprehensive global nuclear safety and security framework. I look forward to the day when all IAEA Member States are Contracting Parties and participate fully in the review process. The IAEA will do what it can to help achieve this goal.

I thank all of you for your active participation in the 5th Review Meeting, especially the officers of the seven country groups, who worked very hard. I am grateful to the Vice Presidents, Mr Jamet and Mr Song, and to you, Mr President, for steering the meeting to its successful conclusion.

I wish you all every success as you prepare for the 6th Review Meeting in 2018, which I am confident will make an equally important contribution to improving global nuclear safety.

Thank you.  

Last update: 26 July 2017

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