I will begin by highlighting recent developments in nuclear safety and security.
My report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and five technical volumes, have been made available on the IAEA public website ahead of the General Conference next week. They will be presented to Member States in printed form during the General Conference and a side event will be held.
I am grateful to the experts from many countries and international organizations who contributed to this report, and to my IAEA colleagues who wrote, edited and reviewed it. This was a major undertaking.
I believe that this IAEA report will provide a solid knowledge base for the future and will help to improve nuclear safety throughout the world. I hope that governments, regulators and nuclear power plant operators in all countries will continue to act on the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
My fourth and final report on the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety shows that progress continues to be made in improving nuclear safety throughout the world. Issues highlighted under the Action Plan will continue to be addressed through the regular work of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security and other relevant departments. I will keep the Board informed of progress.
In June, over 180 representatives from 42 Member States took part in our International Conference on Operational Safety, which addressed a wide range of technical, human and organizational issues.
Two other important nuclear safety events are coming up. In October, we will host an International Conference on Global Emergency Preparedness and Response. In November, we will host the International Conference on Research Reactors: Safe Management and Effective Utilization.
The Nuclear Security Report 2015 shows continued growth in the Agency’s work in support of national and global efforts to improve nuclear security.
In the past year, the Agency continued to support implementation of physical protection upgrades at nuclear facilities in Member States and conducted four International Physical Protection Advisory Service missions.
We assisted in the removal of high enriched uranium from a research reactor in Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation. We provided training in nuclear security to more than 3,200 people. Five States joined the Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB) programme, bringing the total number of participating countries to 131.
It is now ten years since the adoption of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Entry into force has come a major step closer following adherence to the Amendment in July by Italy, Turkey and the United States.
But adherence by 14 more countries is still needed. I appeal to all countries, especially those that are parties to the CPPNM, to adhere to the Amendment, if they have not already done so, so this very important instrument can come into force as soon as possible.
Our Treaty Event at the General Conference next week will, once again, have a special emphasis on the CPPNM Amendment.
I wish to inform the Board that the Republic of Korea has offered to chair, at ministerial level, the next IAEA Nuclear Security Conference, which will take place in December 2016.
Turning now to nuclear energy, there are 438 nuclear power reactors in operation in 30 countries today. Sixty-seven new reactors are under construction. There have been six new grid connections so far this year and six permanent shutdowns.
Unit 1 at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Japan has restarted and is undergoing final regulatory checks before the expected resumption of commercial operations this month. It will be the first reactor to resume commercial operations under the new regulatory framework introduced after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Paris in November and December. Many countries remain interested in adding nuclear power to their energy mix, or expanding existing nuclear power programmes, not least because of the contribution which nuclear can make to mitigating the effects of climate change.
Nuclear power is one of the lowest emitters of carbon dioxide among energy sources, considering emissions through the entire life cycle.
Last week, we completed an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in Kenya, following a mission to Nigeria in June. An INIR mission will take place in Morocco in October.
We recently published a revised and updated version of our key guidance document for countries contemplating nuclear power – Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power.
More than half of the world’s operating nuclear power reactors are more than 30 years old and some 14% of them are over 40 years old. In May 2016, we will hold an international conference in Madrid to consider the development of safe, secure and efficient decommissioning and environmental remediation programmes.
Assurance of Supply
Last month, I signed a Host State Agreement and a related technical agreement with the Government of Kazakhstan establishing an IAEA Bank of low enriched uranium in that country. A second technical agreement was concluded with the operator of the IAEA LEU Bank.
This is a significant step forward. The legal framework is now fully in place and we can move towards full-scale implementation.
The IAEA LEU Bank will serve as a supply of last resort. It is a mechanism to provide confidence to countries that they will be able to obtain LEU for the manufacture of fuel for nuclear power plants in the event of an unforeseen disruption to their supplies that cannot be remedied by commercial means.
I am grateful to the Government of Kazakhstan for volunteering to host the IAEA LEU Bank. I will keep the Board informed of developments.
Nuclear Applications and Technical Cooperation
Turning now to the ReNuAL project to modernise our nuclear applications laboratories in Seibersdorf, I am pleased to inform the Board that detailed designs for the two new laboratory buildings have been completed.
We can now proceed with construction of the Insect Pest Control Laboratory, starting in early 2016, with the aim of completing it by the end of 2017. Work to prepare the site for construction begins this week – in fact, I understand that the bulldozers are on the site as I speak.
Construction of the Flexible Modular Laboratory can begin once the remaining extrabudgetary funds are available. Cost efficiencies will be maximized if this building can be constructed in parallel with the Insect Pest Control Laboratory.
ReNuAL is a very important project for the Agency as the laboratories are the engine of much of the technical support which we provide to Member States.
Although considerable progress has been made, substantial additional funding is still needed. I therefore reiterate my call to all Member States in a position to do so to support the ReNuAL project and ensure that the Agency can continue to offer high-quality scientific support to our Member States.
In a few weeks’ time, world leaders are expected to approve the new Sustainable Development Goals. I particularly welcome the fact that the SDGs highlight the key role of science and technology in achieving sustainable development. This is something I have long been calling for.
The Agency has for many years made a major contribution to development by making nuclear science and technology available in areas such as food production, water management and agriculture. Our work deserves greater recognition.
One area where we have made a very visible contribution is cancer control in developing countries. I am pleased that a target of a one-third reduction in premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, including cancer, is being included in the SDGs. Meeting this target will require a reduction of millions of cancer deaths in the next 15 years. I believe this is an achievable goal provided there are strong partnerships among the international organisations concerned.
The Agency, through its technical cooperation and human health programmes, has a long history of supporting Member States in developing the capacity and infrastructure for cancer control. Through our Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), we will continue to play an essential role.
The technical cooperation programme is our main delivery mechanism for making nuclear applications available to help countries meet their national development goals. It makes a real difference to the lives of millions of people.
Demand from Member States for Agency assistance in all areas of our work is growing every year. It is essential that resources for the Technical Cooperation Fund are sufficient, assured and predictable to meet that demand. I encourage all countries in a position to do so to contribute to the TCF. I also welcome support for the Peaceful Uses Initiative, which is complementary to the TCF, and I am grateful for the pledges of support for the PUI which we have received.
A proposal on ways to strengthen the Due Account mechanism is before the Board for consideration. We will continue to work with Member States to ensure an efficient and equitable system for funding the technical cooperation programme, and to promote a higher rate of attainment.
Next week, the IAEA Scientific Forum will focus on Atoms in Industry. Leading world experts will examine the key role that nuclear technologies play in a wide range of industries, from the production of high-performance materials to the control of disease-causing organisms and pollutants. I encourage all countries to participate.
Conclusion of Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
I will now turn to nuclear verification.
The number of States with safeguards agreements in force now stands at 182, while 126 States have brought additional protocols into force. I ask non-nuclear-weapon States party to the NPT without comprehensive safeguards agreements in force to bring such agreements into force without delay. I hope that States which have not yet concluded additional protocols will do so as soon as possible. I also call on States with small quantities protocols based on the old standard text to amend or rescind them.
We have held two technical meetings on safeguards implementation this year and a third is planned for early November.
In line with the Supplementary Document, we continue to update State-level approaches for States under integrated safeguards. To date, two of these countries have updated State-level approaches, which are now being implemented. Updated State-level approaches for another four countries under integrated safeguards are being reviewed. First experience does not indicate any changes in the in-field verification effort as a result of the updated State-level approaches.
The Department of Safeguards is preparing a cost-benefit analysis of the practical implementation of safeguards in the context of the State-level concept.
The workload of the Department is growing steadily as more nuclear facilities and material come under safeguards every year. Our additional responsibilities concerning safeguards implementation in Iran, which I will address in a moment, are also stretching manpower. These and other factors all have a bearing on the pace of updating the State-level approaches.
I will continue to keep the Board informed of developments.
Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
The Agency remains unable to undertake verification in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and our knowledge of the country’s nuclear programme is limited.
Nevertheless, we have maintained our readiness to return to the DPRK, if requested to do so by the DPRK, and subject to approval by the Board.
We continue to monitor developments at the Yongbyon site, mainly through satellite imagery. Since my last report, we have observed renovation and construction activities at various locations within the site. These appear to be broadly consistent with the DPRK’s statements that it is further developing its nuclear capabilities.
I call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations, to cooperate promptly with the Agency, and to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that have arisen during the absence of Agency inspectors from the country.
Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran
I will now turn to the implementation of safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. However, the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
At its meeting on August 25th, the Board authorised me to undertake the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed by the E3/EU+3 countries and Iran, subject to the availability of funds and consistent with our standard safeguards practices.
As stated in the JCPOA, Iran will implement the Additional Protocol. This will give the Agency greater access to information and to sites in Iran. Implementation of the Additional Protocol is an essential prerequisite for the Agency to be able to provide, in due course, credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.
Iran has also agreed under the JCPOA to implement additional transparency measures, which will help the Agency to have a better understanding of Iran’s nuclear programme.
In my report to the August Board, I spelled out the financial implications for the Agency of our continuing work under the existing Joint Plan of Action, as well as preparatory and implementation work under the JCPOA.
There are no changes to the Regular Budget for 2016. We will need to meet all additional costs until the end of 2016 through extra-budgetary contributions. I intend to start consultations with Member States immediately after the General Conference on the implications of JCPOA implementation for the Regular Budget for 2017 and beyond.
I express my gratitude to Member States that provided contributions for our work under the JPA. I call on all Member States in a position to do so to contribute towards the additional financial needs of the Agency in relation to Iran.
On July 14th, I signed a Road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme with Mr Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice-President of Iran and President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
As agreed in the Road-map, Iran provided the Agency on August 15th with explanations in writing, and related documents, for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues. We are reviewing this information and will submit our questions to Iran by September 15th.
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic
As far as safeguards implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic is concerned, the Board will recall that, in May 2011, I reported that it was very likely that a building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site was a nuclear reactor that should have been declared to the Agency by Syria.
Since my last report, no new information has come to our attention that would affect that assessment. The Agency remains unable to provide any assessment concerning the nature or operational status of other locations referred to in my report of May 2011. I urge Syria to cooperate fully with the Agency in connection with all unresolved issues.
Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East
As my report on Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East shows, there remain long-standing and fundamental differences of views among countries of the region with regard to the application of comprehensive Agency safeguards to all nuclear activities in the region. In these circumstances, it has not been possible to make further progress in fulfilling my mandate from the General Conference in this area. I will continue my consultations.
I will now take up a number of management issues.
As I stated in my report on Staffing of the Agency’s Secretariat, we continue our efforts to secure employees of the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence, and integrity. We have also intensified our efforts to increase the number of staff recruited from developing countries, or other Member States which are under-represented, especially at senior and policy-making levels, as requested by the General Conference.
Notable improvements have been made in the representation of women in the Secretariat, both in the Professional and higher categories, and in the scientific/engineering field. The percentage of Professional women among Regular Staff has risen to 27.8%.
Women make an enormous contribution to the work of the Agency at all levels. I strongly encourage all Member States to actively help us achieve the ultimate goal of equal gender representation.
Finally, Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank two senior staff members who will be leaving us shortly. Mr Denis Flory, who has served as DDG for Nuclear Safety and Security for the last five years, made a major contribution to improving nuclear safety throughout the world after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. I have appreciated his valuable advice on safety and security matters. Ms Caro Cook has been a dynamic and energetic Director of the Office of Procurement Services and has made a substantial contribution to the Agency. I wish both Denis and Caro every success for the future.
Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
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