Statement of the G-77 and China during the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting 4-8 March 2013 delivered by Ambassador Mahmoud Hassan Elamin, Permanent Representative of the Sudan

Agenda Item 3: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety

(a) Nuclear Safety Review 2013
Mr. Chairman,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the G-77 and China on agenda item 3: Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety.

2. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Director General for his introductory statement and for issuing the Nuclear Safety Review for 2013, as contained in document GOV/2013/4. The Group also thanks DDG Denis Flory for his presentation of this agenda item and for the technical briefing on 22nd of February 2013.

Mr. Chairman,

3. While recognizing that the primary responsibility for nuclear safety rests within the Member States, the Group continues to believe that the Agency plays an important role in this field as provided for in Article III of the Statute and must retain the central role, owing to its statutory functions and long standing expertise. The Group emphasizes that improved nuclear safety measures should be used to enhance the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses.

4. The Group notes with satisfaction that the CSS in its review of the IAEA Safety Requirements has confirmed the adequacy of the current Safety Requirements. The review revealed no significant areas of weakness. The Group stresses that, as more Member States explore, embark upon or expand their interests in nuclear energy, the Agency should intensify its programs to assist Member States in meeting their growing challenges for appropriately establishing and managing their nuclear safety infrastructure.

5. The Group welcomes the Agency's continuing efforts to promote nuclear safety worldwide and reiterates its support for the Agency's activities aimed at supporting nuclear safety infrastructure development in Member States introducing nuclear power or expanding their existing programs, upon their request. The Group would like to express its appreciation for the various activities organized by the Agency for keeping Member States informed of developments relating to nuclear safety, inter alia, through the technical briefings and updated information provided to Member States periodically.

6. The Group also reiterates its conviction that vendors of nuclear technologies have a responsibility to ensure that users have access to all information and resources necessary for safe operation. The Group calls upon the Agency to maintain its facilitating role in this regard. More broadly, the Group highlights the central role that the Agency plays in the exchange of information in order to enhance the capabilities of experts from developing countries on relevant evolutions of standards, technology and good practices in the field of nuclear safety.

7. The Group notes that the agency offers many peer review services upon request, inter alia, for assessment of safety of nuclear installation, research reactors, regulation, fuel cycle facilities, design, decommissioning and for the assessment of infrastructure development program.

8. The Group appreciates the Agency's assistance for development of Nuclear Safety infrastructure to the Member States embarking on nuclear power and research reactor programmes. Agency's activities in this regard would help these Member States in the successful implementation of their nuclear programmes.

9. The Group notes that the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC) has started contributing towards the development and review of nuclear security Series Publications. The Group encourages the Secretariat to continue to support the participation of experts from developing countries in the work of the committee.

10. The Group encourages all the stake holders to give careful consideration to the emerging trends, issues and challenges in the entire spectrum of the Nuclear Safety, as brought out in the Nuclear Safety Report 2012, and take appropriate actions in a timely manner.

11. The Group maintains that the development of human resources is the key to the sustainability of any nuclear program and underlines the utmost importance of the IAEA assistance to developing countries in the fields of knowledge sharing, exchange of information, collaboration platforms, nuclear knowledge management and capacity building in nuclear safety.

12. The Group welcomes the support given by the IAEA to a number of knowledge networks and forums, such as the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN), regional networks, such as the Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN), and the Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Agencies (FORO), the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA), the Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR) and the Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF).

Mr. Chairman,

13. The Group is of the view that confidence in the safety of comprehensive program and disposal arrangements for the issue of radioactive waste management and safe management of spent fuel is one of the important factors concerning the public acceptance of nuclear energy in general. The Group considers that the Agency has an essential role to play in supporting and assisting Member States to meet these challenges.

14. On safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities, the Group welcomes the Agency's continued efforts to assist Member States in establishing regulatory and technical frameworks for the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities, as well as for increasing the competencies and capacities of the staff involved in these activities.

15. With regard to nuclear and radiological incident and emergency preparedness and response, the Group notes with appreciation various activities the Agency has undertaken during 2012.

16. The Group continues to express its concern that despite the international efforts, the denials and delays of shipments of radioactive sources continue to occur in all parts of the world. In this regard, the Group welcomes the continuing efforts of the International Steering Committee on Denials of Shipment to guide international activities to promote awareness among decision-makers and relevant parties towards addressing this critical issue. The Group notes that the Steering Committee in its 2012 meeting agreed on an approach on reporting mechanism for denials to identify new issues and assess the main problems. It is also worth noting that the Committee updated the action plan on denials to identify the remaining key items. In line with the action plan, more information about the handling of the radioactive sources and the effective communication with the transport personnel and authorities of Member States continues to be an essential tool and, therefore, more concerted effort should be applied to address this issue.

17. With these remarks, the Group takes note of the Nuclear Safety Review for 2013, as contained in document GOV/2013/4.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
3(b): Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
Mr. Chairman,

1. The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Director General and the Secretariat for the continued update on the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. The Group also thanks DDG Flory for introducing the item as well as for organizing a very useful briefing.

2. The Group is committed to support all the Agency activities that strengthen global nuclear safety. The Group reemphasizes that the purpose of enhancing nuclear safety should be to positively contribute to the development and utilization of nuclear technology for peaceful uses and that the Agency should orient its programme in this regard.

3. The Group underscores the importance of the revision of the Agency's broad range of assistance and support services to Member States to take into account the lessons from Fukushima.

Mr. Chairman,

4. While the Group notes the progress made by the Agency in coordination with Member States among others, to improve the Agency's peer review services, public information and enhance transparency and communication during emergency situations, continued efforts need to be made to ensure more effective communication in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency.

5. The Group reiterates its call on the Secretariat to provide information in future reports on the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear safety on cost implications of the activities under the Plan, especially with regard to the proposed biennial budget and on other future activities of the Agency.

Mr. Chairman,

6. The Group notes with appreciation the Agency's activities in connection with the implementation of the Plan since the last update. The Group further notes that the Secretariat continues to facilitate learning the lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and sharing them with Member States in all relevant areas covered by the Action Plan.

7. The Group welcomes the successful organization of the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety held in December 2012 in Japan. The Conference provided an opportunity to the participants to share their experience gained from implementing relevant elements of Action Plan in their respective domain and to discuss the progress of international efforts aimed at strengthening nuclear safety.

8. The Group further notes that preparatory work has begun on a comprehensive IAEA report on the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

9. With these remarks, the Group takes note of the Director General's report on the "Progress in the Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety" as contained in document GOV/INF/2013/1.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Agenda Item 4: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications: Nuclear Technology Review - 2013

Mr. Chairman,

1. The Group of 77 and China would like to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for preparing the Nuclear Technology Review 2013, contained in document (GOV/2013/5).

2. The Group also wishes to thank Mr. Alexander Bychkov and Mr. Daud Mohamad for introducing this agenda item and for the technical briefing arranged on 22nd February to present the contents of the report.

Mr. Chairman,

3. The Review provides a comprehensive and useful update on the progress achieved in 2012 in the areas of nuclear power nuclear applications. The Groupunderscores that this progress highlights the need to increase the transfer of nuclear technology and the sharing of nuclear knowledge to developing countries, to enhance their capabilities and thereby contribute to maximize the benefit of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Therefore, the Group urges the Agency to continue providing training and education, supporting national laboratories and further enhancing the coordinated research activities. The Group also welcomes the contributions made to various Agency projects, and encourages all Member States in a position to do so to continue providing such support.

4. The Group notes that nuclear energy continued to play an important role in global electricity production. The Group further notes that the interest of countries considering the introduction of nuclear power remained strong, and that there is need to extend more assistance to such countries. Hence, nuclear power continues to be an important option not only for countries with existing nuclear power programmes, but also for developing countries with growing energy needs. In this regard, the Group notes that by the end of 2012, 67 new reactors were under construction.

5. The Group urges the Agency to continue assisting interested Member States to analyze energy options and to prepare for the introduction of nuclear power or uranium production, while maintaining its role as the leading vehicle for promoting the transfer and development of technology and knowledge related to all peaceful nuclear applications, including nuclear power and nuclear fuel cycle. In this context, the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review Missions (INIR) provide a useful service in extending such cooperation to the Member States.

6. The Group values the Agency's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) which provides a forum in which technology holders and users jointly consider innovative nuclear energy systems. The Group welcomes the growing interest of Member States in INPRO's programme.

7. The Group also takes great interest in the work of various technical working groups under the auspices of the Agency in the development of nuclear technology and dissemination of knowledge in the Member States, inter alia, through Coordinated Research Projects.

8. The Group also appreciates the guidance documents prepared by the Agency for the launching of nuclear power programmes, though reiterating that these documents are not binding and that each Member State is to decide the approach it deems best suited to its nuclear policies, which evolve according to its social, legal and economic specificities.

9. With regard to the area of nuclear fusion, the Group observes with interest the evolution of the experimental project of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility and safety features of fusion energy for peaceful purposes. The Group reiterates its expectation that, under the framework of their Cooperation Agreement, the Agency and the ITER Organization can effectively promote training, personnel exchanges, conferences, and publications on fusion components and installations, particularly for the benefit of developing countries.

10. The Group also notes that 15 Member States are considering building or are planning new research reactors and are therefore seeking the assistance of the Agency. As the number of operational research reactors is consistently dropping over the last few years, as older installations retire, more technical assistance will be required from the Agency and through the regional cooperative networks to increase research reactor operation and utilization. The Group welcomes the launch of a new Agency service, the Operation and Maintenance Assessment for Research Reactors (OMARR).

11. The Group emphasizes that the accelerators and research reactors play an important role in building strong basic capabilities in nuclear field and in supporting related education and training in Member States. In this context, the Group appreciates the work of the Secretariat and encourages it to continue to provide such support, especially by making use of capacity already built in many countries with Agency assistance.

12. The Group attaches great importance to the role of nuclear technologies in food security and safety, nutrition and human health including disease prevention and control, environmental protection, water resource management as well as the use of radioisotopes and radiation. These are the areas where nuclear and isotopic techniques are beneficial in supporting socio-economic development in many countries. The Group reaffirms that the Agency has a leading role in promotion of these techniques among interested Member States and encourages it to continue assisting them.

13. The Group notes with interest the development of new applications of food irradiation technologies which can contribute to improve food quality, traceability and safety in many developing countries.

14. In the field of human health, the Group takes note of the reported advances in cancer radiotherapy and radiopharmaceuticals for cancer imaging and treatment, which offer potentially substantial advantages over conventional methods. The Group requests the Agency to carry out activities to increase the knowledge and access of health institutions in developing countries to these important emerging applications and technologies.

15. The Group urges the Agency to continue its efforts to support developing Member States in combating cancer through sustainable programmes, including by carrying out more integrated missions of PACT (imPACT) and fostering more regional PACT programmes. The Agency is also encouraged to improve PACT implementation and resource mobilization for this programme.

16. The Group notes that the Climate-smart agriculture being promoted by FAO holds promise for mitigation of climate change. The Group notes the Agency's assessment that nuclear techniques can effectively be used to measure water loss and use by the crop and hence improve irrigation, crop water productivity and soil and water salinity management.

17. The Group notes the growing interest in the use of isotope techniques for the assessment and management of water resources. Therefore, the Group emphasizes the essential role of the Agency in supporting the procurement by developing countries of laser spectroscopy analyzers for measuring water isotopes as well as in assisting them in the training of local technicians.

18. With regard to the supplies of fission-produced molybdenum-99 and technetium-99m generators, the Group requests the Secretariat to continue its efforts to ensure the sustainability of radioisotope supplies, including through the enhancement of the utilization of existing reactors in developing countries and the development of alternative technologies. The Group emphasizes that the Agency's support through effective coordination, regional cooperation and the provision of a forum for stakeholders' interactions will contribute to securing supplies in the future.

19. Furthermore, the Group values the Agency's assistance to Member States, especially developing countries, in the field of medical and industrial applications.

20. The Group of 77 takes note of developments relating to the issue of assurance of supply, and reiterates once again its views and concerns expressed in its statements during the previous sessions of the Board in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 on this matter which, inter alia, stated that any arrangement for assurance of supply shall be in full accordance with the Statute and takes into account the respective legal obligations of Member States, and the principle of non-discrimination, whereby the inalienable right of Member States to nuclear technology is duly respected.

21. With these remarks, the Group of 77 and China takes note of the Nuclear Technology Review for 2013, as contained in document GOV/2013/5.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


Vienna, 6 March 2013
Mr. Chairman,

In the name of the Group of 77 and China, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the people and government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the recent demise of President Hugo Chavez, who passed away after a long illness. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Agenda Item 6 - Appointment of the Director General

Mr. Chairman,

1. The Group of 77 and China takes this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Yukiya Amano on his appointment by acclamation as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the second term. The Group commends the valuable work that Mr. Amano has done for promoting and enhancing the Agency's activities and acknowledges the impartial, effective and professional manner with which he has discharged his responsibilities as Director General of the IAEA. The Group assures the Director General of its full support and cooperation in discharge of his professional duties during his second term.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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