IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Representative, Australian Permanent Mission to the IAEA
Agenda Item 2: Nuclear and Radiation Safety
13-17 September 2021
Thank you, Chair
Australia thanks Deputy Director General Evrard for her introductory remarks, and we welcome the opportunity to comment on the Director General’s Nuclear Safety Report 2021.
Australia commends the Agency for its efforts in fulfilling its critical role in nuclear and radiation safety despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to encourage the Secretariat to use virtual meetings and other innovative measures, where appropriate, to ensure continuity and the fullest possible participation from Member States.
Australia welcomes the arrangements made to ensure that the Convention on Nuclear Safety and Joint Convention review meeting processes are able to progress despite the circumstances. We remain fully committed to working constructively and collaboratively with the other Contracting Parties to each convention to ensure the review process continue to deliver their intended benefits to nuclear and radiation safety around the world.
We fully support the Agency’s prioritisation of the promotion of universalisation of the CNS and the Joint Convention.
Australia welcomes the DG’s reporting, in the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Report, on the Agency’s efforts to review the applicability of IAEA Safety Standards to novel advanced reactors, including transportable nuclear power plants. We continue to hold the view that there are gaps and deficiencies in the international regulatory framework as it applies to transportable nuclear power plants. Noting that three consultancy meetings related to the applicability of IAEA Safety Standards to novel advanced reactors were held within the reporting period, we encourage the secretariat to provide further information to Member States on progress and next steps, including on the Agency-wide platform on small and medium sized or modular reactors and their applications.
Australia welcomes the efforts made by the Agency to establish a working group on denials and delays in the shipment of radioactive material. Denials and delays continue to pose a challenge to the reliable and efficient transport of radioactive materials, and can lead to delay or denial of critical medical care and unnecessarily complex or lengthy transport routes for radioactive material. We will continue to work closely with the Agency, Member States and industry to address these challenges.