IAEA Board of Governors
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Australian Statement on agenda item 4: Nuclear Security
9 September 2019
Thank you, Chair.
Australia welcomes the Director General’s Nuclear Security Report 2019 and thanks Deputy Director General Lentijo for his introductory remarks. We also thank the Secretariat for the informal technical briefing provided 27 August 2019.
Australia is a strong supporter of the Agency’s efforts to assist Member States in enhancing nuclear security, having contributed AUD 1.45 million to the Nuclear Security Fund since 2013, including AUD 250,000 earlier this year.
As the first major supplier to produce molybdenum-99 exclusively from low enriched uranium, we have demonstrated our commitment to eliminating unnecessary nuclear proliferation and security risks. We are very pleased that in recent years other major producers have chosen to do likewise. In eliminating HEU from around 75 per cent of the world’s molybdenum-99 supply chain, together we have proven exclusively LEU-based production processes to be both technically and economically feasible.
Again, we encourage all Member States in the process of converting their HEU-based production methods to continue doing so. We also urge Member States establishing or considering new nuclear medicine production capabilities to avoid introducing unnecessary nuclear security and proliferation risks by ruling out the use of HEU-based methods.
Australia continues to support the Agency in its training and capacity building exercises related to nuclear forensics. In December 2018, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation signed a practical arrangement that facilitates the continued provision of assistance to the Agency in this important field.
We welcome the commencement of the process to review the Agency’s Nuclear Security Series Fundamentals and Recommendations. The NSS Fundamentals and Recommendations provide a sound basis upon which Member States can build their respective nuclear security regimes. We believe that this review is necessary to ensure that the Agency’s guidance is capable of addressing recent technological innovations and the evolution of threats to nuclear security. We look forward to providing further contributions to this process.
The active use of the Incident and Trafficking Database throughout the reporting period, by both Member States and many international organisations, demonstrates its ongoing value. Australia appreciates the analytical reporting of the ITDB provided by the Agency, which allows Member States to form our own understanding of potential trends and underlying factors in nuclear security incidents and trafficking around the world. Australia encourages all Member States to actively share incident reports and lessons learned via the ITDB.
Australia looks forward to the convening of the International Conference on Nuclear Security 2020, which presents an opportunity for all Member States to exchange views, share practices, and highlight current and future challenges, leading to strengthened nuclear security regimes.
We welcome the recent commencement of preparations for the 2021 Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, as amended. We thank the Secretariat for its support in facilitating the ongoing Meeting of Legal and Technical Experts, which will reconvene in November this year, and we encourage all such States Parties to participate fully in the 2021 Conference process. We urge Member States that have not yet done so to ratify, accept or approve the amended CPPNM.