IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 4: Nuclear Safety Review 2021
2 March 2021
Australia thanks Deputy Director General Lentijo for his introductory remarks, and we welcome the opportunity to comment on the Director General’s draft Nuclear Safety Review 2021.
Australia appreciates the efforts of the Agency to continue fulfilling its critical role in nuclear and radiation safety throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage the Secretariat to continue using virtual meetings and other innovative measures, where appropriate, to ensure continuity.
Australia regrets the unavoidable impact that the pandemic has had on the both the Eighth Review Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, and the Seventh Review Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention. We place great priority on the success of these important meetings and are fully committed to working constructively and collaboratively with the other Contracting Parties to each convention to ensure the benefits of the current review processes are not lost.
We fully support the Agency’s prioritisation of the promotion of universalisation of the conventions.
Noting the increasing interest from member states in transportable and floating nuclear power plants, Australia continues to hold the view that there are gaps and deficiencies in the international regulatory framework as it applies to such reactors. We welcome the Agency’s commitment to a systematic review of the applicability of Agency safety standards in support of the licensing and deployment of emerging SMR technologies, which we anticipate will include transportable and floating nuclear power plants. We also welcome the commitment to develop a roadmap for the application of Agency safety standards as part of a technology-neutral safety and regulatory framework for these reactors.
We note some inconsistencies between the draft Nuclear Safety Review and the draft Nuclear Technology Review in the terminology used for floating or transportable nuclear power plants, and encourage the Agency to harmonise the terminology used.
Australia thanks the Secretariat for its recent consultation on the process for sharing information on implementation of the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources. We stand ready to endorse the revised process, as we did at the September 2020 Board of Governors meeting, and to contribute to next year’s information exchange meeting.
Australia wishes to join you and others in thanking DDG Lentijo for his dedicated efforts to improving global nuclear safety and security throughout his time as Deputy Director General. The Agency and its Member States have benefited greatly from his contributions.