IAEA Board of Governors
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Australian Statement on agenda item 3: Nuclear Safety Review
9 March 2020
Thank you, Chair.
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 2020.
Australia looks forward to the Eighth Review Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety. CNS Review Meetings provide Contracting Parties with an important opportunity to undergo expert peer review, fostering best practice nuclear safety around the world. We are honoured that Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, CEO of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, will serve as Vice President of the Review Meeting and Chair of the Open Ended Working Group, underscoring our commitment to international cooperation in nuclear safety. We place great priority on the success of this important meeting and are fully committed to working constructively and collaboratively with the other Contracting Parties to the CNS to further strengthen international approaches to nuclear safety.
With this in mind, we fully support the Agency’s prioritisation of the promotion of universal adherence to the CNS and the Joint Convention.
Australia notes the review of the Safety Fundamentals publication SF-1 by all Safety Standards Committees and the Commission on Safety Standards. We agree with the findings of the Committees that several parts of SF-1 could be improved. We also believe that there is a need to consider the addition of some modern best practice safety principles not currently included in SF‑1, including principles related to informed consent and evidence-based risk communication. While we agree that SF-1 remains valid, and that the need for revision is not immediate, we encourage the Commission to avoid a situation in which the need for a revision does become urgent, as we expect revision will require a process spanning several years.
Australia notes the Agency’s advice that the world’s first Transportable Nuclear Power Plant has been operational and grid-connected since December 2019, and that another Member State has declared its intent to manufacture a similar vessel in the near future.
These developments reinforce our view that gaps and deficiencies in the international regulatory framework as it relates to TNPPs need to be addressed by the Agency, Member States, and other relevant international organisations. This will require a cross-cutting approach that incorporates the capabilities and expertise of various parts of the Agency. In this regard, we welcome the establishment of a Coordination Group on SMRs, and look forward to hearing more about the activities of this group.
Our delegation notes the extensive reporting on advice provided by the International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability, INLEX. We welcome its contributions on highly complex liability issues, including those related to TNPPs, factory-fuelled SMRs, waste disposal facilities and cyberattacks, and we acknowledge its efforts in providing assistance to seven Member States in the development of national legislation on civil liability for nuclear damage. Australia supports the Agency’s priorities and activities related to INLEX, which are noted in paragraph 296 of the Nuclear Safety Review.
With these comments, Australia takes note of the draft Nuclear Safety Review 2020. Thank you.