IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 7: Strengthening the Agency's Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications
Australia welcomes the Director General’s report on Strengthening the Agency’s Activities related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications, and thanks Deputy Directors General Mokhtar and Chudakov for their introductory remarks.
Australia commends the Agency for its rapid response to requests from 123 countries and territories for assistance in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. We also welcome the Agency’s use of virtual meetings, webinars and other innovative methods to support Member States in their efforts to maintain and coordinate important nuclear activities throughout the pandemic, including the production and distribution of nuclear medicines.
For its part, Australia has been prioritising its landmark scientific infrastructure for research for potential treatments and vaccines into the disease. ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron has been at the centre of this effort, collaborating with industry and numerous universities to construct highly precise 3D models of the virus and help understand how it behaves in the human body.
Australia sees great value in the Agency’s cooperation and coordination with other international organisations, including the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the World Health Organisation. The importance of this cooperation and coordination has been illustrated very clearly throughout the Agency’s response to the pandemic. We encourage the Secretariat to continue strengthening such relationships. In this regard, we look forward to further discussions on the proposed ZODIAC project.
We also note the important relationship between the Agency’s work in nuclear applications, and its work under the Technical Cooperation Programme, as illustrated by many examples contained within this report.
As we also noted under agenda item 5, Australia welcomes the Agency’s implementation of a collaborative project on floating or transportable nuclear power plants. We look forward to the insights this project should provide on legal and institutional issues for the deployment of TNPPs. In implementing this project, we encourage the Secretariat to take into account the cross-cutting nature of this issue, incorporating relevant input and expertise from across the Agency, and from other relevant international organisations.