IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Agenda Item 6: Nuclear Security: Nuclear Security Review 2022
7 June 2022
Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Director General’s draft Nuclear Security Review 2022.
Australia appreciates the significant efforts by the Agency to continue fulfilling its critical role in nuclear security - assisting all member states to improve their capacity and strengthening nuclear security globally.
Australia notes the Agency’s continued emphasis on the development and publication of comprehensive guidance as part of the Nuclear Security Series. We welcome the new and revised guidance publications that were issued in the series during 2021.
The process to review the NSS Fundamentals and Recommendations is ongoing and Australia will continue to contribute to the revision of these important documents through participation in the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee over the coming year.
Australia commends the Director General and the Agency on promoting workforce diversity, including gender equality and geographical diversity in its nuclear security activities. We encourage the Agency to continue to build a workplace environment that values and enables equality and diversity.
The launch of the Women in Nuclear Security Initiative is a worthy example of the Director General’s focus on the Agency being a global voice to promote gender parity and equality in the nuclear sector, where women continue to be under-represented. We look forward to participating in activities to celebrate the achievements of women in nuclear security and to find constructive and concrete ways to address the concerns and the challenges that women face in the sector.
The increased implementation of digitisation across all aspects of nuclear facility operation has delivered obvious benefits such as improved safety and process control and efficiency. However, such industrial operational technology networks may also be vulnerable to cyber attack, with potentially critical impacts.
Australia supports the range of activities that the Agency has conducted, and is planning, to address the risk of cyber attacks at nuclear related facilities. Strengthening the protection of sensitive information and computer-based systems, and recognising, assessing and responding to potential and actual cyber threats at nuclear related facilities will continue to be an important focus.
And finally, Chair, but most significantly, I want to acknowledge the unacceptable threat to nuclear security in Ukraine as a direct result of Russia’s illegal, unjust and unprovoked invasion. We are gravely concerned at reports that nuclear material and radioactive sources in occupied areas of Ukraine are outside regulatory control and we urge Russia to honour its responsibilities as a member of this Board and as a member of the international community by withdrawing from the territory of Ukraine, allowing Ukrainian authorities to re-establish their access to and control over all nuclear sites in Ukraine.
We will address this matter further under agenda item nine.
With these comments, Australia takes note of the draft Nuclear Security Review 2022.
Thank you, Chair.