Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Agenda Item 2: Nuclear and Radiation Safety: Nuclear Safety Review 2022

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

Statement by H. E. Mr Richard Sadleir, Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA

Agenda Item 2: Nuclear and Radiation Safety: Nuclear Safety Review 2022

7 March 2022


Australia thanks Deputy Director General Evrard for her introductory remarks and welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Director General’s draft Nuclear Safety Review 2022.

Australia appreciates the efforts of the Agency to continue fulfilling its critical role in nuclear and radiation safety, helping all member states to improve their capability and to ensure they can safely realise the benefits of nuclear technology.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agency has continued to excel, and we note the large number of virtual training events and webinars that the IAEA has facilitated. The participation rates across these events are testament to this good work, and the virtual format has provided expanded opportunities for Member States, including representatives from Australia, to participate in these valuable events.

While the pandemic has significantly disrupted the Agency’s peer review and advisory services, it is pleasing to see these being scheduled once again and we look forward to hosting Australia’s own follow-up Integrated Regulatory Review Service mission in 2023.


Australia notes the range of activities that the Agency has been conducting in novel advanced reactors, including the recent development of the draft Safety Report that considered the applicability of Agency safety standards to these technologies. Australia is looking forward to hosting a regional workshop on small modular reactor regulation later this year and hopes that it provides an opportunity for furthering this important work within the Indo Pacific region.


The recent International Conference on a Decade of Progress After Fukushima-Daiichi presented an excellent forum for the international community to gather and to share views on developments since the incident. As highlighted in this review, the follow up actions from the conference will be of vital importance to ensure that we can continue to improve the global arrangements for nuclear safety.

The IAEA continues to have an important role with respect to the release of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The independent task force that is assessing plans to discharge Advanced Liquid Processing System treated water relative to relevant Agency safety standards is an important mechanism to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.


Australia recalls our comments at last week’s extraordinary Board meeting and we condemn the Russian Federation, in the strongest terms, for its unprovoked act of aggression in invading Ukraine.

Russia’s unlawful invasion continues to pose grave threats to nuclear safety, security and the safeguarding of nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine. Supporting Member States to build a strong and sustainable global nuclear safety and security framework is a core responsibility of the IAEA.


Australia thanks the Director General for his detailed briefings and for the professionalism of the IAEA’s response to the grave situation in Ukraine.  Australia supports the initiative and commitment of the Director General to pursue dialogue and reach an agreement to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

We call upon Russia to cease the use of force against, and close to, Ukrainian nuclear facilities and to return immediately the control of these facilities to Ukrainian authorities. This will ensure the responsible Ukrainian authorities can carry out their important safety and other commitments and ensure nuclear material and facilities are not compromised.

With these comments, Australia takes note of the draft Nuclear Safety Review 2022.

Thank you, Chair.