IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Agenda Item 6: Strengthening the Agency's activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications
13 September 2022
Thank you, Chair.
Australia thanks Deputy Director General Mokhtar and Deputy Director Chudakov for their introductory remarks on this agenda item, and the Director General for his report, Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications.
Australia has been actively involved in the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology for almost seventy years. These applications continue to produce transformative outcomes for society – including in human health and nutrition, food and agriculture, water resource management, and environmental protection.
We welcome the significant strides that have been made on several of the Agency’s flagship initiatives over the past year, including NUTEC Plastics, ZODIAC, ReNuAL 2, and Rays of Hope. Australia believes these projects are critical to tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time.
Australia attaches great importance to the Agency’s work to research and develop nuclear applications that help Member States adapt and become more resilient to environmental challenges. This work makes tangible differences to the lives of those most directly affected, including in the Indo-Pacific region.
In this regard, Australia was pleased to provide financial assistance to support both the NUTEC plastics project, which will address and mitigate marine plastic pollution, and the ReNuAL 2 project, which will bolster the Agency’s capacity to undertake environmental research and address climate change.
Importantly, through our IAEA Collaborating Centre, Australia works with the Agency to utilise nuclear applications to tackle: food provenance and authentication; long-term water resource management; environmental and atmospheric pollutant monitoring; and to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples.
Providing equitable access to cancer care is important to achieving the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development goals and targets. Australia looks forward to engaging further with the Agency on the Rays of Hope initiative, to increase access to affordable, equitable and sustainable radiation medicine services.
Australia recognises the role of lutetium-177 in significantly reducing the growth of tumours in patients with neuroendocrine cancer. Australia’s nuclear science and technology organisation, ANSTO, continues to manufacture and supply non-carrier added lutetium-177 for use in domestic clinical trials and special access treatments.
Promoting gender equality and diversity within the IAEA, and within the nuclear industry more broadly, remains critical to maximising societal and developmental outcomes. We continue to support all the Agency’s initiatives and efforts in this regard, in particular, the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme.
With these comments, Australia takes note of the Report on Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology and Applications.
Thank you, Chair.