Nuclear Power

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, September 13-17, 2010

Agenda Item 6(a)
Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to

Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications: Nuclear Power Applications, Status, and Prospects of Nuclear Power

U.S. Statement

Ambassador Glyn Davies

Mr. Chairman,

The United States believes that the power of peaceful nuclear energy must be harnessed on behalf of worldwide efforts to combat climate change and to advance opportunity for all peoples.  In his 2009 speech in Prague, President Barack Obama called for the building of “a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation” so that countries can access peaceful power without increasing the risks of proliferation.   In May of this year, Secretary of State Clinton, in her statement to the NPT Review Conference, stated that the United States “unequivocally support[s] the rights of states that are in compliance with the treaty to access nuclear technology and energy for peaceful purposes” and that “the United States wants to help expand the ability of all states to utilize peaceful nuclear energy.”

In this regard, I would call attention to the announcement by Secretary Clinton at the NPT Review Conference in May that the United States will make an additional commitment of $50 million over the next five years for a new IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative.  These resources will help Member States by expanding IAEA activities to improve health care and nutrition, manage water resources, increase food security, and develop the infrastructure for the safe and secure use of nuclear power.   We are already engaged with the IAEA in selecting and designing projects to fund through this new mechanism, and expect to begin funding projects very soon.   We hope other Member States in a position to do so will match this contribution with an additional $50 million.  While we expect contributing Member States will fund projects according to their own criteria, this initiative places no restriction on which States should benefit from this significant increase in funding available for peaceful use activities.

We thank the Secretariat for its work in compiling the report on “Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications.”  We especially welcome the report’s Annex 4 on Agency activities to help Member States acquire the infrastructure for clean, safe, secure, and affordable deployment of nuclear power, while avoiding increased risk of proliferation.  We are pleased to note the three successful “Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review “ missions carried out in 2009 and the International Conference on Human Resource Development for Introducing and Expanding Nuclear Power Programs held in Abu Dhabi in March.  We are also pleased that the Agency is continuing to develop its publications on infrastructure development and plans new publications, seminars, and workshops on this subject.  The United States has long supported efforts to help states build the infrastructure for responsible adoption of nuclear power, which is one of the priorities of the Peaceful Uses Initiative.

I would also like to take note of one important development in the Agency’s support for nuclear energy that is not mentioned in the report.  In 2009, the Board approved the Russian Federation’s proposal to establish a low-enriched uranium reserve at Angarsk.  We supported this reserve because we believe that it will provide a security net to Member States in the unlikely event of a fuel supply disruption, and that it will support the expansion of nuclear energy without the acquisition of expensive and unnecessary fuel cycle facilities.  We do not believe that it is appropriate for a Secretariat report to the General Conference to neglect mention of a significant Board action.  This omission needs to be corrected before the Board sends this report to the General Conference.  We further look forward to Board approval of other mechanisms for international fuel assurances in the near future.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.