U.S. Statement to the IAEA Board of Governors: Science, Technology, Applications

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 9-13, 2013

Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications

U.S. statement as delivered by Ambassador Macmanus

Permanent U.S. Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency 

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States would like to express its appreciation to the Secretariat for preparing this document.  The United States attaches great value to programs in these areas, and we will continue to support them by meeting our commitments to the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF); providing additional extra-budgetary contributions; making available our technical experts; and providing training and fellowship opportunities for IAEA Member States.  We also welcome and fully support efforts to ensure that these programs are being implemented in a result-based manner that also meets the highest standards of safeguards, safety, and security.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

We commend the PACT Programme Office for coordinating 22 imPACT reviews over the past two years, while PACT Model Demonstration Sites have become operational in eight different countries.  In many ways, PACT serves as a model for building new partnerships within the UN system and between Member States and NGOs.  We encourage the IAEA to continue to be proactive in these efforts as well as in others areas of the Agency’s work.  Nonetheless, more progress is needed in assisting states in developing and implementing comprehensive cancer control programs.  To that end, I would like to recognize the IAEA’s ambitious plans for responding to this challenge and emphasize our commitment to supporting these efforts.

 

In addition, the United States appreciates the description of progress made regarding the IAEA’s support for the African Union’s Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign.  We are proud to be supporting through the PUI a project aimed at eradication of the tsetse population in the Niayes of Senegal.  Based upon the Agency’s feasibility studies, this project could potentially result in the complete eradication of the tsetse fly in that region, resulting in annual economic benefits of more than $1.5 million.  We would welcome the opportunity to partner with others to support this and other related projects, which have extraordinary potential in contributing to agricultural development and food security in the region.

 

Regarding the use of isotope hydrology for water resource management, I would like to commend the IAEA for working with Member States to design numerous projects focusing on this high priority area.  I would also like to recognize the generous support of Japan and Sweden in contributing funding through the PUI towards the “Integrated and Sustainable Management of Shared Aquifer Systems and Basins in the Sahel Region,” and to welcome progress made by the IAEA and participating Member States in implementing this important project.  Similarly, we welcome the efforts of regional states and the IAEA in establishing a Strategic Action Plan for the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer for signature this year

 

The United States also appreciates updates regarding the IAEA Water Availability Enhancement project (IWAVE), and we look forward to future updates on the Agency’s efforts to expand IWAVE to other Member States, in particular by including the methodology in new regional technical cooperation projects during the upcoming project cycle.  We also support the Agency’s work in providing assistance in the development and deployment of safe, secure, economically viable and proliferation-resistant small and medium-sized reactors (SMRs), particularly in the instance of producing potable water.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States fully supports the goal of modernizing the Agency’s Nuclear Applications Laboratories at Seibersdorf, now called ReNuAL.  This report provides a helpful update on progress that has been made over the past year, including the establishment of an NA Laboratory Coordinator position and project office and assessments on partnership opportunities, including with non-traditional partners, such as NGOs, foundations, and the private sector.  The United States appreciates the Agency’s recognition of the importance of learning from experiences in initiating, planning, and implementing the Enhancing Capabilities of the Safeguards Analytical Services (ECAS) project, with the goal of maximizing efficiencies.  We look forward to receiving a detailed strategic plan in the future, and we urge the Secretariat to be as thorough as possible in providing sound cost estimates, timelines, options, and design concepts, and to hold regular briefings to inform Member States of progress on this critical project.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Turning to nuclear power applications, the United States notes the continued interest in nuclear power throughout the world and we continue to support nuclear power as an important and clean energy resource.  However, the United States also recognizes that nuclear power presents a unique set of challenges for countries considering its adoption, most notably those related to safety, security, and nonproliferation.  States considering nuclear power should build the necessary national infrastructure to meet the highest standards of safety, security, and nonproliferation, and we support efforts to assist Member States in building that infrastructure.

 

As noted in the report, extrabudgetary contributions to the Agency through the PUI, including those of the United States, have played an important role in support of nuclear power infrastructure development programs, including support for nuclear safety infrastructure; the expansion of the Agency’s legislative assistance program; establishment of the Nuclear Law Institute; and development and application of a workforce planning modeling tool, guidance documents, and Agency workshops on topics such as design review, feasibility studies, and technology assessment.

 

We also note with approval the report’s description of the Agency’s other infrastructure development activities in Annex 9, as well as other activities on nuclear energy reported in Annex 5, the development of innovative nuclear technology described in Annex 7, and the development and deployment of safe, secure, economically viable and more proliferation-resistant SMRs as reported in Annex 8.  We particularly value the work of the INPRO Dialogue Forum as it creates unique opportunities for the producers of nuclear power systems and emerging users of these systems to consider issues of common interest.

 

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would note that many of the Agency activities described in the report involved cooperation with other organizations, such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO).  We welcome the Agency’s development of these productive partnerships, and encourage similar cooperative efforts in the future.  I would also note the important cooperation on the development of peaceful energy taking place in other organizations, in particular the International Forum for Nuclear Energy Cooperation, and its working groups on fuel services and infrastructure development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.