IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – Agenda Item 6 – Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications
U.S. statement as Delivered by Ambassador Laura S.H. Holgate
Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2022
The United States thanks the Secretariat for this year’s report on the IAEA’s work to promote the application of nuclear energy, science, and technology to address urgent challenges in the fields of human and animal health, energy and economic development, sustainable agriculture, and the environment.
The United States supports the fullest possible exchange of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, emphasizing the value of promoting high standards of nuclear safety and security together with rigorous and effective nonproliferation measures, consistent with our obligations under the Non- Proliferation Treaty. We demonstrate our commitment to facilitating the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by providing significant contributions of voluntary funding to the IAEA’s work in these areas. Since 2015, the United States has contributed over $395 million to the IAEA in support of its peaceful uses activities, which includes our contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund and other extra budgetary contributions of financial and in-kind support. Through the Peaceful Uses Initiative alone, the United States has contributed over $9.2 million to improve the detection of livestock diseases in Africa and Asia; over $1.9 million to enhance food quality and reduce insect threats in Latin America; over $8.9 million to better understand the effects of climate change and pollution in marine and ocean waters; and more than $16.5 million to strengthen the capacity to detect and treat cancer throughout the world. We urge others to contribute through the Peaceful Uses Initiative and other voluntary funding mechanisms in support of critical IAEA work in advancing peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science, and technology.
The United States further supports the fullest possible exchange of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes through the new Sustained Dialogue on Peaceful Uses recently announced at the NPT Review Conference that also involves the IAEA, the United Kingdom, and other co-sponsoring States. We will work with the IAEA through the Sustained Dialogue to promote greater access, understanding, and acceptance of peaceful nuclear technologies. This Dialogue will also expand the involvement of industry, development agencies, and civil society in discussions on how these technologies support national and regional development objectives. We will also work with the Agency to expand peaceful uses to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and drive new areas of international cooperation in advancing peaceful uses.
We underscore the vital role of nuclear power in efforts to mitigate climate change and to assist countries in meeting their national energy needs. The United States values the Agency’s nuclear power infrastructure and capacity-building services to Member States, including the IAEA Peer Review Missions. We have contributed over $37.7 million to support the IAEA’s nuclear power development activities through the Peaceful Uses Initiative. We welcome the Agency-wide platform on small modular reactors and encourage enhanced coordination among all Agency offices involved in supporting Member States interested in the deployment of small modular reactors. We strongly support the IAEA’s Milestones Approach for assisting countries that are considering or planning their first nuclear power plant and applaud the Agency’s work to incorporate guidance on small modular reactors into its capacity-building infrastructure development efforts. This includes taking into account security-by-design. We look forward to hosting the next International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in the United States this October 26th through the 28th. The conference will be an important opportunity to discuss how nuclear energy can best contribute to sustainable development and climate change mitigation.
The report extensively details an impressively long list of applications of nuclear and nuclear-derived technology. We commend the IAEA for its continued support to Member States throughout the pandemic. We welcome the IAEA’s efforts to join with other organizations, convenings, and national and regional efforts to achieve shared goals through complementary approaches, such as through the ZODIAC initiative. We also welcome further efforts by the Agency to enhance the acceptance and availability of nuclear and nuclear-derived technologies for Member States to apply in fields ranging from human health to food and agriculture. In this, we note the critical role of the IAEA Nuclear Applications Laboratories and particularly welcome the progress update on the final phase of the Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL). We are committed to working with the Friends of ReNuAL and all Member States to secure the funding needed to procure and launch construction of the Flexible Modular Laboratory 2 and complete the final phase of the ReNuAL project. We are pleased to announce a new allocation of over $850,000 under the Peaceful Uses Initiative to help achieve the final phase of the ReNuAL project.
The United States is also pleased to announce its recent support for the allocation of over $1,000,000 under the Peaceful Uses Initiative to support activities using radiation to mitigate plastic waste, and over $600,000 in additional funding under the Peaceful Uses Initiative to support activities using nuclear technologies to diagnose and treat cancer. Our strong commitment to IAEA programs that assist Member States to apply peaceful uses to meet their national development priorities – from energy to food and health – is grounded in the positive impact these programs have on Member States. As noted last month in New York at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the United States also announced the reprogramming of €10M in extra-budgetary contributions at the IAEA to support important functional and regional programs underway at the Agency. Specifically, the United States provided €4M to the Progamme of Action for Cancer Therapy, €3M to the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology, and €3M to the Regional Cooperation Agreement for the Promotion of Nuclear Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean to reinforce opportunities for Member States to benefit from the nuclear science, technology, and applications made available by the Agency. For this reason, we underscore the importance of the application of outcome-based, qualitative performance indicators to all IAEA work in these areas to demonstrate the efficacy of IAEA programs by documenting the tangible results and sustained progress. We stand ready to assist the Secretariat in this regard.
With these comments, the United States takes note of GOV/2022/30.
Thank you, Chair.