IAEA Board of Governors – U.S. Statement on Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications

United States nameplate at the September 2019 IAEA Board of Governors meeting, Vienna, Austria, September 9, 2019. (USUNVIE)

U.S. Statement on Agenda Item 5: Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications

As delivered by Alternate Permanent Representative Keith Anderton

Vienna, September 10, 2019

 

Thank you Chair,

The United States thanks the Secretariat for its report on the IAEA’s activities related to nuclear science, technology, and applications in 2018. We congratulate the Secretariat on the success of the Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology. With over 1,100 participants, the conference highlighted the important role that the IAEA plays in developing and promoting the peaceful applications of this exciting field.

Providing voluntary funding to support peaceful uses through the IAEA is one of the concrete ways the United States demonstrates its commitment to promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in accordance with Article IV of the NPT. Since 2010, we have provided the IAEA with voluntary contributions totaling more than $422 million to promote peaceful nuclear activities, including through the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI). We urge others to contribute through the PUI and other voluntary funding mechanisms, and to help the Secretariat pursue contributions from non-traditional donors or partners.

We note favorably the continued cooperation between the IAEA and other partners on tsetse control and commend the continued development of the sterile insect technique and its integration into pest management campaigns. We welcome the excellent results of the tsetse suppression campaign in Senegal. We look forward to continued progress in the IAEA’s work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Chad, and other African countries to complement other national and international efforts to eradicate tsetse flies and the diseases they carry.

The United States also wishes to note our support to the Agency’s continued work on disease prevention and control. We welcome the strengthening of the IAEA’s relationship with the World Health Organization and hope for strong collaboration with this organization and others on preventing malnutrition, cancer, and other non-communicable diseases. We look forward to the Scientific Forum next week that will highlight how the IAEA assists Member States with cancer diagnosis, treatment, and control.

The United States fully supports the IAEA’s efforts to renovate its Nuclear Applications Laboratories, and we welcome the progress made. We are pleased to have provided approximately $15 million to the project. We look forward to continuing to work with the Friends of ReNuAL and all Member States to raise the €2.6 million needed to complete the ReNuAL project. Once completed, these laboratories will help Member States build critical capacities far into the future.

Chair,

The United States welcomes the continued interest of IAEA Member States in nuclear power, including among those countries that are taking steps towards pursuing nuclear energy as a component of their overall energy mix and those that are examining the option of developing a nuclear power program.

Given this interest, we underscore the value of the Agency’s nuclear power infrastructure and capacity-building services to Member States. We emphasize our support for the Agency’s continued application of the “Milestones Approach,” and we look forward to the Agency’s upcoming work to revise the Milestones Document to take account of the characteristics of small modular reactors (SMRs). The United States is proud of the role it has played and continues to play in funding the Agency’s activities on nuclear infrastructure activities via the PUI.

The United States sees great value in the Agency’s work in innovative nuclear technologies, SMRs and innovative nuclear energy systems. The United States also applauds the Agency’s work in supporting existing operational reactors in the areas of operating performance, management systems, plant lifetime management, human resources development, and the safe and secure management of spent fuel and radioactive waste.

We welcome the conversion of the miniature neutron source reactor (MNSR) in Nigeria from highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. This work has been completed by China, the United States, the IAEA and the host country Nigeria, with technical, financial, and/or in-kind assistance from China, the Czech Republic, Norway, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The United States emphasizes the importance of the Agency’s continued coordination with other international organizations, such as the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Generation IV International Forum, and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation. We highlight the IAEA’s support for and participation in the IFNEC Global Ministerial Conference: Bringing the World SMRs and Advanced Nuclear Technology, to be held in Washington, D.C. in November 2019.

Finally, we strongly support the Secretariat’s preparations for the next International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, which will be held in 2021.

Chair,

With these comments, the United States takes note of GOV/2019/26 and requests that it be transmitted to the General Conference.

Thank you, Chair.