IAEA Board of Governors: U.S. Statement on the Annual Report for 2018

IAEA Board of Governors Room

Statement under Agenda Item 2: The Annual Report for 2018

As delivered by U.S. Alternate Permanent Representative Keith Anderton

Vienna, June 10, 2019

Thank you, Madam Chair,

The Annual Report for 2018, as drafted, is an effective instrument to showcase how the IAEA benefits countries around the world. I will highlight just a few areas covered by the Report.

On nuclear power infrastructure, the Report illustrates the many ways in which the IAEA assists Member States with existing nuclear power plants in enhancing plant performance and ensuring safe, secure, efficient, and reliable long-term operation. The Report also illustrates how the Agency assists Member States embarking on new nuclear power programs in planning and building their nuclear infrastructures. We are pleased that the project to establish the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Fuel Bank in Kazakhstan continued to make progress in 2018 and that the Agency signed contracts with two suppliers, which aim to deliver LEU to the IAEA LEU Storage Facility before the end of 2019.

In the area of nuclear safety, we applaud the Secretariat for preparing an annual Nuclear Safety Review that serves as a good reminder of the scope and value of activities undertaken to strengthen nuclear, radiation, transport, and waste safety. We again encourage the full participation of contracting parties in the Review Meetings for the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention. We welcome member states that have joined the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage as well as additional political commitments for implementing the Codes of Conduct for the Safety of Research Reactors and the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its supplementary guidance. We strongly encourage Member States that have not yet done so to join or make a political commitment to implement these important instruments.

On nuclear security, the Report summarizes the IAEA’s critical role and demonstrates how important nuclear security is to support all Member States’ access to nuclear energy, science, and technology. We look forward to the Agency continuing its activities to promote universal adherence to the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM). In addition, we urge Member States to have high-level representation at the third ministerial-level International Conference on Nuclear Security in February 2020.

In the area of safeguards, the IAEA continues to implement effective verification measures supporting the safeguards conclusions drawn for each state. A strengthened safeguards system that generates credible conclusions about peaceful nuclear activities is absolutely essential to the international nonproliferation regime and, therefore, to international security. The United States will continue to provide strong support for the IAEA’s verification work worldwide through the safeguards program.

On non-power nuclear applications, the draft Annual Report notes the successful November 2018 IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology that adopted a Ministerial Declaration recognizing the important role of science, technology, and innovation. The IAEA’s laboratories play a critical role in this regard. The United States applauds the IAEA for its progress in raising extrabudgetary funds to ensure that the new and renovated Nuclear Applications Laboratories are completed, fully equipped, and fully operational on schedule and without unnecessary cost increases. We also applaud the Agency for its successful Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) research at Seibersdorf and its initiative to test its SIT findings in the field, as the Agency transitions its overall SIT effort to the new Insect Pest Control Laboratory for long-term sustainability. We urge others to contribute to the SIT efforts.

Finally, the United States is pleased to note that 24 Country Program Frameworks (CPFs) were co-signed in 2018, bringing the total number of valid CPFs to 100. We welcome the Agency’s efforts to expand partnerships.

Madam Chair,

With these comments, we join consensus in recommending submission of the Annual Report for 2018 for the General Conference’s approval.

Thank you very much.