IAEA BoG – U.S. on Nuclear and Radiation Safety

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 2: Nuclear and Radiation Safety

U.S. statement as delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Louis Bono
Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2021

Good morning, Madam Chair,

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to recognize the Agency’s continued efforts to strengthen nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety, and emergency preparedness and response during a difficult year.

The IAEA continues its significant progress in several safety-related projects valued by the United States and other Member States. The United States welcomes the IAEA’s encouragement of Member States to become contracting parties to safety-related conventions, including the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. Ensuring that current and prospective contracting parties fully understand the requirements and obligations of both conventions is an important component to successful implementation, and we continue to encourage these efforts.

The United States also supports the Agency’s work to encourage Member States to adhere to the Early Notification Convention and the Assistance Convention. The IAEA should provide additional training for Member States on reporting events, even those that are not safety significant but are of interest to media and the public, in an effort to ensure transparency, provide factual information, and offer valuable lessons learned for the international community.

We also note the IAEA’s efforts to provide legislative assistance to Member States to support the development of adequate legal frameworks and promote adherence to relevant international legal instruments. The United States acknowledges the meetings of the International Nuclear Safety Group and Advisory Group on Nuclear Security in 2020 and 2021 and looks forward to their joint publication on safety and security.

Finally, the United States recognizes the importance of the Agency’s survey of 123 radiation safety regulatory bodies to identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the safety of facilities using radiation sources and their regulatory oversight. Since the pandemic remains a serious global health issue, we encourage the Agency to continue future surveys and to develop new guidance on the effective implementation of regulatory functions during exceptional circumstances.

Thank you, Madam Chair.