IAEA BoG – U.S. on Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications

UNVIE Political Officer Rachael Parrish delivers a U.S. statement at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, September 14, 2021. (USUNVIE/Colin Peters)

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Agenda Item 4: Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications

U.S. statement as delivered by Second Secretary Rachael Parrish
Vienna, Austria, September 14, 2021

Thank you, Madam Chair,

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, in accordance with our commitments under the NPT.  We demonstrate our commitment by providing significant contributions of voluntary funding to IAEA work in these areas.  In the past ten years, the United States has contributed over $345 million to the IAEA in support of its peaceful uses activities, which includes our contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund and other extrabudgetary contributions of financial and in-kind support.  In addition, we have contributed over $132 million to the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative since its inception in 2010.  We urge others to contribute through the PUI and other voluntary funding mechanisms in support of the IAEA’s work in advancing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science, and technology.

Madam Chair,

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, especially the IAEA Peer Review Missions.  We applaud the Agency’s work to incorporate guidance on small modular reactors into its capacity-building efforts and launching the agency-wide initiative on SMRs.  We look forward to hosting the next International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in the United States in October 2022.

Madam Chair,

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 during the pandemic and welcome further efforts by the Agency to ensure that nuclear and nuclear-derived technologies are accepted by and made available to Member States.  We note the critical role of the IAEA’s Nuclear Applications Laboratories and particularly welcome the progress on the final phase of the ReNuAL project.  We are committed to working with the Friends of ReNuAL and all Member States to secure the funding needed to launch construction of the Flexible Modular Laboratory 2 in early 2022 and to complete the ReNuAL project.

We are also pleased to announce new contributions under the PUI to the important work of the Agency in building international and regional networks to enhance the participation of Member States related to food safety as well as veterinary diagnostic activities.  The United States is contributing $150,000 to the Food Authenticity Laboratory Network and renewing our long-standing support to the Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory – or VETLAB – with a $500,000 contribution.

Our standing 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.  For this reason, we underscore the importance of the application of outcomes-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.

Madam Chair,

With these comments, the United States takes note of GOV/2021/27 and requests that it be transmitted to the General Conference.

Thank you.