IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
November 28-29, 2013
Agenda Item 3
Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety
U.S. Statement as delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative Hushek
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
The United States takes this opportunity to thank Deputy Director General Flory for the presentation of the report “Progress in the Implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety: Report on the Agency’s assessment and prognosis in response to an emergency at nuclear power plants.” The United States has supported the Action Plan since its inception, and we want to re-emphasize our continuing support for it.
We want to highlight the Action Plan-related work being done on the Agency’s assessment and prognosis (A&P) in response to an emergency at nuclear power plants. A&P focuses on the Secretariat’s response role in an emergency at a nuclear power plant “… to provide Member States, international organizations and the general public with timely, clear, factually correct, objective and easily understandable information during a nuclear emergency on its potential consequences, including analysis of available information and prognosis of possible scenarios based on evidence, scientific knowledge and the capabilities of Member States.”
The Agency’s A&P process does not replace the responsibility of an ‘Accident State’ to make its own analyses. But the process does require the Agency’s Incident and Emergency Center to work with the ‘Accident State’ to achieve a common understanding of the event and consistent message for the public. This coordination is one of the crucial lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster: the need for prompt and accurate communication to the public and other nations about an emergency at a nuclear power plant. However, in cases where there is disagreement between the Secretariat and Accident State, final decisions on the release of information and data to the public need to be made by the Deputy General, not by the Agency’s Incident and Emergency Center.
In this regard, the United States would ask the Secretariat to clarify how it would handle a situation in which an Accident State requests information and data not be shared outside the Agency. For cases such as this, how will the Secretariat accomplish its mission if another Member State asks the Agency for an assessment and prognosis of the accident?
We look forward to further developments on the A&P process and other Action Plan items.