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

IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

September 11-15, 2017

 

Agenda Item 5

 

Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to

Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications

U.S. Statement as delivered by Counselor for IAEA Affairs Keith Anderton

 

Mr. Chairman,

The Director General’s report on “Strengthening the Agency’s Activities Related to Nuclear Science, Technology, and Applications” describes significant progress made in the Agency’s efforts to enhance its programs in this area.

U.S. voluntary contributions address our commitments under Article IV of the NPT and promote sustainable development. We remain the single largest contributor to IAEA technical cooperation and assistance programs, having provided over $318 million in voluntary funds to the IAEA since 2010. This has included over $82 million in contributions to the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI), which have supported areas such as human health, agricultural productivity, food security, water resources, the environment, and nuclear power infrastructure development.

The United States commends the progress made in the Agency-supported tsetse fly eradication project, which promotes human and livestock health. We support the Agency’s efforts to increase synergies with other international partners, particularly the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in supporting the African Union Commission and Member States in planning and implementing sound and viable projects through the African Union’s Pan African Tsetse Fly and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC). I am happy to announce that just this week, the United States allocated an additional $874,564 through the Peaceful Uses Initiative to a Nuclear Applications project aimed at tsetse fly control in West Africa. We commend the Agency for its continued efforts to combat Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, through the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).

We welcome the statement delivered by Germany on behalf of the cochairs of the Friends of ReNuAl. The United States is pleased to have provided considerable extra-budgetary support to the Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) in Seibersdorf. We are happy with the progress made to date and we look forward to the full completion of the Insect Pest Control Laboratory, the Flexible Modular Laboratory, the Animal Production and Health Laboratory, and the new bunker for the Dosimetry Laboratory. We note the need to raise an additional €4.7 million by the end of this month in order to achieve construction cost and time efficiencies. We are pleased to have already contributed over $12 million to this critical renovation effort, and we would urge additional Member States to join the cadre of ReNuAL donors and help successfully complete this project.

The IAEA continues to support fuller utilization of isotope and nuclear techniques for water resource development and management. We would like to especially highlight the Agency’s work in compilation and dissemination of isotope data on aquifers and rivers worldwide, which addresses links between rising food and energy costs and the global economic crisis. This data also helps decision-makers adopt better management practices for integrated water resources management and planning, especially for surface water related to agricultural use.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Nuclear power is the world’s largest source of low carbon emitting electricity, and its expansion, under the highest standards for safety, security, and nonproliferation, will directly support sustainable development. If countries are to meet those standards, they must develop the necessary national infrastructure. We welcome the wide range of Agency activities aimed at helping interested member states recognize and meet their infrastructure needs. We are especially pleased that many infrastructure projects have been made possible through extra-budgetary contributions to the PUI. These contributions have supported Member State self-evaluation activities, Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions, INIR-Follow-up missions and the training of experts to undertake INIR missions. PUI funds have also aided the preparation of guidance documents and organization of training events on several topics, including design review, feasibility studies, technology and economic assessments, stakeholder involvement, and the development of modern e-learning materials. In addition, over 50 national, regional, and interregional projects support countries considering or planning a nuclear power program, many funded through the PUI.

The US is pleased with the full implementation of the Agency’s Internet Reactor Laboratory project last September. We welcome the designation of the United States’ Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratories as an International Center based on Research Reactors (ICERR) during this General Conference.

The United States commends the work of INPRO, which supports Member States in developing long-range sustainable energy strategies, promotes innovations in nuclear technology and institutional arrangements, and examines the future deployment of nuclear energy.

We also value the IAEA’s cooperation with other international organizations, including the Generation IV International Forum, the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

We are pleased to note the August 2017 opening ceremony of the LEU Bank in Kazakhstan. And we look forward to the upcoming procurement of LEU for the bank being held in an open and transparent manner that upholds and reinforces international nonproliferation standards and practices for nuclear supply.

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman.