Safety matters should never hinder peaceful atomic energy use

MNA – Reza Najafi, Iran’s envoy to IAEA, emphasized that nuclear safety considerations should not undermine peaceful use of nuclear technology.

Reza Najafi, Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who is also chairman of Group-77, made the remarks while addressing the September Meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.

He touched upon measures to strengthen international cooperation on radiation, transportation and safety of nuclear waste and, while pointing to the importance of nuclear safety in peaceful programs by member states, noted “these states need to shoulder the primary responsibility for nuclear safety though considerations on nuclear safety should never hinder the process of peaceful use of nuclear technology.”

The official commended IAEA’s assistance to developing countries in operationalizing nuclear programs, creation or strengthening nuclear safety infrastructures as well as capacity building in member states’ security systems. “The Group-77 encourages the Agency to continue efforts in assisting countries in developing capabilities and technical skills in the field of nuclear safety, as well as in strengthening safety systems and infrastructure needed to expand nuclear energy,” he continued.

Najafi also elaborated on the issue of nuclear security and the related report by Group-77 as yet another agenda of the September Meeting saying “member states are also fully responsible for nuclear safety and it remains imperative that the IAEA secretariat amend Paragraph 2 of the report in accordance with the stance taken by the Group-77.”

“Nuclear security considerations should not undermine peaceful uses of nuclear technology through implementation of technical cooperation programs (TCs),” he underscored.

The Iranian official went on to stress that the role of the Agency in strengthening nuclear security and the scope of its activities, as defined in the decisions of the Board of Governors and the resolutions of the IAEA General Conference, should be determined by member states and it is necessary to establish a balance between the Agency’s promotion and non-promotional activities.

Reza Najafi stressed that resolutions of the IAEA General Conference emphasized the central role played by the Agency in strengthening nuclear safety worldwide and coordinating international activities in the field of nuclear security; as such, the Group-77 praises the Agency’s continuing efforts to provide assistance to member states in the process of building and strengthening capacity in countries on nuclear security.

Given the requests of the member states to support the Agency in the field of computer information and security, the Group-77 appreciates the Agency’s efforts to respond to these requests through development of a nuclear security guide, continuation of research projects, training courses and exchanges of information.

On human resources development in relation to nuclear security, Iran’s envoy to IAEA said “Group-77 welcomes the continuing support of the IAEA for comprehensive human resource development activities to ensure sustainability of national nuclear safety regimes. The Group also expresses its satisfaction with the training of 2,111 delegates from 134 countries, as well as electronic education of 1,079 delegates from 122 countries, and requested the IAEA Secretariat to develop its capacity building activities in member countries, especially in developing countries.”