EU statement at the IAEA Board of Governors, delivered under the agenda item on Nuclear Security – the Nuclear Security Review 2022 – on 7 June 2022

(Source: EEAS)

Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this statement: North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Albania*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Iceland+, Liechtenstein+, Norway+, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and San Marino.

We commend Director General Grossi and the IAEA Secretariat for the initiative to put forward the Nuclear Security Review 2022, which provides valuable and insightful information on nuclear security global trends during 2021 and Agency priorities in 2022.

This welcome document arrives in a difficult time for global nuclear security. The ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine is deliberately putting at risk the physical integrity of Ukrainian nuclear facilities and the nuclear material stored at the sites. The Russian invasion has already led to destroying and looting of Chornobyl’s analytical laboratories for radiation monitoring during its occupation of the site. It has heightened the risks of terrorist access to nuclear material and facilities, illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials and related technologies as well as sabotage of nuclear material or nuclear facilities. We are particularly concerned by the potential risk that would be caused by radioactive sources out of regulatory control. This is very serious and worrying, not least in light of our collective commitments to uphold and strengthen the international nuclear safety and security infrastructure, and ensure the universal implementation of the nuclear safety and security conventions.

The EU condemns the Russian aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and urges Russia to immediately withdraw all its troops from Ukraine and cease its unlawful seizure of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and other nuclear sites in order to restore the legitimate control of the Ukrainian authorities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders in line with the IAEA Board of Governors Resolution GOV/2022/17 of 3 March 2022. We recall that the Russian  aggression once again underlines the urgent need for legally binding international rules specifically prohibiting armed attacks against any nuclear installation devoted to peaceful purposes, as called for by IAEA General Conference resolutions in accordance with the UN Charter (GC(XXVII)/RES/407 and GC(XXIX)/RES/444).

The EU fully recognises the central role of the IAEA in promoting, sustaining and strengthening the global nuclear security architecture. While the sole responsibility for nuclear security rests with a State and its competent national authorities, the Agency can make valuable contributions in building capacities, developing guidelines, facilitating national coordination as well as regional and international cooperation.

We encourage the Agency to continue its efforts to promote the universalisation and implementation of legally binding international instruments in the field of nuclear security. We welcome the successful Review Conference of the Parties to the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM) to which the EU significantly contributed.  We call on all Member States to accede to this Amended Convention, as well as to other international instruments.

Chair,

The EU commends the IAEA for its work to assist Member States in a review of their nuclear security regimes and to identify areas where they need to be strengthened, including through Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans (INSSPs). The EU remains of the view that improved nuclear security serves to facilitate the development of peaceful uses of nuclear technology. We support the efforts made by the Agency in conducting in-person International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) missions, in enhancing their effectiveness and in updating the related Good Practices Database. We also encourage the Agency and the Member States to continue to make use of international peer review and advisory services.

We welcome the IAEA’s efforts to respond to Member States’ requests and address the challenges raised by the nuclear safety and security interface. The forthcoming joint publication on this topic by the Advisory Group on Nuclear Security (AdSec) and the International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) is a much-appreciated step in this direction. We call on the Agency to continue bringing safety and security together in various relevant areas, such as transport and training, among others.

The EU and its Member States support the IAEA’s work activities related to the nuclear security of small modular reactors (SMRs), focusing particularly on the safety-security-safeguards by design aspects for nuclear installations in the early stages of the design process, to ensure that safety standards and security guidance and their implications are taken account of.

The EU and its Member States encourage all IAEA Member States to adhere to the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its two supplementary Guidance. We look forward to further promoting the Code during the upcoming International Conference on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources to take place in Vienna on 20-24 June.

In a digitalised world, cybersecurity has become an increasingly pressing issue to ensure nuclear security. We acknowledge the Agency’s activities aimed at raising awareness of cyber-attacks and their potential impact, strengthening computer security and promoting international exchange between experts and policy-makers.

The EU and its Member States appreciate the IAEA’s initiative to establish the Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre (NSTDC) at the Agency’s Seibersdorf laboratories.

We take note of the report by the Director General on the establishment of the Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre at the Agency’s Seibersdorf Laboratories. We thank the secretariat for the periodic briefings providing up-to-date information about the progress of the project. It is now in a well-advanced phase and we underline the need for clarifying the allocation of human and financial resources for the purchase of equipment and the implementation of the training and demonstration programmes, avoiding duplication with existing resources within the Agency. We encourage synergies with the activities of the European Nuclear Security Training Centre (EUSECTRA).

We underline the need for timely, reliable and sufficient resources for the Agency to implement its nuclear security activities, including from the Nuclear Security Fund and Regular Budget. The EU and its Member States remain major donors to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. Nearly €60 million have been allocated for the period of 2005-2023 through eight successive EU Council Decisions alone. We further encourage Member States to support this fund and call on the IAEA to organise donor coordination meetings to enhance synergies in its spending.

We see the Nuclear Security Review becoming a source of information in global trends in nuclear security, by providing information on the fast-paced changes and linking them with national, regional and global developments and demands in  Member States. It would be useful that the Nuclear Security Review also includes information on the outcomes of Agency activities in order to assess their effectiveness in accordance with the results-based approach. We would also appreciate information on the funding of these activities, including the use of voluntary contributions by the EU and other donors.

With these comments, Chair, the EU takes note of the Nuclear Security Review 2022 as contained in GOV/2022/20.

Thank you, Chair.

 


* Candidate Countries North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania as well as potential Candidate Country Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are members of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.