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Topnews, Statements

10. September 2018

STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE/GOVERNOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 10 SEPTEMBER 2018, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 3: Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety

Chairperson,

South Africa welcomes the report by the Director General entitled “Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety” contained in GOV/2018/31-GC(62)/11. The Secretariat is also commended for the activities undertaken to implement resolution GC(61)/RES/8 and the report on developments in the intervening period.

South Africa associates itself with the statement delivered by the Group of 77 and China. My delegation would like to make the following statement in its national capacity.

The Director General’s report confirms an increasing demand by Member States for the Agency’s review and advisory services across all safety areas. Like most countries, South Africa greatly values and appreciates these services.  We welcome that during the reporting period three of the eight Integrated Regulatory Review Service Missions (IRRS) conducted by the Agency were undertaken in Africa.   In addition, the Agency held a regional workshop for Africa on the Self-Assessment of Regulatory Infrastructure for Safety (SARIS), in Kenya in June this year.

Nationally, we are pleased that good progress is being made in implementing the recommendations of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission conducted in South Africa in 2016 with the aim of reviewing our country’s regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety.  Accordingly, the new Country Programme Framework (CPF) between South Africa and the Agency will also incorporate specific activities to support the implementations the Integrated Regulatory Review Service Missions.

Chairperson,

South Africa continues to appreciate the Agency’s programme for the Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation (SALTO) of nuclear installations.  This programme is of particular interest to our country because our own nuclear power plant (Koeberg) will reach 40 years of age in 2024.  With the support of the Agency we have developed a programme for the long term operation of this  nuclear power plant.  

South Africa welcomes the support the Agency continues to provide to Member States in the management and recovery of disused radioactive sources.  As previously indicated, South Africa, with the support of the Agency, has developed the capabilities and technical know-how to manage disused sources.  Over South Africa in collaboration with the IAEA, has been able to provide valuable technical assistance and expertise to interested Member States in this area.  We note with interest from the report that the Agency continues to assist Member States that are actively pursuing the use of the borehole disposal technology as an option for management of radioactive sources.   South Africa stands ready to strengthen its collaboration with the IAEA and interested Member States in further improving the Agency’s programme on safe management of radioactive sources.

Chairperson,

Finally, South Africa welcomes efforts undertaken by the Agency, as highlighted in the report, to encourage Member States to become Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention), and to actively promote the objectives thereof.   We welcome that since 2015, the number of contracting parties to the Joint Convention has increased from 69 to 78.

By all accounts the 6th Review Meeting of the Joint Convention held in May this year, was a resounding success.  In particular, the increased number of Contracting Parties resulted in the 6th Review Meeting for the first time featuring eight Country Groups, which identified overarching issues, including: the implementation of national strategies for spent fuel and radioactive waste management and the safety implications of long term management of spent fuel.  South Africa is honoured to have its head of the National Nuclear Regulator Dr Bismarck Tyobeka, elected as the President of the 6th Review Meeting.

With these remarks, my delegation takes note of document GOV/2018/33

I thank you

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