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Topnews, Statements

04. March 2024

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE/GOVERNOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE IAEA BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 4 MARCH 2024, VIENNA AUSTRIA

NUCLEAR AND RADIATION SAFETY: NUCLEAR SAFETY REVIEW 2024

AGENDA ITEM: 3

Chair,

South Africa associates itself with the statement delivered by Ambassador Gil, Permanent Representative of Colombia, on behalf of the G77 and China. 

South Africa attaches great importance to the broad contribution of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to the pursuit of its developmental objectives and therefore remains committed to nuclear safety at facilities and of radioactive and nuclear material. 

In this regard, we reiterate the principle that nuclear safety within a State rests entirely with that State, and that the Agency has an important central role in coordinating the strengthening of nuclear safety globally.

Chair,

Turning to the report before us, we welcome the continued steady progress in improving nuclear safety worldwide, including greater adherence to the nuclear safety legal instruments and undertakings. 

We welcome the work with regard to safety standards for innovative NPP designs, including Small Modular Reactors. 

My delegation notes with appreciation the inclusion of elements on technical and scientific support organizations which South Africa proposed in its comments on the 2023 Nuclear Safety Review last year.

We support the work on developing general guidance (TECDOC) on maintaining nuclear safety for NPPs in conflict situations.

We also support the Agency’s long-term monitoring and assessment activities with regard to the release of the ALPS treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi NPP as well as the enhanced transparency activities which are important confidence building measures.

Chair,

We finally note the potential operational benefits of taking into account the safety, security and safeguards considerations during the NPP design phase.  At the same time, we wish to emphasize the importance that the Agency’s work in this area upholds and proceeds in strict conformity with States’ legal commitments, the Statute and the General Conference resolutions. 

With these comments, South Africa takes note of the Nuclear Safety Review 2024.

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