Topnews, Statements

21. November 2019


Agenda item 2: Technical Cooperation: Report of the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee

Madam Chair,

1. I have the honour to address the Board on behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Friends of ReNuAL, Germany and South Africa.

2. The renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories in Seibersdorf has seen remarkable progress since work started and has achieved important milestones in 2019. In June, the Dosimetry Laboratory’s new Linear Accelerator Facility was the first new facility built under the ReNuAL/ReNuAL+ project to be opened and become fully operational. In October, the Insect Pest Control Laboratory staff completed a sequenced transition into their new building and that facility is now fully operational. Work is on track for the newly named Yukiya Amano Laboratories facility, which will serve as a new home for three additional Nuclear Applications Laboratories, to be ready for occupancy in the 2nd quarter of next year.

3. We are heartened that several Member States have pledged extra-budgetary resources that have allowed us to nearly reach the €2,6 million requirement that the late Director General announced during the June Board meeting allowing us to reach the overall project target budget of €57,8 million.

4. We are especially pleased to welcome the Netherlands as our   newest first-time contributor to the project. We also thank Russia and Switzerland for their forthcoming contributions.

5. We thank all other donors for the great support and their generosity. The opening of new laboratory facilities and reaching funding targets are indeed causes for Member States and the Secretariat to celebrate our shared accomplishments. Together we are transforming the Nuclear Applications Laboratories in Seibersdorf, enabling them to keep pace with the growing and evolving demand for applied research, training and services that help a wide range of Member States in the field of nuclear science, technology and applications for peaceful uses. The new facilities are indeed “fit-for-purpose” to support Member State requests now and for many years into the future.

6. But there is still much work to be done.  The final project element involves the enhancement of those laboratories that will remain in the already existing laboratory building, which dates to the 1960s.  Work on the enhancement phase of the project cannot begin until three laboratories relocate to the new Yukiya Amano Laboratories building in the second half of 2020. 

7. As planning for this phase is refined over the coming months, the Friends of ReNuAL Co-chairs look forward to working with the Secretariat as it reviews options to determine the most cost effective and efficient approach to make the four remaining laboratories ready for responding to Member States’ needs.  Member State engagement and support will continue to be needed throughout the process to ensure the final project phase reaches a successful conclusion.  Extra-budgetary contributions are still needed. We thus encourage Member States in a position to do so, to support this effort also in the future. [There is still room for more bricks in the ReNuAL Donor Wall!]

8.  In this regard, we would like to express our appreciation for the Agency´s continuing efforts to reduce the burden on Member States by extending its partnerships and resource mobilisation base beyond its traditional partners, including through the utilisation of the United Nations Global Marketplace.

Madam Chair,

9. The Co-Chairs would like to thank the Acting Director General and in particular the Deputy Director General, Ms Mokthar and the whole ReNuAL team for their continued dedication and commitment to the ReNuAL project, without whom all these impressive milestones would not have been met.  We count on Director General-elect Ambassador Grossi, to continue to prioritise this project as an important instrument through which the IAEA provides direct and tangible support to Member States. We as the Co-Chairs look forward to supporting him in his efforts to make nuclear science and technology for peaceful uses more accessible to Member States for the benefit of humanity and the well-being of so many people around the world.

10. Finally, we the Co-Chairs would again like to encourage Member State Governors, Ambassadors, and experts who have not as yet been able to visit and tour the Nuclear Applications Laboratories and ReNuAL site at Seibersdorf to find time to do so, so that they may see first-hand the very important work going on there.

Thank you Madam Chair!

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