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Topnews, Statements

09. September 2019

STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, RESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE/GOVERNOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY BOARD OF GOVERNORS, 09 SEPTEMBER 2019, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

AGENDA ITEM 3: Nuclear and Radiation Safety

Chairperson,

Since this is the first time I speak in this Board Meeting, let me pledge my country and delegation’s commitment and cooperation to this body and assure you that we shall continue with our unwavering support.

Chairperson,

South Africa associates itself with the statement delivered by the Group of 77 and China, and we wish to make the following remarks in our national capacity.

South Africa welcomes the report by the Director General entitled “Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety”. My delegation wishes to commend the Secretariat for the activities undertaken to implement resolution GC(62)/RES/6 and the report on developments in the intervening period.

The Director General’s report confirms an increasing demand by Member States for the Agency’s review and advisory services across all safety areas. As with most countries, South Africa greatly values and appreciates these services.  In this regard, and in line with steadily increasing number of Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), and the Joint Convention (JC), we take this opportunity to encourage other Member States to join these important nuclear safety instruments. It is a reassuring development that during the reporting period, the Agency conducted ten Advisory Missions on Regulatory Infrastructure for Radiation Safety (AMRAS) in developing countries, six of which were in Africa.

At a national level, my delegation is pleased that good progress is being made in implementing the recommendations of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service Mission conducted in my country 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 has incorporated specific activities to support the implementations of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service Missions.

Chairperson,

South Africa appreciates 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. At our request the Agency conducted an expert mission covering a selected area of the SALTO mission scope in South Africa in September 2018. Furthermore, another SALTO Peer-Review mission for the Koeberg power plant is scheduled for September 2021 and we stand ready to work closely with the Agency in this regard.

Equally, South Africa welcomes the support the Agency continues to provide to Member States in the development of organisational safety culture. In this regard, at our request, the Agency conducted an independent safety assessment (ISCA) mission at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) in August 2018. The mission was intended to support NECSA in creating a common image of the organisation’s safety culture and identify strengths and potential areas for improvement.

Chairperson,

South Africa is a State Party to the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency – the Assistance Convention in short. Through this Convention South Africa received assistance on a medical case wherein Agency Member States registered on the Response and Assistance Network (RANET) participated in the assistance Mission to South Africa. As a result of the accomplishments of this mission, and the recollection of the 2014 Emergency Preparedness Review Mission action plan, South Africa is considering the registration of its own experts under the IAEA RANET.

Chairperson,

Finally, South Africa under contract with the Agency, developed the borehole disposal concept that is being used to provide safe and secure disposal technology for disused sealed radioactive source inventories by a number of Member States. As a follow up to the bilateral meeting that South Africa held with the Agency during the 62nd General Conference on this issue, we are pleased to inform that South Africa has taken concrete steps to initiate the Memorandum of Understanding that will formalize the framework for cooperation.

With these remarks, my delegation takes note of document GOV/2019/27.

I thank you

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liegt die „Wiege der Menschheit“.

 
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