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Statements

04. März 2014

Statement by Ambassador Tebogo Seokolo, Resident Representative/Governor of the Republic of South Africa, International Atomic Energy Agency, Board of Governors

AGENDA ITEM 4: STRENGTHENING THE AGENCY’S ACTIVITIES RELATED TO NUCLEAR science, technology and applications:

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 2014

Chairperson,

We associate fully with the statements made by the Africa Group and G77and China, respectively.  In addition, we would like to present the following statement in our national capacity.

My delegation would like to thank the DDGs Mr Alexander Bychkov, Mr Daud Mohammed for introducing this agenda item this morning and for the informative technical briefing provided to delegations on 21 February.

South Africa is pleased to note that demands for nuclear power and application for Nuclear Technology have continued to increase among Member States.  My delegation shares the view that nuclear power and the peaceful application of nuclear technology if optimised to the fullest can meaningfully enhancethe achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and could make a distinct contribution in the post-2015 UN development agenda.

It is for this reason - Chairperson - that South Africa supports the renovation of the Nuclear Application Laboratories in Seibersdorf. These laboratories play a vital role in the development of technologies which, in their application, could profoundly influence economic growth especially in developing countries. The utility of these laboratories is even more appreciated in countries plagued by pests such as Malaria and the tsetse fly.

In this regard my delegation welcomes the progress made by the Agency in developing a strategic plan for the implementation of the ReNuAL project.    We are co-chairing the Friends of ReNuAL with Germany and invite Member States who are interested in actively supporting the implementation of this project to join the Group.  We call on all Member States to support the Secretariat’s efforts to meet the target date of September 2014 for the ground breaking set by all Member States at the last General Conference.

Chairperson,

Allow me to take this opportunity to provide an update on the project to improve Veterinary Laboratory Capacities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This project is currently being implemented by the Animal Production and Health Laboratory at Seibersdorf with the support of South Africa, the United States and Japan. This project is intended to contribute significantly to food security and poverty reduction in Africa.

Esteemed members of the Board would recall that last year during this session we made a call for additional funding in order for the project to be fully implemented in Africa. I am pleased to announce that the project is now fully funded. In this regard I would like to take this opportunity to thank the United States for making available an additional amount of USD200 000.

Esteemed delegations would be pleased to know that this project has created a network of veterinary diagnostic laboratories which is already performing diagnostics and developing human resource capacity in the region, thus contributing to early warning, control and prevention of devastating infectious animal diseases. During the first week of February this year directors of the network of the laboratories met in Vienna in order to assess progress and jointly reflect on the future actions.

The support provided through this network is acknowledged and appreciated by all the participating Member States.   My delegation encourages the Agency to consider expanding this concept to other regions.

Chairperson

As indicated in the previous occasions, South Africa is in the process of introducing new nuclear power reactors as part of itsIntegrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010-2030. In preparation of this nuclear build programme, South Africa will on 18 to 20 March 2014 hostthe first African Nuclear power Congress under the theme “Building Partnership Teams”.

It is anticipated that this Conference will provide the platform required to encourage the partnerships needed to rapidly advance the nuclear power programme in our country.

Chairperson

My delegation is pleased to report that the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) continues to be one of the major suppliers of Molybdenum-99  from LEU target plates and thus delivers life-saving nuclear medicines and radiotherapy techniques to combat a growing global cancer epidemic that affects countries across the world.

Chairperson

South Africa’s iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences (LABs) facility continue to provide basic and applied research using nuclear technology for the treatment of cancer, and supplies radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine and research for the benefit of the people of South Africa. Last year, iThemba LABs entered into an Agreement with a US company to supply radioisotopes for further production of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). The Agreement will allow the iThemba LABs to lead on its efforts of expanding the cardiac PET market to the African Continent.iThemba LABs continues to play an integral role in supplying a significant part of the global strontium-82 (Sr-82).

My delegation notes with appreciation the progress made by Member States in the management of nuclear waste. Last year our independent National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) considered the application submitted by the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) for the construction of a Production Smelter on the Pelindaba site. We are pleased to report that the NNR has concluded that the Smelter project is in line with the Radioactive Waste Management Policy and Strategy for the Republic of South Africa (2005), and complies with applicable legislation of our country.

With these remarks South Africa takes note of the report of the Director-General on Nuclear Technology Review contained in document GOV/2014/5. I thank you.

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