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Statements, Topnews

09. Februar 2015

STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR TEBOGO SEOKOLO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF SOUTH AFRICA, AT THE OPENING OF THE DIPLOMATIC CONFERENCE TO THE CONVENTION ON NUCLEAR SAFETY (CNS), 09 FEBRUARY 2015

Mr President,

I extend my delegation’s sincere congratulations to you, Ambassador Rafael Grossi, Permanent Representative of Argentina, on your election as the President of the Diplomatic Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

We thank you for the manner in which you facilitated preparations to this conference, and particularly for creating a conducive atmosphere for all delegations to freely and positively engage with all matters related to this conference, including its outcome,  in a consensual manner.

Let me also thank the delegation of the Swiss Confederation for triggering a process that culminated to this important conference which has afforded us an opportunity to demonstrate our collective commitment and unity to enhance nuclear safety.

Mr President,

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident highlighted the significance of the issue of nuclear safety. This incident inspired many countries including my own, South Africa, to conduct safety re-assessments. As already indicated in other fora, this assessment revealed no major shortcomings in the safety of our nuclear facilities.

In addition to this assessment, South Africa also instituted a number of modifications at our facilities and operating procedures in order to further improve safety, including additional studies beyond the current design basis.  

Further South Africa developed a National Nuclear Safety Action Plan in line with the IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan adopted by the General Conference in September 2011. We have also revised our regulatory framework to ensure the adequate level of safety for our operating facilities. The action plan has been implemented to address amongst others the following:

·        The legislative framework and nuclear safety governance;

·        The nuclear safety regime for nuclear installations;

·        The national nuclear emergency preparedness framework;

·        The nuclear liability system;

·        The implementation of radiation protection principles to prevent undue exposures to the environment and members of the public.

Mr President,

South Africa considers this Diplomatic Conference as a significant milestone and a vital platform to demonstrate the international commitment to enhanced nuclear safety.

Our expectation from this Conference is that we should display and convey a single message that we are united in dealing with the issue of nuclear safety. In this regard we believe that the adoption, by consensus, of the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety is a significant signal of our collective commitment to the objectives embodied in the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS).

I thank you.

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