On September 17, 2018 the 62nd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was opened in Vienna. The Conference is held under the aegis of commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and protection of the environment. The event traditionally brings together high-ranking delegates from more than 160 IAEA Member States to discuss the most relevant issues and set directions for the development of the world nuclear industry.
The Russian delegation was headed by Director General of the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM Alexey Likhachev. In his speech at the plenary session, he expressed commitment to the conclusions set out in the Outcome Document of the IAEA International Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi: “We are satisfied with the fact that for many states nuclear power is a proven, clean, safe and cost-effective technology that will play an important role in achieving energy security and sustainable development goals in the 21st century”. At the same time, Likhachev stressed that Russia also provides assistance to the countries that are interested in non-energy application of nuclear technologies. ROSATOM’ s offer includes Centers for Nuclear Science and Technology focused on the development of science, medicine, and radiation technologies in industry and agriculture.
The head of ROSATOM named effective spent nuclear fuel (SNF) treatment to be the primary goal for the nearest future. According to Mr. Likhachev, this can be achieved through gradual transition to a two-component nuclear power system with a closed nuclear fuel cycle based on BN and VVER reactors. “We also offer our partners reprocessing services for SNF with subsequent involvement of uranium and plutonium into the fuel cycle, as well as radioactive waste conditioning,” he added. “This will ensure the demand for nuclear power for many decades to come”.
In his concluding remarks, Alexei Likhachev highlighted the role of the IAEA in dealing with the key issues in the development of the world nuclear industry. “We are facing a number of large-scale tasks, and in order to deal with them we need to discard the political conjuncture. I am convinced that success can be achieved only through global cooperation, with reliance on the IAEA’s experience and authority”.
At the event ROSATOM presented its joint exposition dedicated to the cutting-edge Russian nuclear technologies. The cornerstone of the exposition was the company’s innovative project Akademik Lomonosov, the world’s first and to date only floating power unit in a series of mobile transportable small-capacity power units. Visitors of the stand received information about ROSATOM’s key activities, as well as international projects of the companies within its structure.
During the first day of the conference, Alexey Likhachev and Minister of Science and Technology of Bangladesh Yafes Osman signed a Protocol to amend the Agreement between the Government of Russia and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on partnership in the construction of a nuclear power plant on the territory of Bangladesh. Besides, TENEX and IAEA concluded a contract on low enriched uranium (LEU) transit necessary for successful implementation of the IAEA LEU Bank international initiative.
The 62nd Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference is held in Vienna on 17 – 21 September 2018.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an organization within the United Nations family. It is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies. The Agency collects scientific and technical information, promotes its exchange, elaborates the standards of nuclear and radiation safety, using the existing staff of international inspectors for the regular check on the peaceful nuclear activities of different states (over 900 sites around the world). Russia, as one of the IAEA founding countries and one of the world nuclear industry leaders plays a significant role in the activities of the organization and enjoys considerable authority among its member states.
The IAEA governing bodies are the General Conference and the Board of Governors. Sessions of the General Conference attended by delegates of all Member States are held annually in September to review and approve the annual report to be submitted to the UN and the Agency’s budget, elect and appoint members of the Board of Governors and discuss any other issues related to the organization’s activities.