Speech by Stefan Tidow in the plenum of the 66th IAEA General Conference

Speech by Stefan Tidow in the plenum of the 66th IAEA General Conference in the shadow of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its impact on Germany.

– Check against delivery –

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr President,

On behalf of my government,
I congratulate you on your election
as President of this General Conference.

Germany thanks the Director General and the IAEA staff for their steadfast commitment. We strongly endorse the importance of the Seven Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security as the baseline of our joint efforts.

We call on Russia to immediately restore full control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine.

Germany remains profoundly concerned by the seizure of Ukrainian nuclear facilities and other actions by Russian armed forces that pose a serious threat to the safety and security of these facilities, significantly increasing the risk of a nuclear accident or incident, and endangering the population of Ukraine, neighbouring states and the international community.

IAEA staff must be given access to all nuclear facilities in Ukraine, safely and without impediment, and be able to engage directly and without interference with the Ukrainian personnel responsible for the operation of these facilities. The personal safety of all individuals implementing these efforts must be guaranteed.

We encourage all Member States to support the IAEA’s efforts.

The German Federal Government will continue its bilateral long-term commitment to enhance nuclear security and safety in Ukraine, and stands ready to support DG Grossi’s and IAEA’s efforts.

The German Federal Agency for Radiation Protection last carried out large-scale radiological measurements in the exclusion zone around the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl in 2021, and established good and close cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities before the war.

For Germany, it goes without saying that we will support Ukraine with measuring equipment and personal protective equipment as part of the request for assistance under the IAEA RANET programme and we will continue this support.

In the field of security, the central task of IAEA is to develop new security guidance. The worrying developments in the field of computer security have made it necessary to have well-trained experts on hand to support critical infrastructures.

I would like to give special thanks to the IAEA safeguard inspectors, who continue to carry out their work reliably under increasingly difficult conditions.

In addition to ageing management, I would like to emphasise the need to consider safety, security and safeguards, particularly in relation to innovative reactors and small modular reactors.

Germany made the decision to phase out the commercial use of nuclear energy for electricity generation. We consider nuclear power to be a high-risk technology that is not sustainable. Every country has the right to decide for itself whether to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. The phase out in Germany therefore does not affect our commitment to ensuring the peaceful use of nuclear power.

Germany has been a permanent member of the IAEA Board of Governors since 1973. We will continue our strong, expert involvement in the work of the bodies, events and missions of the IAEA. We will continue our strong support for the IAEA in advancing nuclear safety standards, security guidelines and its safeguards and verification activities.

We are the fourth largest contributor to the IAEA’s budget and TC Fund, and the largest contributor through the European Union. Germany contributes to the Nuclear Security Fund as well as via extra-budgetary contributions and its Support Programme for IAEA Safeguards, which has been active for more than 40 years.

Germany supports the TC programme in the fields of health and nutrition, food and agriculture, water and the environment. To achieve the goal to enable access to non-power applications, in particular in the poorest countries, it is important to closely coordinate the work of the IAEA with the UN Development Agencies.

We are Co-Chairs of the Friends of ReNuAL group, together with South Africa, and will continue to support the IAEA’s Nuclear Applications Laboratories in Seibersdorf.

I am pleased to announce that the German Federal Foreign Office is currently preparing a considerable contribution to support the Seibersdorf laboratory for training courses.

While Germany remains fully committed to restoring the JCPoA, my government is deeply concerned by Iran’s escalating nuclear programme. Many aspects of this programme lack any credible civilian justification. Moreover, we call on Iran to cooperate substantially with the Agency, with a view to clarifying and resolving the outstanding safeguards-related issues. I would also like to express my thanks and appreciation to the IAEA for its professional verification and monitoring in Iran.

We welcome the Agency’s efforts to enhance its readiness for verifying North Korea’s nuclear programme, once the political conditions allow. We stand ready to support such a process.

Germany fully trusts the IAEA including when handling new situations such as AUKUS. We support the Director General’s approach to working with the interested parties on this complex, technical matter.

To conclude, let me say:

Germany is grateful for the successful work of the Agency and stands ready to provide continued support.

Thank you for your attention.

28.09.2022 | Speech Nuclear Safety | Berlin

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