Mon, 21 Sep 2020

General Conference Day 2 Highlights

International Atomic Energy Agency
18 Sep 2019, 23:07 GMT+10

During the plenary session of the General Conference, 46 delegations delivered statements, which are available here.

The 2019 Scientific Forum on A Decade of Action on Cancer Control and the Way Forward opened today. The two-day is focusing on the contribution of nuclear science and technology to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Helping countries tackle the cancer burden remains one of the top priorities for the IAEA, Acting Director General Cornel Feruta highlighted in his opening statement.

Click here for a summary of the opening session, and click here to watch a video recording of the session.

The following side events took place on Tuesday:

At the event Gender Equality in the Workplace​​​​​​​, panellists explored how organizations can effectively attract and retain qualified women in the nuclear field, and how to be an employer of choice for women.

During the event, Building Future Safeguards Capabilities: Insights from the 2018 Symposium on International Safeguards, delegates learned about the outcomes of the 2018 Symposium, and how this event hosted by the IAEA every four years supports strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of international safeguards implementation.

At the event Vacancies and Recruitment Process at the IAEA, attendees received information about the recruitment and application process. They learned how to create an impactful application, understand the job description, describe achievements, write a cover letter and sign up for job updates relevant to their areas of interest.

At the event IAEA Support to Environmental Remediation Projects, the panel discussion focused on the successful environmental remediation initiatives over the last decade. At this event, there were two announcements: the 10th anniversary of the IAEA Network on Environmental Management and Remediation (ENVIRONET) and the first IAEA International Conference on the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in Industry 2020.

The IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) turns 50 this year, and the anniversary was commemorated at a side event. Delegates learned about PRIS's important role as the world's leading information system on nuclear power reactors. PRIS is a comprehensive database that details the complete history of nuclear power operations in the world.

At the event Towards a Strong Radiation Safety Culture in Medicine, delegates learned how the IAEA is participating in International Patient Safety Day, which is today under the theme 'Safety Culture at all Levels'. The event highlighted the IAEA's work to strengthen safety culture in medical facilities. Speakers discussed how to improve radiation safety culture in medicine and how to support radiation protection and patient safety in general. You can view a recording of this discussion here.

The Understanding IAEA Procurement event provided tips to Member State representatives and current and potential suppliers on opportunities and procedures on doing business with the IAEA. The presentation outlined the roles and responsibilities of suppliers and the IAEA, the key steps in the procurement process and an overview of the volume and categories of IAEA purchases.

At the event Preparing the Next Generation of the Workforce for the Nuclear Industry: The Journey from Graduate to Professional delegates heard about the importance of having competent, qualified and capable staff in the nuclear energy field and the efforts of the nuclear industry to attract and retain a new generation of talent. Attendees also learned about skill development, professional awareness, competencies, career advancements and other related issues relevant to the transfer of knowledge to young professionals.

During the event, Leading for Safety: What I Learned at the International School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety young and mid-career professionals who have taken part in the IAEA International School of Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety discussed how the course helped them develop as safety leaders.

The Strengthening Safeguards Implementation in Member States through Collaboration event highlighted the IAEA's continued support to States in establishing and strengthening their State systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material (SSACs).

At the Options to Manage Spent Fuel from Reserach Reactors event, delegates heard about management options for spent fuel from research reactors, such as reprocessing or final disposal in an underground repository. It also featured a real time simulation of decision support tools developed during a coordinated research project to assist national experts in selecting a suitable management strategy.

At the event Celebrating the 100th Edition of the Postgraduate Educational Course (PGEC) in Radiation Protection and the Safety of Radiation Sources, the focus was on the success of the course that is regularly delivered across all regions in English, French, Russian, Spanish and in Portuguese. In its 37 years of existence, the courses have helped 120 countries build radiation safety knowledge in young graduates.

Member State activities:

At the event Nuclear Medicine from the Lab to the Patient: Innovative and Proven Highlights of Belgian Contributions to Nuclear Medicine, delegates heard about Belgium's leading role in the promotion of nuclear medical applications. They learned that Belgium is one of the largest producers of equipment and of medical radioisotopes for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

The NICE Future Initiative Year 2: The Flexible Nuclear Campaign and the Role of Nuclear in Future Clean Energy Systems event, organized by the United States, highlighted the Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy (NICE) future initiative to inform countries considering cost effective clean energy options about the role nuclear energy can play in supporting the expanding role of renewables, as well as the new capabilities of advanced nuclear reactors.

The European and Central Asian Safety (EuCAS) Network: A Platform for Nuclear and Radiation Safety in Europe and Central Asia event showcased EuCAS Network which helps members to connect, collaborate and communicate on nuclear and radiation safety. Since 2016, EuCAS has provided a platform for information and experience sharing among regulatory bodies and technical and scientific support organizations.

The Small and Medium Sized and Modular Reactors (SMRs) to Power the Future: Opportunities and Challenges event, organized by France, presented the F-SMR project and featured a discussion among high level and key stakeholders involved.

The Professional Community and Collaboration event, organized by Russia, presented experience in developing professional, youth and student communities to participate in nuclear projects, and the role of mentors and tutors in educating the new generation of engineers.

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons event organized by Venezuela in its capacity as Chair of the Vienna Chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement commemorated the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

The Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR): Effective Partnerships for Nuclear Safety and Security in the Arab Region event, organized by Tunisia, showcased ANNuR, which is a regional network that enables the exchange of information, knowledge, experiences and lessons learned among regulators in Arab countries. ANNuR plays a key role in sharing and maintaining the knowledge in nuclear safety and security, radiation protection and emergency preparedness.

The Global Cancer Grid: Eliminating Disparities in Cancer Care Worldwide event, organized by India, showcased the expansion of India's National Cancer Grid to other low- and middle-income countries to support documentation of the disease burden; provision of high quality cancer care, continuing medical education and trained manpower; and implementation of region-centric cost effective collaborative cancer research.

The Improvements in Application of Nuclear Sciences in Human Health and Industry in Iran event covered information on radiation applications in the country and its capabilities in indigenously supplying and meeting domestic needs in this area.

The Robots, Drones and Game Changing Brains: The Future Facing Story of UK Decommissioning event presented how the United Kingdom uses innovative solutions in decommissioning across multiple sites; in harnessing the brightest minds to form the next generation of decommissioning experts; and in reducing costs and optimizing efficiency and safety of decommissioning through the United Kingdom's ambitious Nuclear Sector Deal.

At the event Light, the Way Forward: Advanced Light Sources for Peace and Development, organized by Jordan, attendees learned how light sources are among the most important radiation facilities available for interdisciplinary research and innovation. This event demonstrated their broad utility and how they may foster cooperation between countries.

The 200 MW(th) Multipurpose Integrated Nuclear Heating Reactor event featured the latest innovation in advanced small modular reactors in China. The Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute showcased the 200 MW(th) nuclear heating reactor called LandStar-1, a multipurpose integrated pressurized water reactor used for central heating of residence buildings and industrial steam supply.

At the event, Preparing Future Generations to Support Nuclear Power Using Operating Experience and Lessons Learned from Operating Nuclear Power Programmes: The Veterans' Perspective, organized by Russia, delegates heard about the lessons learned from the older fleets of nuclear plants that can be used to ensure future generations of workers are better prepared to deal with technical issues associated with plant life management, demographic resource challenges as well as with the public understanding of nuclear power.

At the event Uzbekistan - Nuclear Newcomer information was provided on Uzbekistan's newly established Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy (UzAtom) and the plans for construction of its first nuclear power plant.

The event Laser-Driven Neutron Sources for Nuclear Applications organized by Germany, introduced new technology to apply high-power laser systems as a driver for compact neutron sources for non-destructive evaluation, radiography and active interrogation of sensitive nuclear material.

The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) Experience: Non-Proliferation and Safeguards through Regional Cooperation event highlighted the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the quadripartite agreement between Argentina, Brazil, the ABACC, and the IAEA for the application of safeguards. Discussions focused on the ABACC and its cooperation with the IAEA in coordinating inspections, its relationship with Euratom, and future challenges.

Other activities

The annual meeting of the Representatives of the Cooperative Agreement for Arab States in Asia for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (ARASIA) took place on the margins of the Conference, to review and evaluate policy and programmatic achievements made under the ARASIA Agreement in order to identify best practices and draw relevant lessons.

At the Nuclear Operators' Forum: Challenges and Solutions for the Sustainable Management of the Nuclear Supply Chain, Member States were provided an opportunity to share and discuss current and future challenges related to the management of the nuclear supply chain. It covered management, quality, oversight, regulation, sustainability, innovative technologies, suspect items, spare parts and reliability of the nuclear supply chain in Member States with operating nuclear power plant.

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), based in Daejeon, South Korea, recieved ICERR designation at a ceremony today on the sidelines of the IAEA's 63rd General Conference. It will provide scientists from around the world access to its research reactor and facilities for training and R&D as part of the IAEA-designated International Centres based on Research Reactors (ICERR) programme.

Country Programme Framework (CPF)

A CPF is the frame of reference for the medium-term planning of technical cooperation between a Member State and the IAEA and identifies priority areas where the transfer of nuclear technology and technical cooperation resources will be directed to support national development goals.

Muhammad Naeem, Chairman, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Dazhu Yang, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation, signed Pakistan's Country Programme Framework (CPF) for the period of 2020-2025.

( from right to left) The First Lady of Burkina Faso Sika Kabore and Lalla Malika Mahamadou, Niger's First Lady visit the IAEA Nuclear Applications Laboratories in Siebersdorf, Austria

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