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Ukraine called for unity in preserving sanctions against countries that are ruining international security architecture
08 March 2019 10:59

During IAEA Board of Governors meeting on 4-7 March, Ukraine made several statements on nuclear safety, peaceful uses of nuclear technologies and nuclear program of the DPRK

In its statement on nuclear safety the delegation of Ukraine called on a State, responsible for the 2017 ruthenium 106 incident, to finally identify itself and return to unconditional fulfilment of its international commitments in the field of nuclear safety.

In this regard, the delegation of Ukraine presented to Member States several examples of successful post-accident activities on rehabilitating of the contaminated territories after the Chornobyl accident and ensuring the highest level of nuclear safety therein. In particular, Member States were informed about basic results in radiation environment after movement of the New Safe Confinement over the Shelter object.

In addition, Ukraine has drawn attention to the necessity of preserving the sanction regime against those States that continue to ruin international security architecture.

“All appeals ‘to ease the sanctions’ are aimed not at creating the ‘atmosphere of mutual trust’, but dangerous disbalance in the existing international security system.

We have already faced a similar problem when a nuclear weapon state occupied a part of Ukrainian territory and attempted to avoid the responsibility for such actions”, – said the representative of Ukraine in the IAEA.

Full statements of the delegation of Ukraine are attached:

 

Statement by the Representative of Ukraine at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting

March 4-8, 2019

(agenda item 2a «Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety: Nuclear Safety Review 2019»)

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Delegation of Ukraine aligns itself with the statement delivered by the delegation of Romania on behalf of the EU earlier today on this particular issue.

In my national capacity I would like to add the following remarks.

The Delegation of Ukraine wishes to thank DG for his report contained in GOV/2019/3 “Nuclear Safety Review 2019”. We consider it to go in line with the Agency’s Medium-Term Strategy and to be a good basis for possible challenges to be addressed in the IAEA´s future work in the nuclear safety field.

We also commend the Secretariat for the whole process of preparation of the Report as well as for the substantive technical presentation held on 11 February on this matter. This was a yet another opportunity to pay due attention to all safety-related issues conducted by the Agency throughout 2018.

We welcome the fact that all efforts were aimed to assist Member States in capacity building as well as to strengthen Agency’s safety standards. We recognise the value of self-assessment, peer review missions and other advisory services provided by the IAEA to improve nuclear safety capability in Member States.

We also endorse the list of priorities to improve nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety and safety in general, which has been outlined in the “Nuclear Safety Review 2019”. It is clear that further Agency’s activities in the field of nuclear safety should derive from its mandate and according to priorities defined by Member States.

With this in mind, Ukraine is of the view that the Review should properly reflect references to the lessons and experiences being learned from one more crucial accident that introduced essential changes in many spheres of human activity in the world scale – the Chornobyl’s catastrophe.

In his statement in 2016 on the occasion of 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl tragic accident DG said and I quote:

“Chornobyl led to a leap forward in global cooperation on nuclear safety. Countries with nuclear power began sharing information and experience in a way they never had before. The IAEA’s mandate on nuclear safety was enhanced. IAEA Safety Standards were expanded”, end of quote.

My country believes that this message accurately describes the scale of consequences for the Agency’s work in the nuclear safety area. As for Ukraine, until these days my country continues to actively cooperate with the Agency on Chornobyl-related issues as well as to promote its own unique experience of successful post-accident activities aimed at converting the destroyed Unit 4 into an environmentally safe system. These lessons are still being learned. This knowledge is worth to be shared to ensure that such accidents never happen again.

Madam Chair,

The issue of improving nuclear safety and the regulatory effectiveness remains among top-priorities for Ukraine in the field of nuclear-related issues.

Having 15 nuclear units in operation at four sites, Ukraine continues to develop operational safety procedures and protocols, to improve diagnostic capabilities and implement best practices at its nuclear facilities.

We highly appreciate active and efficient involvement of our partners, intending to support Ukraine in the field of operational safety enhancements, risk reduction measures and nuclear safety regulation for civil nuclear facilities.

The latest agreement to extend such cooperation between Ukraine and the United States Department of Energy signed in Kyiv in November 2018 is the best case in point.

Madam Chair,

Let me also use this opportunity to thank the UK Mission in Vienna for organising Workshop on improving and strengthening the IAEA incident reporting arrangements in February.

The importance of such discussions is based on the significant problem pushed by the ruthenium-106 incident in the late 2017 – the problem of one State’s incompliance with international nuclear safety obligations. Let me point out that after already seventeen months passed from the accident, this State has not yet identified itself.

The tainted history of this case raised questions on the ability of countries with nuclear technologies to timely provide reliable and consistent information about their nuclear activities.

After the ruthenium accident the necessity to improve the information exchange procedures on the incidents that are not fully covered by the provisions of the Convention on Early Notification has become even more vital.

Ukraine once again commends the UK for its efforts aimed at identifying potential improvements in these arrangements and supports any further initiatives in this regard.

We would also welcome the outcomes of the UK Workshop to be shared among Member States.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

 

Statement by the Representative of Ukraine at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting

March 4-8, 2019

(agenda item 3 «Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications: Nuclear Technology Review 2019»)

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Delegation of Ukraine aligns itself with the statement delivered by the delegation of Romania on behalf of the EU on this particular issue.

In my national capacity I would like to add the following remarks.

Ukraine wishes to thank Director General for his report contained in the GOV/2019/4 «Nuclear Technology Review 2019». We also commend the Secretariat for a timely technical briefing conducted on 11 February.

Ukraine welcomes the IAEA’s activities and supports its central role related to nuclear science, technology and nuclear power and non-power applications. We note with appreciation the Agency’s efforts to increase Member States contribution to peace and development through a number of assistance and technical cooperation programs, as well as to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. We highly value the Agency’s contribution to promoting the international cooperation in peaceful uses, as it is stated in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The visible result of a fruitful synergy of Member States and the Agency is the continued progress in strengthening and improving safety at NPPs and research reactors across the world. We acknowledge numerous peer review missions and advisory services conducted by the Agency across all safety areas throughout 2018. We take note of the effectiveness of the working groups, workshops and other activities of the IAEA that provided a solid platform for information exchange in aimed at promoting beneficial and peaceful applications of nuclear energy among Member States.

We commend the Agency for holding in November 2018 of the first Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology: Addressing Current and Emerging Development Challenges.

Ukraine welcomes further Agency’s activities aimed at facilitating high-level dialogue on nuclear science, technology and applications for peaceful uses, and on their delivery to Member States.

We are also pleased to note that the end of last year marked with record global generating capacity of 400 GW(e). Ukraine was among 30 States with operating nuclear power plants to have a hand in achieving this rate.

Against this backdrop, it is my pleasure to point out that the Nuclear Energy Complex of Ukraine demonstrates stable development over the past decade. Today it has already become a solid basis for the overall energy complex of my country. Moreover, the “Energy Strategy of Ukraine until 2035” foresees nuclear to have a 50% share in our electricity production by 2035.

Madam Chair,

Ukraine is stable in its perspectives and continues to successfully conduct post-accident activities at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. At the end of 2018 the Chornobyl Unit 4 New Safe Confinement has already been in full operation.

Several examples of the overall effectiveness of these activities and their impact on the radiation environment:

  1. Based on the measurement results, gamma levels in the former area of the Arch erection and radiation levels decreased ten times on average.
  2. The release of radioactive aerosols through gaps in the Shelter Object came down. The Arch excluded the direct exposure of the Shelter to sunlight and wind that had created air flows inside the Object and had spread radioactive aerosols outside it. Total volume of the releases decreased five times on average.

We are also making visible progress in the field of radioactive waste predisposal. The Chornobyl NPP is starting to process liquid radioactive waste in a major step toward cleaning up the 1986 nuclear accident. The operators begin to transfer much of the facility’s liquid nuclear waste into long term storage.

It is planned that Chornobyl’s liquid radioactive treatment plant will process 22000 tonnes of contaminated water resulting from the accident as well as from the operation of the plant’s other three reactors. The wastewater treatment plant, which went into operation in January 2018, is expected to remove radioactive contaminants from water at a rate of about 2000 tonnes a year for the next 20 years.

With these remarks Ukraine supports the recommended Board action set forth in GOV/2019/4.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

 

Statement by the Representative of Ukraine at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting

March 4-8, 2019

(agenda item 5b «Application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea»)

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Delegation of Ukraine aligns itself with the statement delivered by the delegation of Romania on behalf of the EU on this particular issue.

In my national capacity I would like to add the following remarks.

We are inclined to believe that the latest inter-Korean high-level negotiations, the Panmunjom Declaration, the US-DPRK Summit in Singapore as well as the latest Summit in Hanoi will substantially contribute to the process of complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

The fact that the DPRK is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests in the 21st century proves the necessity of giving a legal effect to the statement of this country on its interest to join international efforts for a comprehensive settlement.

The country, which until recent days has been moving closer to having a fully functional nuclear arsenal, should not only show its interest in resumption of negotiations, but to embark on the irreversible path of transforming commitments into deeds as well.

It is regrettable that the latest August 2018 report of the DG as well as the November 2018 update (his today’s statement) prove the continuation and further development of the DPRK's nuclear programme.

Let me reiterate Ukraine’s clear position in this regard – the DPRK cannot have the status of a nuclear weapon State in accordance with the NPT.

Madam Chair,

Ukraine is of the view that the case of North Korea contains two important lessons for the international community.

First, it demonstrates what may happen when weapons of mass destruction are obtained by irresponsible actors. Second, appeasement of aggressive ambitions never works.

As we reaffirm our commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution, there could be no question on lifting the existing sanctions until full compliance of the DPRK with the norms of the international law.

All appeals ‘to ease the sanctions’ are aimed not at creating the ‘atmosphere of mutual trust’, but dangerous misbalance in the existing international security system.

We have already faced a similar problem when a nuclear weapon state occupied a part of Ukrainian territory and attempted to avoid the responsibility for such actions. One cannot exclude eventual deployment of nuclear weapons therein.

In order to prevent the possible nuclear threat on other territories, we must be united to ensure full responsibility for any violation of the international law – no matter whether it was done by a recognized nuclear weapon state or one wishing to gain such a status.

Madam Chair,

Ukraine welcomes Agency’s continued efforts to enhance the operational readiness to resume safeguards implementation in the DPRK by forming a special DPRK Team within the Department of Safeguards as well as the relevant Executive Group within the Secretariat.

We also request Director General to continue informing the Board of Governors on this issue and to maintain this agenda item in further Board’s meetings.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

 

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