Statement at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on the Nuclear Safety Review 2021







Vienna, March 2021

AGENDA ITEM 4: Nuclear Safety Review 2021

- as delivered –

Madam Chair,

1. Germany aligns itself with the statement delivered by Portugal on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. Please allow me to add some remarks in my national capacity.

2. Let me start by thanking the Director General for his report contained in document GOV/2021/03 on the “Nuclear Safety Review 2021”.

3. As in previous years the Report offers an excellent overview regarding the global trends and the Agency’s activities. It presents priorities identified by the Agency for 2021 for strengthening nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety.

Madame Chair,

4. I would like to highlight some key activities in Germany in the context of Nuclear Safety over the past year and offer some perspectives.

5. The IAEA's safety culture training workshops for the continuous improvement process of safety culture are helpful and should be continued. The discussions with the international experts - being part of the IRRS missions - are supportive. When planning activities on safety culture, the interface to the security culture should be adequately taken into account - in accordance with the ongoing international activities on the interface. Examples for this would be Peer review activities with recommendations on safety culture and  IAEA support measures to achieve and maintain a strong safety culture.

6. Germany will continue its active contribution to the exchange of experience on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, for example by participating in the International Decommissioning Network of the IAEA and in joint IAEA projects such as the Global Status of Decommissioning Project.

7. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of using operational experience for the safe operation of nuclear reactors was demonstrated again. The experiences shared within the framework of the IRS and IRS-RR activities were helpful and provided a structured and informative overview of the measures taken by NPPs and Research Reactors to deal with the risks imposed by Covid19. Germany thanks the IAEA for quickly informing all member states about implemented and possible measures to contain the pandemic.

8. Germany follows the development of new reactor technologies, especially small and modular reactors (SMR) with critical attention. In the areas of nuclear safety, security and safeguards a manifold of technical and regulatory questions arise in comparison to common NPPs. Accordingly, developments of rules and regulations will be necessary for the utilization of SMRs. The adaptation of safety requirements for NPPs to SMR must prevent a lowering of the safety level. As a member in the Safety Committees, Germany is constructively involved in this process.

9. Germany will continue its active contribution to the exchange of experience on the safety of research reactors. For example, by participating in the international conferences on the Code of Conduct and the incident reporting system for research reactors.

10. The effort of the IAEA to emphasize the importance of the interface between safety and security and to provide assistance in dealing with it should be continued unabated.

Thank you Madam Chair.

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