IAEA General Conference: Expressing Japan’s Position on the Accident at the Nuclear Power Plant

October 27, 2011

The 55th regular session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference was held in Vienna from September 19 to 23, with H.E. Mr. Goshi Hosono, Minister of State for Special Missions, Cabinet Office and Head of the Delegation of Japan, in attendance. Minister Hosono exchanged views with other Heads and officials concerned, expressing gratitude for the support received following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and explained Japan’s efforts and future outlook with regard to the Accident at the Nuclear Power Plant and how the IAEA and other countries should work together going forward. Minister Hosono also gave opening remarks at the briefing session on the Accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant held by Japan at the fringe of the IAEA General Conference, during which he stated that Japan had submitted an additional report on the Accident to the IAEA, that the situation is gradually working towards restoration, and that decontamination and other off-site responses, as well as efforts to manage the health of residents, are some of the highest priorities of the Government of Japan.

Speech Delivered by Minister Hosono

In his address on the first day of the General Conference, Minister Hosono touched upon the Accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant and (a) expressed appreciation to the IAEA and its Member States for their support after the Accident, and extended high appreciation to the leadership demonstrated by the IAEA Director General Mr. Yukiya Amano as he leads international efforts for putting into practice lessons learned from the Accident for enhanced nuclear safety and strengthened nuclear security. Furthermore, he stated that (b) it is the commitments of Japan to achieving the earliest possible settlement of the Accident, investigating its cause, sharing with the international community lessons learned from such endeavours and reflecting these lessons upon the IAEA’s efforts for further strengthening nuclear safety, and that Japan will make every effort to implement the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, (c) Japan will bring forward the existing target period and endeavour to achieve a cold shutdown by the end of the year, (d) the Government will aim to create the "Nuclear Safety and Security Agency" in April next year as an external body of the Ministry of the Environment to unify nuclear regulation authorities, boost safety culture, and put in place an enhanced crisis management system, while striving to fundamentally strengthen the nuclear safety regulations themselves, and (e) Japan was planning to receive an IAEA decontamination mission in October of this year, and will co-host a high-level meeting together with the IAEA in 2012 in which the Government would like to share with the international community the results of the comprehensive review of Japan’s nuclear power plants and the direction of nuclear safety measures. With regard to regional nuclear issues and the peaceful use of nuclear power, Minister Hosono also explained Japan’s position and relevant efforts regarding the nuclear issues in North Korea, Iran, and Syria, nuclear disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear power, as well as expressing Japan’s intent to continue to work in cooperation with the IAEA and other countries.

Finalization of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety

At the IAEA General Conference, the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety was finalized to strengthen nuclear safety internationally in the aftermath of the Accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The Director General of the IAEA created a draft of the Action Plan, which was approved by consensus at the IAEA Board of Governors’ Meeting on September 13, with the finalized Action Plan consisting of a preamble and 12 actions (including (a) a safety assessment from the standpoint of the Accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant and (b) an IAEA peer review and other measures to expand the IAEA safety assessment mission suggested by Japan). It also referred to the international conference on nuclear safety to be held jointly by Japan and the IAEA in 2012.

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