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Vice Minister Mun Gives Keynote Speech at the 63rd IAEA General Conference (Sep17)

- Mun Emphasizes the Joint Effort by IAEA and its Members for Handling Fukushima Radioactive Water

Vice Minister Mun gave a keynote speech to the delegations from 171 member countries at the 63rd General Conference of the IAEA held at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria on September 16.

Vice Minister Mun pointed out that no solutions to Fukushima radioactive water have been found, causing anxiety among people, and that Japan’s high-level official considers releasing the contaminated water into the ocean as an inevitable solution.

o She underlined the necessity of joint commitment from the IAEA and its Members in the case Japan decides to dump the water into the ocean as such event can have a huge impact on the global marine environment.

She said that just as the IAEA took an active role together with Japan in managing the aftermath of Fukushima nuclear disaster, the agency also needs to take a similar approach in handling the contaminated water.

o She said that field investigation on the state of Japan’s nuclear reactors and radioactive water and assessment of their environmental impact must be carried out in a scientific and objective manner, suggesting the IAEA come up with safe, reliable standards and methods for radioactive water treatment.

o She emphasized the role of Japan to take practical and transparent measures to protect people’s health and safety and the environment.

She also mentioned the Korean government’s commitment to realize complete denuclearization and a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula,

o calling for North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization, and asked for the support of the IAEA, its Members and international community.

She presented Korea’s policies on improving nuclear safety standards and nuclear safety innovation project using data, network and AI.

o She also emphasized the importance of acquiring nuclear decommissioning technology and cooperating with the IAEA and its Members to meet demands for nuclear decommissioning from home and abroad.

Vice Minister Mun said that Korea is willing to share its outstanding technologies for designing, constructing and operating nuclear power plants, as well as its experience of commercializing them, with the IAEA and its Members.

o She presented a few examples of such technologies: the globally acclaimed APR-1400, which earned the European Utility Requirements’ approval and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Standard Design Approval, and SMART, small modular reactor about to be commercialized after the completion of Pre-Project Engineering (PPE) with Saudi Arabia.

Vice Minister Mun went on to say that Korea is continually making financial contributions to the Peaceful Use Initiatives (PUI) of the IAEA to support a range of technology cooperation projects.

o She said the High-flux Neutron Application Reactor (HANARO), designated by the IAEA as International Centres based on Research Reactors (ICERR)*, and the new research reactor for isotope production located in Gijang, Busan, will be great assets to the development of research reactor use.

* A scheme that designates research reactors with capacity to provide education, training and R&D service in order to promote the use of research reactors (HANARO is the 5th ICEER).

She expressed Korea’s commitment to helping nuclear energy contribute to the peace and prosperity of humanity, calling for the joint efforts of the IAEA Members.

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