Statement by Minister Takehiro Kano at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on 6 March 2017


Agenda Item 2(a): Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety (a) Nuclear Safety Review 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chair,
        Japan has been working on various nuclear safety issues, drawing on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. We will continuously contribute to further strengthening nuclear safety globally, while sharing with the Member States information on the progress of recovery and knowledge acquired through our experiences in a transparent manner.
        Japan highly appreciates the activities and efforts of the Director General and the Secretariat in the fields of nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety last year. Nuclear Safety Review 2017 is an instrumental document which gives an overview of the priorities and related activities of the Agency for 2017 and beyond, based on the analytical methodology, provided in the Director General’s report Building on the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety contained in GOV/INF/2016/10. Now it is important for the Member States and the Secretariat to closely communicate with each other and to continue making efforts to strengthen nuclear safety, taking this Nuclear Safety Review into account.
Mr. Chair,
        I would like to make several points regarding this Review as our priorities together with Japan’s own activities in nuclear safety.
(International Legal Frameworks for Nuclear Safety)
        As the Review mentions, it is necessary to strengthen the international legal frameworks for nuclear safety and implement them effectively. In this regard, Japan encourages those Member States which have not done so to join the conventions related to nuclear safety.
        The 7th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) will be held from later this month. It will be the first Review Meeting after the adoption of the Vienna Declaration, which aims at reinforcing the review mechanism of the CNS.
        We expect that the meeting will contribute to further strengthening nuclear safety by providing opportunities for the Contracting Parties to conduct peer review of their experiences in nuclear regulation based on their respective national reports. Those national reports are expected to be more substantial in light of the Vienna Declaration. Japan as G7 chair last year worked with other G7 member countries, including Canada whose expert will be the Review Meeting President,  conducted outreach activities for the universalization of the CNS, and encouraged Contracting Parties to actively participate in this Review Meeting.   
        Japan for its part has submitted a detailed report on its regulatory activities and will proactively participate in peer review with other Contracting Parties.
(Emergency Preparedness and Response)
Mr. Chair,
        Emergency preparedness and response are one of the important areas that require further international cooperation.
        We would like to highlight that the IAEA RANET Capacity Building Centre in Fukushima, since its establishment, has played key roles in this area and hosted 13 workshops with approximately 300 participants from around 60 countries by the end of December 2016. This year, it will host several workshops such as an exercise for RANET/JAT.
        Japan recognizes the important role of the Fukushima-IAEA-CBC, and is positively considering our support to expand its activities and capacities.
(Diverse Nuclear Safety Challenges) 
Mr. Chair,
        While peaceful application of nuclear technologies for development expands in various fields such as human health, such expansion poses us diverse challenges in terms of nuclear safety and radiation protection. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with those challenges in a systematic way.
        A key to dealing with them is the capacity building in countries using those technologies. Japan will continuously support the IAEA’s activities for this objective.
(Peer Review Missions)
Mr. Chair,
        We believe the Agency’s peer review services are helpful for the Member States to improve their nuclear safety and security. Japan received an IPPAS mission in 2015 and an IRRS mission in 2016.  It also plans to receive an IPPAS follow-up mission in 2018.
        Further, it is important to continue improving the peer review services for further effectiveness and efficiency. We highly value the Agency’s work for the revision of the IRRS guidelines. We hope that the Secretariat will continue to work for the improvement in these services in cooperation with the Member States.
(Public Communication /Current Situation of Fukushima Daiichi NPP)
Mr. Chair,
        Lastly, on Public Communication, Japan has been conducting various projects for the recovery from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is making steady progress. We recognize that it is of utmost importance for Japan to continue providing information on its progress to the world.
        In this respect, Japan has been providing to the IAEA Secretariat updated information on the progress of the recovery operation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in a comprehensive and timely manner. The information, together with the Secretariat’s comments, is available on the IAEA website. The latest information has just been uploaded on 3rd of March.
        Also, we have been steadily implementing remediation activities in Fukushima.
        We understand that effective communication with the public based on scientific evidence is essential in facilitating the return of the displaced residents to their home and the re-establishment of their local communities. In this regard, the project jointly conducted by the IAEA and Fukushima Medical University is very useful. The project facilitates the public awareness of radiological effects on human health and addresses the issue of radiation fear and post-traumatic stress disorders. Japan is considering further support for this project.
        Japan remains committed to strengthening nuclear safety in cooperation with the IAEA Secretariat and its Member States.
        With these comments, Japan takes note of the report contained in GOV/2017/3.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.