Permanent Representation to the International Organisations in Vienna /Newsroom /

Slovenia calls for continuous attention to the issue of ageing nuclear power plants

Statement by Ambassador Andrej Benedejčič, Permanent Representative and Governor from Slovenia, at the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, on the measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety (Agenda item 3a), Vienna, 11 September 2017

Mr. Chairperson,

Slovenia aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. In addition, I would like to highlight Slovenian engagement in several important activities related to nuclear safety.  First of all, let me report that in May we hosted an OSART mission in the Krško Nuclear Power Plant.  We also organized the preparatory EPREV mission in April and are looking forward to the visit of the full review mission in November.

Secondly, I would like to point out that this March we hosted the IAEA International Generic Ageing Lessons Learned (IGALL) working group in Ljubljana, which was one of the six meetings held within the reporting period.  We also organized the Safety Aspects of Long Term Operation of Water Moderated Reactors (SALTO) workshop last August.  These events represent an integral part of our response to the global trend of nuclear power plants getting older.  In our view, it is increasingly important to raise awareness about their long term operation and associated ageing issues.

Thirdly, let me also emphasize the importance that my country attaches to maintaining emergency preparedness.  In this context, we consider the IAEA Convex exercises as an especially useful tool.  We therefore took an active part this June in the biggest event within this programme, in the Convex-3 exercise, in which Hungary played the accident state and our response was that of a neighbouring state.

On a more general note, I would like to underline the importance of international legal instruments, especially the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.  In our opinion, the whole review process, including the engagement of contracting parties through national reports and review meetings, constructively contributes to strengthening international cooperation in these important areas.

We also have a very positive view of the International Reporting System (IRS).  This joint project of the IAEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD is an excellent tool, which is essential for the international exchange of operational lessons learned.  We use it extensively to learn from others about operating events, analyse them and consequently implement appropriate measures at the national level.  We believe that this system is particularly important for countries with smaller nuclear programs, such as ours.

Finally, we would like to commend the good work of the Safety Standards Commission and thank the Secretariat for supporting it, as well as the committees, in preparation of the much needed safety requirements. We also attach importance to the continued close cooperation in the area of protection against ionizing radiation between the Agency and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), as well as the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

Let me therefore conclude by encouraging the Agency to continue with its proactive stance in the area of international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety.  With this, my Delegation takes note of the document GOV/2017/28.

Thank you.