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Agenda Item 2: The Annual Report for 2022

IAEA Board of Governors

Agenda Item 2: The Annual Report for 2022

5 June 2023

Right of reply by H.E Ambassador Ian Biggs, Governor and Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA


Chair, Australia joins previous speakers in offering our sincere condolences to the people of India after the tragic rail accident in Odisha.

Chair, I take the floor for the first time as Governor to reply to misleading remarks this morning on AUKUS verification and on the release of treated water from Fukushima.

As we noted in the note verbale distributed by Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States on 2 June, the Director General has included an item on Naval Nuclear Propulsion in Australia under the nuclear verification heading. This is the appropriate place to discuss AUKUS. We continue to reject the misleading assertions on AUKUS we have heard this morning, and will update the Board under the Director General’s agenda item.

Australia notes the Agency’s substantial progress in its review of safety related aspects of the handlings of the treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

We acknowledge also the work of the IAEA’s independent and impartial Fukushima Task Force and have full confidence in the science based technical advice it provides.

We also welcome Japan’s advice about the planned discharge of the ALPS-treated water.

Australia expects that the planned release of treated water will be fully informed by science and meet the IAEA’s nuclear safety and security standards, and that the water will be released in accordance with globally accepted nuclear safety standards for the protection of the environment and human health.

We welcome the IAEA’s ongoing role in the independent oversight of the release.

Australia looks forward to the continued strong collaboration between Japan and the IAEA as this important project progresses.

We appreciate also the dedicated efforts of Japan and the IAEA to engage with Pacific Island States, including through the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting process, and Director General Grossi’s visit to Fiji in July 2022 to brief members of the Pacific Island Forum, during which he was able to listen to the concerns and views of Pacific Leaders.

Finally, we shall have more to say under the item on nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine on the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Thank you, Chair.