IAEA 67th General Conference

Global Cooperation in the Nuclear Field


6 October 2023

IAEA 67th General Conference WNTI Report

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IAEA’s General Conference 2023 At A Glance

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held its 67th General Conference in Vienna, Austria from the 25 – 29th September 2023.

The conference brought together a range of industry experts from member states, government and non-governmental organisations to discuss a number of pressing issues in the nuclear field. WNTI Specialists, Elisa Penda and Simon Chaplin attended the event.

One of the main topics of discussion was the importance of nuclear safety and security. Participants acknowledged that the rapid expansion of nuclear technology across the globe has increased the need for better safeguards and standards to ensure that nuclear energy is used safely and responsibly.

During the conference, members discussed and exchanged ideas on various aspects of nuclear energy, including the application of new technologies in the sector. There was also an emphasis on the role of nuclear science in achieving sustainable development and enhancing healthcare systems worldwide.

Additionally, the conference addressed the challenges facing the nuclear industry in the current economic and political climate. Leaders discussed ways to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of nuclear power, as well as strategies for promoting international cooperation in nuclear research and development.

Overall, the IAEA’s 67th General Conference was a productive and insightful gathering of experts in the nuclear field. Through their discussions and collaborations, attendees worked to advance the responsible use and development of nuclear technology for the benefit of all people and the planet.

Keep reading to read about some of WNTI’s highlights from this years General Conference.









IAEA 67th General Conference in Numbers


Enhancing Access to the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear: Addressing Delays in and Denials of Shipments

On the first day of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 67th General Conference, WNTI specialists, Simon Chaplin and Elisa Penda attended the side event: ‘Enhancing Access to the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear: Addressing Delays in and Denials of Shipments’.

‘While a robust regulatory and nuclear safety framework has been established for the safe and secure transport of radioactive materials, denials of and delays in shipments can take place. With over 40 million nuclear medicine procedures performed annually, rejection or interruption of shipments can pose significant effects on patients receiving cancer treatment or those awaiting diagnosis. This event will convene a dialogue on the challenges associated with denials and delays of shipments, and provide updates on activities currently under way to address these challenges, particularly through the work of the IAEA’s Denial of Shipment Working Group.’

The event was facilitated by Australia and moderated by Dr. Gillian Hirth. During the session, IAEA Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi spoke of the role of the IAEA on this important issue including establishing the Denial of Shipment (DoS) Working Group, of which WNTI is a member. Next, we heard from World Nuclear Association Director General, Sama Bilbao y Leon, discussing ‘Unpacking the issue of denials and delays – industry perspectives’.

We also heard interventions from, Australia Representative, Ian Biggs, Canada Representative, Troy Lulashnyk and Argentina Representative, Holger Martinsen on challenges facing their countries.

Oli Housden, Deputy Director Non-Proliferation at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, spoke on the issue:

‘To some it clearly has a huge life changing impact on those of waiting diagnoses or undergoing cancer treatment. And of course, the greater use of radioactive materials in medicine and the drive towards Net Zero, increases the need for reliable and cost effective transport. So if we’re going to increase demand, we’ve got to do something about the supply.’

Finally, the Chair of the DoS Working Group, Paulo Alvano, delivered an update on the progress of the group’s activities. He informed the attendees of the development of a Communications Strategy and a survey aimed at gathering information from National Focal Points, Competent Authorities, and industry operating in the field. In addition, the dates for the next Working Group meetings were announced as 15 – 19 April 2024 and 2 – 6 December 2024.

Find out more about Delay and Denial of Shipments

The IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank:

Assurance of Supply Mechanism of Last Resort and a Reserve of LEU Available for Eligible Member States

This event presented on the establishment and operation of the IAEA LEU Bank. Located in Kazakhstan, this facility is owned and operated by the IAEA as part of global efforts to supply nuclear fuel to countries in the event of open market disruption. The bank has been in operation since 2019. The LEU cylinders are now entering a process of rectification. Many WNTI member organisations have been involved in the consultancy meeting supporting this work.

The WNTI Standard on UF6 Cylinder Identification was developed to standardise the format for UF6 cylinder identification. Cylinders, such as those in the LEU bank, use a bar-code described in the WNTI Standard.

Member organisations acknowledged, alongside WNTI:

  • Orano
  • Kazatomprom
  • Cameco
  • Urenco
  • TAM International
  • Descote

WNTI Standard on UF6 Cylinder Identification

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Tour of the Incident and Emergency Centre

Participants of the 67th General Conference were given the opportunity to tour the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC), the global focal point for international preparedness and response to nuclear or radiological emergencies.

The IEC was formed in 2005 due to the increased in nuclear applications, as well as the heightened concern of the malicious use of nuclear or radioactive materials.
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The tour group was given an overview of the IAEA’s Responsibilities for Response

  1. Inform Member States of an emergency notification and provide information.
  2. Provide public information.
  3. Assess emergency consequences and provide a prognosis of emergency progression.
  4. Provide assistance.
  5. Coordinate the inter-agency response.

The IEC in numbers

  • 24/7 coverage for nuclear and radiological emergencies.
  • Responds to 40 events per year on average.
  • Over 270 contact points in member states worldwide.
  • Over 1400 users registered to the The Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies (USIE).
  • 33 Countries registered in the Response and Assistance Network (RANET).
  • 54 days activated in full response mode during the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
  • 18 International Organisations are members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies (IACRNE).
  • More than 20 Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) series publications.
  • Over 1200 professionals in Member Stares trained on average per year.
  • Over 40 Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) Service Missions conducted worldwide.

IAEA 67th General Conference Highlights

Questions about the IAEA 67th General Conference?

Please contact WNTI Specialists, Simon Chaplin or Elisa Penda

Capt. Simon Chaplin

Maritime and Security Specialist

Elisa Penda

WNTI Specialist