Two African nations join safety and security treaties at IAEA conference

September 25, 2020, 7:01AMNuclear News

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and Teodolinda Coelho, Angola’s ambassador. Photo: IAEA

Grossi and Roger Albéric Kacou, Côte d’Ivoire’s ambassador. Photo: IAEA

Angola and Côte d’Ivoire deposited legal instruments with the International Atomic Energy Agency earlier this week, expressing their consent to be bound by treaties designed to strengthen nuclear safety and security.

On the sidelines of the IAEA’s 64th General Conference, Angola joined the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), as well as the latter’s 2005 amendment, while Côte d’Ivoire joined the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

Representing Angola and Côte d’Ivoire at the September 21 event were their respective ambassadors to Austria: Teodolinda Coelho and Roger Albéric Kacou.

What they said: “With this event, Angola reinforced its commitment to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes,” Coelho said. “It is good for us to take these opportunities that the agency gives to our country and other state parties.”

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi added, “Nuclear science and technology has a lot to contribute to Angola’s development. With these instruments in place, you are going to be walking on safer grounds.”

IAEA on the treaties: The Convention on Nuclear Safety commits parties operating land-based civil nuclear power plants to maintain a high level of safety by establishing fundamental safety principles. It also requires parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for peer review. The convention now has 89 parties.

The CPPNM focuses on the physical protection of nuclear material used for peaceful purposes during international transport. In 2005, an amendment was adopted to broaden the treaty’s scope to include physical protection requirements for nuclear facilities and nuclear material in domestic use, storage, and transport. The amendment also provides for expanded cooperation and information sharing between states in cases of stolen material or sabotage. The CPPNM now has 162 parties—125 of which, including Angola, are party to its amendment as well.

The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, adopted following the Chernobyl accident, boosts international response to nuclear accidents by providing a notification system for rapid information exchange to minimize transboundary radiological consequences. In the event of an accident, the state where the accident occurs is required to promptly provide the IAEA and states that are or may be physically affected with relevant information. The treaty now has 127 parties.

The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency provides a mutual assistance mechanism to minimize the consequences of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency and to protect life, property, and the environment against the effects of radioactive releases. It sets out an international framework for cooperation among state parties, with the IAEA offering assistance and support. It requires states to notify the IAEA of their available experts, equipment, and materials to provide assistance. There are now 122 parties to this treaty.

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