Status: Open

First two meetings within III Main Committee held within X NPT Review Conference

Zubenko, Alexandra S.
Project Coordinator, Oral History of Nuclear Nonproliferation Project - Junior Research Fellow, Nuclear Nonproliferation and Russia Program
August 10, 2022
NPT

On August 8, the first two meetings were held in the Third Main Committee of the X NPT Review Conference, which specializes in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. During the meetings, statements were made by 48 States, as well as 4 coalitions and the EU.

Representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement expressed concern about the ability of some States that are not parties to the Treaty to receive nuclear materials, technologies and know-how for the development of nuclear weapons from the Nuclear Non-Aligned Movement.

France noted that nuclear power is one of the most low-carbon sources of electricity and its development meets the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement for the period up to 2030.

In its statement, Russia highlighted a number of Russian achievements in the field of nuclear energy: the construction of nuclear icebreakers using low-power reactors, the creation of advanced fast neutron reactors with an emphasis on the development of closed fuel cycle technology, the operation of the world’s only floating nuclear power plant in Chukotka. Russia is also helping other states to establish national centers of nuclear science and technology. Such centers are currently being built in Zambia, Rwanda, Serbia, Vietnam.

Iran noted the importance of the IAEA safeguards system in ensuring the non-proliferation regime. However, he stressed that it is necessary to change the policy of financing technical cooperation, which is currently being implemented on the basis of voluntary contributions: “Such contributions are unpredictable, unsecured and depend on the political motives of donors.” A similar criticism was made by South Africa, stating that “it is vital that the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme be strengthened and that the resourcing of the Technical Cooperation Fund be sufficient, assured and predictable.”

South Africa also noted that ” Any mechanism in the field of guaranteed nuclear fuel supply must be non-politicized and nondiscriminatory. These materials should be available for all states adhering to their safeguards agreements. Our delegation believes that the transfer of nuclear materials should be driven by nonpolitical criteria, and be applied objectively and in compliance with the provisions of the NPT”.

Indonesia called for a complete and unconditional ban, as stipulated in the Treaty, on the transfer of nuclear technologies and materials to States that are not parties to the Treaty.

The UK stressed the importance of projects such as the Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Program, “which is in line with the commitment to ensure that by 2030 women make up 40% of the workforce in the UK nuclear industry.”

China has accused Japan of releasing radiologically contaminated water used in the operation of the Fukushima reactor into the ocean. In response, Japan claimed that the water was discharged under the control of the IAEA and the discharge method was approved by the agency.

The committee’s meetings will continue this week. PIR Center will continue to follow the X NPT Review Conference.