IAEA conference commits to strengthening nuclear security

IAEA conference commits to strengthening nuclear security

VIENNA, Feb. 10 (FENA/Xinhua) — Ministers and other high-level representatives from over 130 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) member states adopted a declaration at a major conference here Monday to enhance global nuclear security and counter the threat of nuclear terrorism and other malicious acts.

“Nuclear and radioactive material is a magnet for groups with malicious intent that see in this material a possibility to create panic and bring distress and pain to our societies,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said at the opening of the week-long conference at IAEA headquarters, shortly before the declaration was adopted by the participants.

Nuclear technology and science help improve the lives of millions of people around the world in areas ranging from clean energy and cancer care to food security and pest control, he said.

But the nuclear and radioactive materials used to produce those benefits must be secured at all times to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands, he added.

In the declaration, IAEA member states reaffirmed the common goals of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and recognized that nuclear security contributes to international peace and security.

“We remain concerned about existing and emerging nuclear security threats and committed to addressing such threats,” the declaration said. “We encourage member states to implement threat mitigation and risk reduction measures that contribute to improving nuclear security, including, but not limited to, ensuring the protection of nuclear and other radioactive materials and facilities.”

The ministerial conference on nuclear security brings together about 1,900 participants from over 130 IAEA member states. It addresses topics such as how to secure nuclear materials from theft or sabotage during transportation, the use of nuclear forensics to assist in criminal investigations and emergency preparedness and response in case of a nuclear security event.