UAE to join nuclear safety conventions

Last Updated: Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 13:16

Dubai: In a bid to develop a peaceful atomic energy programme and maintain "highest standards" of non-proliferation efforts, the UAE has decided to join a number of additional international conventions related to nuclear safety and security.

The UAE`s decision was communicated yesterday by
Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, country`s Permanent Representative
to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Kaabi delivered the
related accession letters from UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh
Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the IAEA Director General.
The UAE communicated its decision to join the IAEA
Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention on the
Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of
Radioactive Waste Management.

The UAE further communicated its acceptance of the
amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection, bringing
the latter closer to the requisite number of signatories
needed to bring it into force, the Wam news agency reported.

"The UAE decision to Join these international
instruments is consistent with UAE commitment to maintain the
highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation in
its efforts to evaluate and develop a peaceful nuclear energy
program," Al Kaabi Said.

"This is a major milestone for the UAE and represents
the fulfillment of all commitments made by the UAE related to
the latter`s accession to various international instruments
during its evaluation of a peaceful nuclear energy programme."

The commitments to join these conventions were
originally outlined in UAE policy of April 2008 and
obligations stemming from these conventions have already been
reflected in UAE nuclear energy development plans, strategies
and domestic legislation, he added.

The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel
Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
is the first legal instrument to directly address these issues
on a global scale.

The Convention on physical protection obligates
parties to make specific arrangements and meet defined
standards of physical protection for international shipments
of nuclear materials and obligates parties to receive
determined assurances and protection before they allow export,
import or transit of nuclear materials.

It also facilitates cooperation in the recovery and
protection of nuclear material and criminalizes specific
unauthorized possession or misuse of nuclear materials.

The amendment to the convention accepted by the UAE
better addresses issues of combating nuclear terrorism,
smuggling and sabotage. It legally binds states to the
protection of nuclear facilities and materials, storage, and
transport.

It also provides for enhanced cooperation between
states regarding the rapid location and recovery of stolen or
smuggled nuclear materials.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 13:16

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