President, congratulations on your election as President of the 65th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference.
South Africa wishes to congratulate the IAEA on the 65th Anniversary of the approval of its statute by the UN Conference on the Statute of the IAEA. This year also marks
30 years since South Africa concluded the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA.
South Africa is working to conclude its ratification of the revised African Regional Co- operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology before the end of 2022.
We wish to pledge an amount of Euros €238 617 towards the Technical Cooperation Fund for 2022. South Africa continues to support IAEA training related activities under the Technical Cooperation Programme for national and regional development through capacity building in the field of nuclear science and technology.
We welcome this year’s Scientific Forum under the theme: “Preparing for Zoonotic Outbreaks: the Role of Nuclear Science. The implementation of the ZODIAC project will strengthen Member State’s capacity to detect and respond to zoonotic diseases timeously and to reduce their economic impact.
In line with the Nuclear energy policy as we embark on the Just Energy Transition in South Africa, we recognize that Nuclear plays a pivotal role as one of the clean energy sources that are needed to achieve Net-Zero Emissions by 2050.
In June 2020 South Africa issued a Request for Information to test the market appetite for the 2500MW of nuclear energy and received positive responses from 25 companies that showed an interest in this programme. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa has recently concurred with a Ministerial section 34 determination for the procurement of 2500MW new generation capacity from nuclear energy. We plan to issue the Request for Proposal (RFP) for 2500MW nuclear programme at end of March 2022 and complete the procurement in 2024 to support the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan and ensure security of energy supply.
The Koeberg Power Plant design life span is current being extended by another 20 years by undertaking the necessary technical and regulatory work. We thank the IAEA continued support through the peer review missions on the Safety Aspects of Long- Term Operation at our Koeberg power station.
The Multipurpose Research Reactor Project for the replacement of the SAFARI-1 Research Reactor has progressed significantly with the completion of the Pre- feasibility Report
The National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI) continues to manage radioactive waste on a national basis. In the margins of this General Conference the NRWDI will sign the Practical Arrangements with the IAEA on the cooperation of Borehole Disposal of Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources.
South Africa is committed to global nuclear security and is currently finalizing the domestic processes for the ratification of the amended Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. The Country continues to support the universalization of the Convention.
The South African Young Nuclear Professional Society and Women In Nuclear South Africa continues to encourage the youth and women to be actively involved in Nuclear related matters as they see a great opportunity linked to the Government’s strategic direction on Nuclear.
In closing, I wish to emphasize South Africa’s unwavering support for the Agency’s fundamental role in ensuring that nuclear technology is used for peaceful purpose.