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[en] In 2007, the President of Chile, Dr. Michelle Bachelet, decided to take a serious look at the possibility of including the nuclear option in the country's energy mix. Mrs. Bachelet had a personal anti-nuclear stand and she had even established an agreement with the environmentalist movement not to include the nuclear energy option in Chile's energy matrix during her government. However, she was convinced that being a matter of national importance, the nuclear option required a careful and rational analysis in order to decide whether it should be considered or dismissed because of its supposedly inherently unsafe nature. Consequently, in February 2007, she established the Working Group on Nucleoelectric Generation (GTNE), panel of ten independent professionals from academia, the business sector and government, with diverse backgrounds, including mathematics, physics, biology, social sciences, engineering, economics, law and environmental sciences. The purpose of the commission was to make a preliminary assessment based on the international experience in order to establish whether the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity would be a sensible possibility in Chile. Why was this decision made? Like many countries, Chile needs to diversify its tight energy matrix. The country imports 95% of its coal, 75% of its gas and 90% of its oil. Traditionally, electric generation in this mountainous country was based on hydro power. However, the steady economic growth of the past quarter of a century has doubled the electricity demand every 10 or 12 years. At the moment, the possibilities of large dams in the central region of the country where more than 90% of the population live are exhausted. Only two large rivers in Patagonia -more than 2000 km south of Santiago- and a number of smaller ones elsewhere can still be used to provide base-load. This expansion would represent at best an addition of some 3GW to the country's current power generation capacity of about 12GW. In this scenario, the path of least resistance is the continued expansion of electric generation using coal-fired power plants which, together with other fossil fuels, currently account for about 60% of the country's electricity generation. The business as usual projection indicates that Chile's CO2 emissions are going to increase by more than 200% by the end of the next decade. This not only exposes our economy to the risk of carbon taxes, it is environmentally irresponsible and ethically unjustified. The other alternative to load base generation is nuclear power.
[en] The Government of Cameroon, on behalf of which I am speaking, wishes to express its appreciation and gratitude to the People's Republic of China for agreeing to host this conference, and the International Atomic Energy Agency for taking the initiative to organize it. On behalf of my delegation, I welcome the presence of all other delegates at this international forum for exchanging experience and sharing knowledge. The topic of this conference invites us to reflect upon the problem of nuclear power generation to meet sustainably the socio-economic development demands of our respective countries. This concern is multidimensional and affects us all. It must be noted, however, that energy resources in the world are unequally distributed. This is the place to say that certain countries have hardly any, while others have a considerable potential that is not exploited owing to the weakness of their economy. We know that sustainable energy development is dependent on several factors, in particular availability of resources, mastery of technology and security of facilities. These are the major challenges that humanity will have to face over the coming decades. Cameroon's hydroelectric potential is estimated at 55.2 GW, 19.7 GW of which is technically exploitable. However, the level of access to electricity is only 15%. Consequently, Cameroon attaches great importance to the diversification of technical measures to increase the quality and quantity of national electricity supply. Thus, new projects under way will allow, in the medium and long term, an additional 1600 MW of capacity to be installed in total - 1400 MW from hydroelectric power and 200 MW from thermal power. To respond to the energy challenge to its development, Cameroon plans to develop all its resources, and in particular to exploit its uranium deposits. Despite the energy potential mentioned previously, disturbances caused by climate change affect the reliability of Cameroon's hydroelectricity supplies. That is why, from the point of view of sustainable energy development, the acquisition of nuclear power technology has taken on great importance for the Cameroon Government. It should not be forgotten, however, that badly managed nuclear technology can pose a threat to international peace and security. My country is therefore resolutely committed to general and complete disarmament, under strict and effective international control. For this reason, Cameroon has signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the NPT, a comprehensive safeguards agreement and additional protocol, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. In addition, as the home to an international atmospheric radionuclide measurement station, Cameroon is participating in the implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Cameroon's recent ratification of the Pelindaba Treaty illustrates my country's desire to contribute to making Africa a nuclear-weapon-free zone. I would also like to use the opportunity offered by this forum to emphasize that Cameroon has responded very favourably to the proposal of the International Atomic Energy Agency to review the additional agreements relating to small quantities of nuclear material. The implementation of this safeguards instrument will facilitate better monitoring of movements of radioactive substances and sources everywhere in the world. A country's adherence to the international legal instruments relating to the use of nuclear energy imposes the need at national level for an operational organization in legal and institutional terms to ensure their application and monitoring. By establishing a National Radiation Protection Agency, Cameroon has provided strong evidence of its commitment to the safe and secure use of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes. Through this public body, my country intends to play an active part, under the aegis of the IAEA, in the international promotion of cooperation to strengthen radiological safety and security regimes. Aware of the dangers caused by uncertainties regarding the handling and use of nuclear material, Cameroon hopes nevertheless that the international community will support all efforts to give all countries access to nuclear power technology. This means of electricity generation is seen increasingly as a clean energy alternative that also helps mitigate climate change. This conference gives us the opportunity to examine together the conditions for joint development of nuclear power. The event participants can consider matters related to the mobilization of human resources, access to technology, development of reactors of a size compatible with the needs of developing countries, mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Finally, Cameroon hopes that the international community will guarantee to countries with exploitable uranium deposits the maximum benefits from this resource to support their sustainable development and contribute to the greater happiness of their people. I wish this conference every success. Thank you for your attention.
[en] This study applies a set of indicators to assess the peaceful nature of a state's nuclear program. Evaluation of a country's nuclear program relative to these indicators can help the international community to take appropriate actions to ensure that the growth of the global nuclear energy industry proceeds peacefully and to minimize nuclear proliferation risks.
[en] The Director General has received a communication dated 16 July 2008 from the Resident Representative of Japan attaching a document entitled 'International Initiative on 3S-based Nuclear Energy Infrastructure'. The communication, and as requested therein, its attachment, are circulated herewith for information