NATION

Understanding Nuclear Security

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is trying to increase awareness in the Pacific about the benefits of nuclear technology and the responsibility not to misuse it. This was emphasised
27 May 2015 09:14
Understanding Nuclear Security
Front Centre: Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration Timoci Natuva with Pacific delegates during the opening of the Pacific Regional Workshop on Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans yesterday in Nadi. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is trying to increase awareness in the Pacific about the benefits of nuclear technology and the responsibility not to misuse it.

This was emphasised yesterday by the Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration, Timoci Natuva, while officiating the Pacific Regional Workshop on Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plans in Nadi.

Delegates from Fiji, Palau, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu and Indonesia attended the first session.

He said the risk of nuclear or other radioactive products used for criminal or unauthorised acts was a growing concern.

“The responsibility for nuclear security rests entirely with each state and that effective national systems for nuclear security are vital in facilitating the peaceful use of nuclear energy and enhancing global efforts to combat nuclear terrorism,” Mr Natuva said.

He said the IAEA was anticipating growth in coming years in nuclear power programmes by more industrialised and developed countries.

The workshop will assist regional representatives pinpoint strategies to focus on nuclear security infrastructure to facilitate the safe usage of nuclear energy.

“For our region in the Pacific we do not possess nuclear power nor is there any general move to acquiring nuclear power or nuclear weapons,” the minister said.

Despite being free of nuclear energy sources and weapons, Mr Natuva said the Pacific posses’ radioactive sources to tap into for the medical, mining, industrial and academic sectors.

“The overall objective of an integrated nuclear support plan is to identify and combine the needs of states documents, which will provide a framework for the states to ensure nuclear security,” he said.

Meanwhile, IAEA Nuclear Security officer, Feu Liu, said the IAEA’s aim was to increase co-operation with Pacific Island countries.

“Nuclear security is relatively a new topic for this region. Through this workshop we want to increase their understanding of nuclear security and the potential threats,” he said.

“This issue is placed in high regard by the international community and despite the development level of Pacific Island countries each should try and enhance nuclear security.”

The workshop is being held at the Tanoa International Hotel.

The four-day workshop ends tomorrow.

Feedback:  saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 




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