IAEA Board Holding First 2013 Meeting

The Board of Governors is meeting March 4 at the agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with a variety of safety issues on its agenda.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's director general, Yukiya Amano, will open the first 2013 meeting of IAEA's Board of Governors on March 4 in Vienna, Austria. Their agenda includes several safety initiatives for operating nuclear facilities and also handling their radioactive waste products.

Sasha Henriques of the agency's Division of Public Information reported the 35-nation board will discuss items including UN Security Council resolutions about Iran’s nuclear program; IAEA's activities related to nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety; the Nuclear Safety Review 2013; and progress on implementing the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety.

One waste issue that IAEA expressed concern about last fall was radioactive materials inadvertently incorporated in scrap metal and semi-finished metal products, which could pose potentially severe health, environmental, and financial consequences. There is a lack of consistency among countries around the world in their monitoring for radioactive material in scrap metal and actions taken after radioactive material is identified, IAEA reported in September 2012.

"Currently, a gap exists in the Global Radiation Safety Framework, in that the metal recycling industry does not implement adequate provisions to ensure that radioactive material is not introduced into such consignments and that radioactive material that is discovered is handled safely," said Eric Reber, a radiation safety specialist. IAEA announced then that it is developing a Metal Recycling Code of Conduct to close the gaps and to harmonize states' approaches.

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