WFNMB to Open in Seoul
WFNMB to Open in Seoul
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  • 승인 2006.10.01 12:01
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The following statement was contributed by Kim Woo-sik, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Technology. Kim attended the 50th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, held in Vienna, Austria on Sep.18. ....Ed. On behalf of the delegation of the Republic of Korea, I would like to congratulate you on your election as President of the 50th General Conference of IAEA. I am confident that this Conference will produce successful outcome under your distinguished leadership, and we are ready to provide full support to you. The dedication of Dr. ElBaradei and his staff members during the past years deserves significant credit for the enlarged contribution of nuclear energy to global peace and prosperity. I hereby give an assurance that the Korean delegation is committed to support and cooperate with the Secretariat and the Member States. This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of IAEA. By successfully carrying out its mission in promoting peaceful use of nuclear technology, IAEA has realized the aspiration of its Member States for the last half a century. Thanks to the efforts of the Secretariat, IAEA now has 140 Member States, which is a dramatic increase from 56 since its foundation. As a clean and low-cost energy source, nuclear energy is accounting for sixteen percent of the world's electricity demand. Furthermore, nuclear technology contributes not only for well-being of human society but also for environmental preservation and scientific development. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to IAEA for its efforts and devotion for world peace and human security through peaceful use of nuclear energy. After fulfilling its pivotal role for the last five decades, IAEA is now facing new challenges as the world's energy demand is expected to double by the year 2050. Oil price is dramatically soaring up as the demand is exploding and the fossil fuels are being rapidly depleted. At the same time, our world must also face such serious problems as global warming, environmental destruction, water and food shortage, and cancer and AIDS. I firmly believe that the new mission of IAEA is to undertake efforts to maximize the contribution of nuclear technology to confront these problems. Furthermore, IAEA's role to secure nuclear safety and to protect mankind against the threat of nuclear war should be regarded more seriously. The Republic of Korea is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the IAEA. We have a history of rapid yet secure growth on nuclear programs with the help of IAEA. Apart from technological development, we are also progressing working with people, coming together to solve problems - such as finding ways and sites for nuclear waste management. This is a successful move towards the public, resolving whatever concerns they had. Through this opportunity, we would like to let you know that we are willing to share our experience and expertise on this matter. Due to limited natural resources, the Republic of Korea had to rely heavily on imported fossil fuels to generate electricity in its initial stage of economic development. However, oil shocks in the 1970s became a turning point for our country to decrease our dependence on oil. Naturally the nuclear power that promised low cost and stable energy supply was our choice. Today the Republic of Korea is proudly operating one of the most active nuclear programs in the world. Twenty nuclear power plants in the Republic of Korea supply forty percent of total domestic electricity consumption, and their operation rate reach up to ninetyfive percent. Based on the technology transferred from partner states, the Republic of Korea has designed and built six 1,000 Mega Watt light water reactors. The Republic of Korea has also developed a new 1,400 Mega Watt reactor with significantly improved safety and economic efficiency. At present, we are reviewing application of construction permit for the newly designed 1,400 Mega Watt reactor. Based on such technology, the Republic of Korea has been actively participating in the development of future nuclear energy system such as Generation IV International Forum(GIF) with a special attention to Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor(SFR), Very-High- Temperature Reactor (VHTR) and Super-Critical Water cooled Reactor(SCWR). I am sure that GIF will provide advanced nuclear energy systems with enhanced cost-efficiency, sustainability, safety, and nuclear proliferation-resistance in the near future. The Korean Government cordially welcomes China and Russia on board, hoping that these two Member States will take an essential part in GIF development. On this occasion, we would like to celebrate successful conclusion of Phase 1 of the IAEA's International Project on Innovative Reactors and Fuel Cycles(INPRO). As Phase 2 is now under way, we urge the activities of GIF and INPRO to come together in harmony for a successful development of an innovative system. Next, I am sure that the ITER project in Cadarache of France will let us take an important step toward making fusion a viable energy source for mankind. We hope that ITER Member States will dedicate more attention to ensuring the safety of coming fusion facilities such as demonstration and commercial plants, and that IAEA will fill the leading role in developing safety principle, guidelines, and technical standards for fusion systems. Under its firm policy of expanding peaceful use of nuclear energy, the Korean Government is setting up a national five-year plan. This is called the '3rd Comprehensive Nuclear Promotion Plan' and it includes various programs in areas of nuclear energy systems, medicine, agriculture, and environmental preservation. We are also establishing 7 Regional Cyclotron Centers throughout the country in order to extend the benefits of nuclear medicine. At the same time various kinds of researches are in process to apply radiation technology to environment, biotechnology, food engineering, life science, agriculture and aerospace industry. SMART, a system-integrated reactor used for both desalination and power generation, is also under development. Considering that water shortage is a problem faced by a considerable number of our Member States, I propose that the Agency expand programs to facilitate exchange of information on small-sized reactor for desalination. We believe that peaceful use of nuclear energy should be based on the compliance with the NPT and transparency in nuclear programs. The Republic of Korea will make every effort to prevent the proliferation of nuclear technologies and materials that might be misused. In order to reinforce the national nuclear control system, we have established the Korea Institute of Nuclear Non-proliferation And Control(KINAC) this year as an independent organization in charge of SSAC(the State System of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Materials). At the same time, we are promoting cooperation with IAEA to apply Integrated Safeguards to the Republic of Korea. Achieving a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue through diplomatic means is vital for solid peace on the Korean Peninsula and the promotion of peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia. The Korean Government hereby calls upon the DPRK to return at an early date to the NPT and IAEA Safeguards in accordance with the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005 agreed upon by all Participating States to the Six-Party Talks, including the DPRK. The Republic of Korea also urges the DPRK, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1695, to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks without precondition and engage in consultations on ways to implement the Joint Statement. In this regard, the Korean Government, while endeavoring to ensure the faithful implementation of Resolution 1695, will continue to exert every possible effort to achieve the resumption of the Six-Party Talks for the resolution of all issues through dialogue. In order to maintain its sustainable development the world today requires solutions to various issues related to energy, environment, health, and water supply. The role of nuclear energy has become bigger than ever. On behalf of the Korean Delegation, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to IAEA and the Member States for their support in laying the foundation for development of nuclear technology in the Republic of Korea. It's now time for us to give back what we have received. Our arms are open to all members who may need our experience. As a firm member of IAEA, we will continue our efforts to cooperate and to develop.

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