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Topic I: Nuclear Disasters: Impact, Prevention and Response
The United States of America was one of the first countries to join the International Atomic Energy Agency after its creation was proposed by the 34th American President, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, his first year in office. His mission was to both regulate and promote the peaceful use of atomic power, as he mentioned in his “Atoms for Peace” speech that was addressed to the UN General Assembly.  The first Director General of the committee was former US Congressman W. Sterling Cole, from 1967 to 1961.

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The IAEA has three principal missions:

Peaceful uses: Promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy by its member states.
Safeguards: Implementing safeguards to verify that nuclear energy is not being utilized           by the military for military purposes.
Nuclear Safety: Promoting high standards for nuclear safety.

An Agreement between the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for safeguard applications that accompanies protocol that originates from the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee’s (ENDC) negotiation of  the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons. This required only non-nuclear weapons states party to the Treaty to accept all the IAEA safeguards in all their peaceful nuclear activities. A concern was that the absence of requiring IAEA safeguards in nuclear-weapons states would cause a commercial and industrial disadvantage in developing nuclear energy for peaceful uses due to the safeguards interfering with efficient and profitable activities. 39th American President,  Jimmy Carter, cleared off concerns when he released a statement saying that the United States did not ask any country to accept any safeguard that the US was not willing to accept itself, as he said “when such safeguards are applied under the Treaty, the United States will permit the International Atomic Energy Agency to apply its safeguards to all nuclear activities in the United States—excluding only those with direct national security significance.”1  The treaty was then later signed at Vienna, November 18th 1977.
It has been reported by the government that within the United States, more than 150 incidents in nuclear plants from 2001 to 2006 has occurred due to not following safety procedure rules. 
The most significant accident within the United States is considered to be the Three Mile Island Accident. Its occurrence on March 28, 1979 was due to a series of failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, which allowed large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. Many blamed the accident on inadequate training and human-computer interactions. Shortly after assuring the public by saying “everything is under control”2, Lieutenant governor William Scranton III states that it was “more complex than the company first led us to believe”2. The government then decided that an evacuation zone was set to be 20-miles in radius on Friday, March 30. A 140,000 people immediately left the area within days and half of them returned within three weeks.3. According to the IAEA, this has led to a decline in global nuclear reactor construction4. In the aftermath, approximately 2.5 megacuries (93PBq) radioactive gasses and 15 curies (560 GBq) of iodine-131 was released into the environment5. Based on the chairman of the Three Mile Island alert, Eric Epstein, has decided the plant operator would pay $82 million in public compensation for residents for “loss of business revenue, evacuation expenses and health claims”6. 

The accident inspired the creation of Charles Perrow’s Normal Accident Theory, where an accident inevitably occurs when multiple unanticipated failures occur in a complicated system. An example of this would be TMI because it was “unexpected, incomprehensible, uncontrollable and unavoidable”7.

For this very reason, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent agency of the US Government, has set 3 objectives in order to achieve the least possible damage by a nuclear reactor accident. They are to shut down the reactor, maintain its shutdown condition and to prevent any release of radioactive material 8. Emergency electrical and core cooling systems have been put into place to make sure that any part of the reactor where an error occurs can be put into control and prevent the error from further causing any catastrophic damage.

Topic II: Enhancing IAEA Nuclear Safeguard Implementation and Efficiency
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was extended and set to a total of 191 States on May 11, 1995 9. According to what the treaty establishes, the responsibility of providing safeguard systems and measures falls onto the International Atomic Energy Agency. The safeguards are there to insure that no nuclear energy is being used to develop weapons and promotes its peaceful, economical and environmental uses instead. During the negotiations of said treaty, non-nuclear weapon states said that accepting this treaty would put them at an inferiority and a disadvantage to others as they did not have to implement safeguards, to which the United States and the United kingdom responded by voluntarily accepting the agency’s safeguards on December 1967. This was later followed by offers coming from France and eventually the USSR 10. 

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission provides assistance to the International Atomic Energy Agency by participating in furthering the research in international safeguards. The Department of Energy in the US has brought a concept of Safeguards By Design (SBD), which encourages nuclear reactor operators to incorporate safeguards measures when the design or plan their facilities. The concept is in favor of avoiding time-consuming and costly  work and making the implementations of safeguards more effective 11. This insures that the overall overall of mission of the IAEA, to confirm to the international community that no state mis uses nuclear energy, is achieved.

The U.S Government Printing Office printed a message list of sites, locations and activities declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency on May 6, 2009 under the presidency of Barack Obama. Stating all the sites declared under the protocol additional to the agreement between the US and IAEA for the application of safeguards. Which reassures the committee that the United States is taking all measures in order to meet the agreements with the treaty that it has signed with IAEA and all other states participating in it 12.


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