Mr Grossi praised Germany’s efforts and progress in decommissioning its nuclear power plants and managing the waste. He noted that last year, an IAEA team of experts carried out a review in Germany and concluded the country was continuing to manage its radioactive waste and spent fuel in a safe and responsible manner. The team also noted opportunities for improving the monitoring of the implementation of the national programme for radioactive waste and spent fuel management.
He said Germany is demonstrating continued strong support for the International Atomic Energy Agency even as the country is shutting down its nuclear power plants, the agency’s director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi said after meeting foreign minister Heiko Maas and other senior German officials in Berlin.
The IAEA said Germany was among a group of countries that quickly stepped in with new financial commitments to ensure that the agency’s safeguards work was not interrupted during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Germany also joined other IAEA member states in backing an agency project to provide nuclear-derived testing equipment and training and expertise to some 125 countries to help them quickly detect the coronavirus.
Mr Grossi said Mr Maas had expressed interest in Zodiac (Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action), an IAEA initiative to use nuclear techniques and an international network of laboratories to help prevent future pandemics.
In the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power accident in Japan, Germany decided to end its nuclear power production, with the last reactors to close in 2022. Currently, six nuclear power plants remain operational, generating 11.7% of the country’s electricity in 2018.