Vienna, 1 July 2013 – "The experts at the Vienna IAEA Conference on Nuclear Risks in the World are strengthening global cooperation for protection against nuclear activities from criminal and terrorist threats, which is a sad duty and obligation of today's world that we all have to take very seriously", Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said after addressing the international conference on nuclear security that is being held at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna from 1 to 5 July.
"Austria is one of the few countries that have intentionally renounced the use of nuclear power plants. Our preventive approach is a major advantage in countering criminal and terrorist threats, because potential terrorists have no nuclear tools available to them in our country to begin with", the Vice-Chancellor said. "All countries should use this risk-mitigating approach in the nuclear field, both in the military and the civilian sphere. We do not view nuclear weapons as guarantors of strategy security but rather as a permanent threat, also because they open up the way for potential criminal or terrorist misuse of such weapons. The civil nuclear industry, too, has sensitive areas without which we could have more peace of mind", Spindelegger said referring to the risks entailed by the use of nuclear power.
The Vice-Chancellor also mentioned additional measures that could help reduce the risks connected to the use of atomic energy. Observance of the highest-level international security standards should be subjected to effective, multi-lateral supervision. "The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna is the only organisation with a global security mandate for nuclear energy, but it lacks any real means of intervention. The IAEA should be granted more powerful tools in future", the Vice-Chancellor concluded.
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