Deputy Permanent Representative Sergey Federiakov shared Russia’s experience of working at the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Emilia Sidorova, Senior Counselor at the Permanent Mission, spoke in detail about the CTBT’s peculiarities, its differences from the nuclear test limitation treaties that preceded it, and also focused on the current state of affairs surrounding it: despite the fact that the CTBT is almost approaching the status of a universal treaty, it has not yet entered into force. In the context of Russia’s recent withdrawal of ratification of the CTBT, the expert outlined the reasons that forced this step and explained what it means for Russia as a state party to the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO and as the holder of the second largest segment of the International Monitoring System.
For his part, Evgeny Shamin, Counselor to the Permanent Mission and representative of Rosatom, spoke about the specifics of the implementation of IAEA safeguards, noting that over the past few years this issue has become political rather than a purely technical one, as it used to be. At the end of the meeting, Third Secretary Ekaterina Blagodarina touched on ensuring nuclear and physical nuclear safety of facilities.
First, a visit was made to the IAEA Department of Safeguards laboratories. The Head of the IAEA Safeguards Analytical Laboratory Division, Veena Tikare, briefed the project participants on the laboratory’s activities and showed them the way environmental samples submitted by the agency’s inspectors are analyzed. It is noteworthy that the analysis is conducted on a confidential basis and several laboratories are engaged. During the presentation, the expert noted the importance of inspecting samples to detect illicit diversion of nuclear materials.
The participants were then introduced to the work of the Plant Breeding and Genetics Laboratory, the Nuclear Science and Instrumentation Laboratory, the Animal Production and Sanitation Laboratory, and the Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Laboratory.
The young professionals learned that the IAEA Environmental Sample Laboratory examines more than 100 samples each year using a multi-stage examination format, including highly sensitive techniques capable of detecting traces of the uranium enrichment process. Participants were familiarized with similar activities during a visit to the Nuclear Materials Laboratory, which examines samples for traces of uranium and plutonium.
The participants were addressed by Tariq Rauf, Independent Consultant, Verification and Security Policy Coordinator, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, 2002−2011), Deputy Head of the IAEA Delegation to#nbsp;the NPT Review Conferences (2003−2011), Laura Rockwood, Senior Independent Researcher, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Studies, Head of the IAEA Legal Office Division (1985−2013), as well as Thomas Hajnoczi, Independent Expert, Director of the Department for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (1996−1999, 2017−2021).