Topic: Nuclear Reactors in Conflict Zones
Delegate Name: Gregory Thomas
International Atomic Energy Agency
Nuclear Reactors in Conflict Zones
Bay City Central High School
General Overview of Topic
The presence of nuclear reactors has been a cause of international concern due to the potential for environmental, infrastructure, and civilian destruction and susceptibility during warfare. As per the World Nuclear Association, over 440 nuclear power reactors inhabit 32 different countries, with over 60 reactors in construction. Due to the rapid increase in the construction of nuclear reactors, world leaders and industry experts have stressed how crucial the preservation and management of these institutions are. There have been heightened concerns about the presence of nuclear power plants in Ukraine during the Russian invasion, especially in regards to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine. Towards the emergence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the plant was immediately taken by Russian forces, and it is currently being utilized as a weapons depot for heavy weaponry. Measures have already been taken by the Ukrainian government in collaboration with the UN to deactivate the plant and prevent nuclear meltdown and a potential humanitarian crisis. In addition to Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine hosts 14 nuclear power plants which are responsible for generating more than half of the electricity in the country. The condition of each of these plants is of great concern, as the spread of warfare threatens the stability of the reliability of nuclear reactors.
Albania possesses no nuclear installations and has complied with disarmament of any facilities capable of nuclear production. However, there is a large presence of radioactivity and radioactive materials being utilized. According to the Second National Report of Albania, various industries and settings within Albania, particularly in the medical, agricultural, and the environmental sectors, employ radiation and radioisotopes. We have instituted strict protocol in the handling and care of radioactive substances in such environments, and have prepared for any emergencies that may arise as a result of the handling of such substances. The International Physical Protection Advisory Service(IPPAS) has validated our regulatory legal framework in regards to the security of nuclear-related material, facilities, and activities. After the enactment of the Law on Radiation Protection in 1995, Albania has made significant progress with regards to radiation and nuclear safety, through establishing the regulatory body for the espousal of such laws and regulations. However, we have not signed the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(TPNW), which was proposed in 2017 by the General Assembly. We have consistently voted against the passing of the TPNW and firmly support the possession and potential to use nuclear weaponry for the benefit of the country.