Country: United States
Delegate Name: Ricardo Pastor
The United States of America (USA) recognizes the importance of ensuring the safety and security of nuclear reactors in conflict zones and the potential risks and consequences of nuclear accidents, sabotage, or attacks on these facilities. The USA supports the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to provide assistance and guidance to states that operate nuclear reactors in areas affected by armed conflict, terrorism, or instability.
However, one of the most acute cases of nuclear reactors in conflict zones is the situation in Ukraine, where four active nuclear power plants, including Europe’s largest one – Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) – are located near the frontlines of the ongoing war with Russia-backed separatists. ZNPP has a total capacity of about 6,000 megawatts, enough for about four million homes. Any disruption or damage to ZNPP could have severe environmental, economic, and humanitarian impacts on Ukraine and its neighbors.
Therefore, the USA condemns Russia’s aggression and interference in Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and calls for an immediate end to hostilities and a peaceful resolution. The USA also urges Russia to respect Ukraine’s right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to refrain from any actions that could jeopardize the safety and security of Ukraine’nuclear facilities. The USA supports the UN General Assembly resolution that demands Russia withdraw its military forces from Ukraine’s territory and respects international law and agreements.
To address the issue of nuclear reactors in conflict zones, the USA proposes the following solutions for the UN: strengthening the role and capacity of the IAEA in monitoring, inspecting, and assisting nuclear facilities in conflict zones and ensuring their safety and security; encouraging states that operate nuclear reactors in conflict zones to follow international standards and best practices for nuclear safety and security, as set by the CNS and the CPPNM; enhancing regional cooperation and dialogue among states that are affected by or near nuclear reactors in conflict zones, and facilitating information exchange, joint planning, mutual assistance, confidence-building measures, and risk reduction; promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes and prevention of violence through diplomatic efforts, mediation, sanctions, peacekeeping operations, and humanitarian aid; supporting initiatives that aim to reduce dependence on nuclear energy in conflict-prone regions, and promote alternative sources of clean and renewable energy.
The USA believes these solutions can help prevent or mitigate potential nuclear disasters in conflict zones and enhance global peace and security.