ISLAMABAD (APP): Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi concluded his visit to Pakistan after holding discussions focused on further enhancement of cooperation between Pakistan and IAEA in the areas of peaceful applications of nuclear technology specifically its role for mitigating the impacts of climate change.
The IAEA Director General, during his visit to Pakistan from 15–16 February, called on the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, and the Foreign Secretary.
Director General Grossi also held meetings with the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and the Chairman of the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA), who briefed him on the nuclear security and regulatory regime.
At PNRA, he also inaugurated the National Radiation Emergency Coordination Centre (NRECC). Pakistan has five decades of experience in safe and secure operations of civil nuclear power plants which follow the IAEA standards and guidelines.
The Director General, IAEA, visited Chashma Nuclear Power Generating Station (CNPGS), Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH), Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Pakistan Centre of Excellence on Nuclear Security (PCENS), Nuclear Medicine, Oncology and Radiotherapy Institute (NORI) and the National Institute of Safety and Security (NISAS) to witness the safe and secure applications of nuclear technologies in the area of public health, industry, agriculture, food security, power generation.
At NORI and CNPGS, Director General Grossi inaugurated the CyberKnife and spent fuel dry storage facilities respectively. He also announced that Pakistan will serve, under ‘Ray of Hope’ initiative, as IAEA’s Regional Center for cancer treatment. During his visit to NIAB, Grossi inaugurated the ZODIAC Lab and designated the institute as IAEA’s Collaborating Center in agriculture and biotechnology.
While visiting PCENS and NISAS, Director General, IAEA, appreciated the high standards of these centers dealing with nuclear safety and security. These centers have been imparting international training under IAEA aegis.
Director General Grossi delivered a keynote address at a seminar on the topic “Climate Change Mitigation and the Role of Nuclear Energy” in Islamabad. In his address, he highlighted the importance of nuclear energy, as a clean source of energy, in countering the adverse impacts of climate change.
The visit concluded with a dinner hosted by the Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in honour of Director General Grossi.
Since 1957, Pakistan, being a founding member of the IAEA, enjoys a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with the Agency. As a member of the IAEA Board of Governors, Pakistan is also contributing to the agency’s decision-making. Such visits are a regular feature of PAKISTAN-IAEA interaction. Former Director General of IAEA Yukia Amano visited Pakistan twice during his tenure. Director General Rafael Grossi’s visit had been pending due to COVID-19 pandemic.