The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (Joint Convention) selected David Huizenga, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management, as the President for the Fifth Review Meeting of the Parties.
“I believe the Joint Convention is an important vehicle for achieving and maintaining a high level of safety worldwide in spent fuel and radioactive waste management and I am pleased to have the opportunity to serve as its President,” said Huizenga.
This marks the first time a U.S. Representative has been selected to lead the Joint Convention Review Meeting of the Parties. The U.S. delegation includes representatives from the State Department, Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Huizenga’s experience with the Joint Convention dates to its beginnings when he participated as part of the U.S. delegation at the Diplomatic Conference to develop the Convention and initial guidance. He also led the U.S. delegation at the Fourth Review Meeting of the Parties to the Joint Convention. In addition, he served four years as the U.S. Senior Technical Advisor on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee.
In his remarks at the Organizational Meeting in Vienna, Austria, Huizenga pledged to support bilateral and regional efforts to encourage member states — both nuclear and non-nuclear, particularly South Asia, the Pacific Region, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East — to ratify the Joint Convention. There are currently 69 Contracting Parties to the Convention.
He said that an important part of the Convention is the learning process that happens when all Contracting Parties openly self-assess their spent fuel and radioactive waste management practices in their National Reports and review meeting presentations. As President he said he will work with the IAEA Secretariat to communicate with the Contracting Parties and to garner their support and active participation in the Fifth Review Meeting, which will be held in May 2015.