Co-Chair: Filip Weber Co-Chair: Connor A’Hearn Moderator: Katie Romaro
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: lhhsIAEA@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello delegates, my name is Filip Weber. As one of your co-chairs, I am excited to meet y’all at our 37th annual Model United Nations Conference. I am currently a senior at Laguna Hills High School and this is my fourth year being a part of our MUN program. Aside from MUN, I enjoy shopping at Whole Foods everyday and grabbing lunch and dinner at various restaurants along the coast. These restaurants include Urth Cafe, True Foods and Cafe Gratitude. Moreover, I run Cross Country and Track and enjoy late night drives along PCH with friends.
Hello delegates, my name is Connor A’Hearn and I will be one of your co-chairs for this conference. I am a junior and this is my third year in MUN. I’ve been participating in it since I was a freshman and have enjoyed every second of it. Outside of MUN, I also play baseball and football and enjoy hanging out with friends and going to the beach. I look forward to seeing you all at our conference.
Topic A: Safe Use and Application of Nuclear Power
Background: As the devastation of nuclear reactor accidents has been seen to be extremely devastating and tragic, it is no surprise that there has been a raised awareness to the safety and hazards of the plants. Throughout history, there have been three major accidents involving the nuclear power and their reactors. These include Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, all of which increased in danger as time went on. A common thread between these accidents seems to be the containment of the radioactive energy in the reactors. When radioactivity is exposed to the environment, it will often bring much more harm than anything else. When plants are unprotected against such forces, radioactivity will cause weakening in the seeds and soil while also resulting in genetic mutations. As for humans and animals, radioactivity will cause electrons to be lost in molecules while also killing enzymes in the body. The inability for the body and DNA to repair itself is the main reason survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosions had a much higher risk of cancer.
UN Involvement: In September of 2011, the IAEA took actions to ensure the devastation of past accidents does not happen again. The 151 member states had unanimously endorsed the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the IAEA, believes this plan will be the groundwork for a new culture of nuclear safety. This plan contains achievable goals that will more allow for more efficient and effective change. Amano stated that the plan will rely on the commitment and the transparency of the member states .Historically, the UN had made a deal regarding nuclear safety without the consent of Russia, after the Chernobyl incident. Other solutions to more nuclear safety submitted by the IAEA are the implementation of stress tests for the nuclear power plants. This would test the ability of the plant to adapt to situations of distress where the containment of the radioactivity would be in trouble. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described Fukushima as a “wake up call” and the UN is on track for a bright future in nuclear safety.
Western Bloc: The EU depends on nuclear power for more than one-quarter of its electricity, and a higher proportion of base-load power. Nuclear provides over half of low-carbon electricity. Very different energy policies pertain across the continent and even within the EU, but attention is now being given to an EU Energy Union. A substantial degree of transmission interconnection exists in western Europe, but much more investment is needed. Latin Bloc: There are seven nuclear power reactors in operation in Latin America: three in Argentina, two in Brazil and two in Mexico. Uruguay and Chile started exploring the option of introducing nuclear power, and, more recently, Bolivia also announced its interest in including it in its national energy mix.
African Bloc: An increasing number of developing countries, including in Africa, are interested in adding nuclear power in their energy mix, the audience of an IAEA side event to the 59th IAEA General Conference heard today.
Asian Bloc: Asia is the main region in the world where electricity generating capacity and specifically nuclear power is growing significantly. In East through to South Asia there are 128 operable nuclear power reactors, 40 under construction and firm plans to build a further 90. Many more are proposed. The greatest growth in nuclear generation is expected in China, South Korea and India.
Questions to Consider:
Are there any current nuclear plants where safety is an issue?
What are some possible ways in which this plant could improve its conditions?
Should the IAEA be more strict on how they control the nuclear plants?
Can you think of any countries who may have an issue with the IAEA regulating their plants? If so, who and why?
What benefits does stricter safety regulations have on the environment around the plants?
Background: In August 2002, nuclear concerns were brought up by an exile group revealed undeclared enrichment activities conducted by Iran. An investigation by the IAEA lead to an updated declaration. The IAEA reported that Iran had nearly completed development on the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle. In spite of IAEA’s 2005 resolution, Iran continued enrichment activities. In 2013, the EU3+3 and Iran agreed on the Joint Plan of Action. This arrangement has forced Iran to address proliferation concerns about its nuclear activities. The IAEA’s monitoring and verification pursuant has caused Iran to halt their production of uranium 20% uranium-235. Half of Iran’s entire stock of substances containing uranium-235 now contain under 5% uranium-235. The rest of that stock has been converted into uranium oxide so that it cannot be immediately used for enrichment. Iran accepts daily IAEA inspector access at its uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow and monthly access at the Arak heavy-water reactor, which is currently under construction.
UN Involvement: As the IAEA has been monitoring the nuclear program in Iran for some time now, they have noted that Iran has failed to meet obligations of control and safety requirements. The inability to provide an adequate nuclear program has forced the IAEA to implement corrective measures. Once such instance was how Iran had concealed the importing of nuclear materials. This influenced the IAEA to require Iran to be more transparent with their nuclear program, allowing for them monitor the activity of the program. Another way the UN had addressed the issue in Iran was through Resolution 2231, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This plan allowed for sanctions against Iran to be lifted when they met requirements set by the plan that restricted Iran nuclear ability. Iran has been compliant with many requests in the past. The UN looks to monitor Iran as they move along with their nuclear program to ensure all standards are met and there is no substances active.
Western Bloc: Iran used to bar inspectors from certain Western countries and would occasionally deny visas to IAEA personnel investigating the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.
African Bloc: The IAEA Department of Safeguards used a similar approach in South Africa for a weapons assessment. Because South Africa had actually built nuclear weapons, it was important to restrict access to South Africa’s design documentation to avoid making the IAEA a conduit for proliferation-sensitive information.
Asian Bloc: China and other major oil exporters in Asia are unwilling to fully back U.S. sanctions and eliminate oil imports from Iran concerning its energy program.
Middle East: Saudi Arabia welcomed the international nuclear deal reached with its regional rival, Iran. Meanwhile, Isreal has strongly protested the Iran accord and bluntly conveyed that message to Mr. Carter during his stop there this week. Israel regards Iran as one of its most dangerous foes.
Latin Bloc: Columbia and Panama have meet with Iranian officials in order to further encourage Iran to implement the Additional Protocol and to cooperate transparently with the IAEA.
Questions to Consider:
Is Iran willing to upheld its information regarding its nuclear program without force?
Is military intervention necessary for Iran to upheld its information?
How likely is it for Iran to use its weapons against others if intervention occurs?
Which nations agrees with Iran’s nuclear policy and should they be persecuted too?
How much money are we willing to put into solving this issue?