Singapore clears key hurdle in joining nuclear materials pact

Channel NewsAsia 23 Sep 14;

SINGAPORE: The Republic took another step towards being party to an international pact looking at the physical protection of nuclear materials - the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).

Resident Representative of Singapore to the IAEA, Mr Foo Kok Jwee, deposited the country's instruments of accession and acceptance of the CPPNM and its 2005 Amendment, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) said in a press release on Tuesday (Sep 23).

By doing so, Singapore will become party to the CPPNM 30 days from Sep 22, which was the date Mr Foo deposited the instruments with the IAEA. This completes the accession process announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in March this year, according to the press release.

Before this hurdle could be crossed, Singapore's Government had to review its policy, technical and legal considerations to ensure the city-state was ready to fulfil its obligations to the CPPNM. The Amendments to the Radiation Protection Act were passed in Parliament in July as a precursor to depositing the instruments of accession and acceptance, MEWR said.

"As an international hub, Singapore’s economy, trade and security can easily be affected by a nuclear accident elsewhere. In addition, Singapore recognises the threat of nuclear terrorism and the consequences from the explosion of a nuclear/radioactive device," the ministry added.

"Thus, by acceding to the CPPNM and its 2005 Amendment, Singapore reinforces its role in the global effort to promote nuclear security."

- CNA/kk