International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Monitoring the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy
"The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. It shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose." (IAEA Statute)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the world's leading forum for scientiﬁc and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology. Established as an independent organization under the United Nations (UN) in 1957, the IAEA represents the realization of US President Eisenhower's visionary "Atoms for Peace" speech to the UN General Assembly in 1953. He proposed the creation of an international body to both control and support the use of atomic energy.
In 2005 the IAEA and its Director General at the time, Mohamed ElBaradei, received the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way". The IAEA's broad spectrum of services and activities serves 153 Member States.
The IAEA Secretariat is made up of a team of 2,300 professional and support staff from more than 90 countries. They come from scientiﬁc, technical, managerial and other professional disciplines. Director General Yukiya Amano has led the agency since December 2009.
The IAEA implements a system of safeguards agreements to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Through its safeguards activities, the IAEA seeks to verify that a State is living up to its international undertakings not to use nuclear programmes for weapons purposes. To date, 160 States have entered into safeguards agreements with the IAEA, submitting their nuclear materials, facilities and activities to the scrutiny of IAEA inspectors. IAEA veriﬁcation is further strengthened through an 'Additional Protocol' to a country's safeguards agreement, under which States are required to provide the IAEA with information on all aspects of its nuclear fuel cycle related activities. They must also grant the IAEA wider access rights and enable it to use the most advanced veriﬁcation technologies. Safeguards activities take place routinely at more than 900 facilities worldwide, including nuclear power plants, research reactors, fuel related facilities and storage locations.
Nuclear technology for development
The IAEA also works to foster the role of nuclear science and technology in tackling pressing worldwide challenges: hunger, disease, natural resources management, environmental pollution, energy production and climate change. Through research and technical cooperation projects, the IAEA facilitates the transfer of nuclear technology to Member States for use in medical, agricultural, industrial, water management and other applications. This contributes to the goals of sustainable development and protection of the environment. Training and research are carried out at the IAEA's scientiﬁc laboratories, as well as all around the globe with the Agency's support.
Another aspect of the IAEA's work relates to nuclear power, including its safety and waste management, and ensuring that countries considering nuclear power have the knowledge base they need. A nuclear power programme is a major undertaking requiring careful planning, preparation and investment. It needs a sustainable infrastructure that provides legal, regulatory, technological, human and industrial support to ensure that all nuclear material is used exclusively for peaceful purposes and in a safe and secure manner.
Nuclear safety and security
The future role of nuclear energy depends on a consistent, demonstrated record of safety in all applications. The IAEA's nuclear safety programme provides standards for nuclear installations and radioactive sources, transport of radioactive materials and management of radioactive waste. Although the IAEA is not an international regulatory body, its safety recommendations are used by many countries as the basis for domestic standards and regulations. They include guidance for the location, design and operation of nuclear power plants. The IAEA also performs safety evaluations on request, including on-site reviews of nuclear power plants by teams of international experts.
The IAEA is helping Member States to be better prepared to combat the risk of nuclear terrorism. Key priorities of the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund are to increase nuclear security through adequate physical protection and proper regulatory controls; effective interdiction of illicit trafﬁcking in nuclear and radioactive material; integration of nuclear safety and security systems; and readiness for implementing emergency response plans.
For information contact:
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 100, 1400 Vienna, Austria
Telephone (Switchboard): (+43-1) 2600-0
Fax: (+43-1) 2600-7
General and press inquiries: (+43-1) 2600-21273
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com