Building a sustainable future will also require affordable energy that does
not harm the environment. Careful planning is required, if energy choices
are to be sustainable in the future.
The IAEA is the sole UN agency involved in overall energy planning and has
a comprehensive programme to assist developing countries and economies in
transition plan for their future energy needs.
Under the programme, all energy options are treated equally. Planning models
that consider all pillars of sustainable development economic, environmental,
and social are tailored to national needs and training and data support
The Agency also leads a multi-agency effort on indicators for sustainable
energy development called for in Agenda 21 and provides support in a number
of ways for countries that include nuclear power as part of their sustainable
development strategies, recognizing that it broadens the resource base by
putting uranium to productive use, reduces harmful air pollution and greenhouse
gas emissions, expands electricity supplies, and increases the national stock
of technological and human capital.
Providing affordable energy services in continuous sustainable manner may
also require advanced and innovative nuclear technologies.
Last year, the IAEA initiated a major international project to foster joint
innovation in reactors and fuel cycles based on nuclear fission. The Agency
also facilitates research on fusion. Using the same process that powers the
sun and the stars, fusion could one day provide an essentially inexhaustible
source of energy. The next and largest project will be an international collaboration
to build an experimental reactor.
The road to a sustainable future must be built one step at a time. While
science and technology offer many opportunities for progress, success will
ultimately depend on people.
Over the past four decades, the IAEA and its Member States have built a sound
foundation of institutions and personnel in many developing countries that
now provide an important regional resource in terms of capabilities
As a result, developing countries are today better positioned to use nuclear
science and technology to solve pressing developmental challenges: good health;
sufficient food and water; and a safe environment.