2005 in Review: A Notable Nuclear Year
2005 was a year of highs and lows on the world's nuclear scene. Some January to December highlights from the pages of IAEA.org:
- A high-level international panel cites the IAEA as "an extraordinary bargain" for its work, citing efforts to prevent widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons.
- At the World Economic Forum, IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei joins world leaders, focusing attention on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons in the face of a "radically altered landscape".
- An international Expert Group releases findings of its extensive look at the world's civil nuclear fuel cycle, citing five approaches to strengthen controls over sensitive nuclear materials and technologies.
- IAEA safeguards in Iran tops the agenda of the Agency's 35-member Board of Governors.
- With cancer claiming 1.7 million lives in Europe each year, the IAEA teams up to support the establishment of ten radiotherapy "Centres of Competence".
- IAEA Director General ElBaradei emphasizes that IAEA inspectors are making "good progress" in verifying Iran's nuclear programme while underlining the need for Iran to be "more transparent".
- The threat of nuclear terrorism has not diminished, but a "new reality" is shaping nuclear security's global directions, experts report at an international security conference in London.
- Ministers and senior officials from over 60 countries issue a statement on the future role of nuclear power in the global energy mix.
- The UN General Assembly adopts an international treaty against nuclear terrorism that bolsters the global legal framework to counter terrorist threats, including cooperation with the IAEA.
- Top nuclear officials from more than 30 countries wrap up a global peer review of nuclear plant safety. The countries are parties to an international convention that binds them to achieve and maintain high standards of safety at land-based nuclear installations.
- No agreement is reached to bridge differences among more than 180 Parties meeting at the United Nations to review the world's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
- Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority report progress in a joint project with the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to wipe-out medfly in the Mediterranean Basin they share.
- The IAEA helps Latvian authorities remove weapons grade material from a shutdown research reactor in Salaspils, close to the capital Riga.
- Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei accepts appointment to a third term as IAEA Director General, following his reappointment by the Agency's Board of Governors.
- An IAEA initiative to help African countries study and manage shared groundwater supplies receives a matching grant of $1 million.
- France is selected to host the $10-billion nuclear fusion project called ITER.
- Global experts call for more action to achieve cradle to grave control of radioactive sources.
- Delegates from 89 countries agree to fundamental changes that will substantially strengthen the security of nuclear material.
- Honduras becomes the 100th State to sign what is known as an Additional Protocol that strengthen the IAEA safeguards system.
- IAEA Director General ElBaradei welcomes the US-India agreement to embark on full civil nuclear energy cooperation and to work to enhance nuclear non-proliferation and security.
- The IAEA Board meets in special session on nuclear developments in Iran, including removal of IAEA seals at the Isfahan uranium conversion facility.
- Iran is urged to re-establish full suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities and to re-instate the IAEA seals that were removed, as part of a new resolution adopted by the IAEA Board.
- The huge tsunami that threatened India's Kalpakkam nuclear power plant last December is causing scientists to re-examine potential dangers to nuclear reactors.
- The international Chernobyl Forum releases a report on the true scale of the 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine.
- Speaking to the IAEA General Conference of Member States, Director General ElBaradei surveys the nuclear challenges and opportunities facing the Agency.
- Reported cases of illegal trafficking involving nuclear and other radioactive materials are on the rise, the IAEA's latest statistics indicate. Resolutions on safeguards in North Korea and in the Middle East are among those adopted by the IAEA General Conference.
- The Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 to the IAEA and to its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, for their work for a safer and more peaceful world.
- Meeting in Japan, countries share experience on progress for the disposal of highly radioactive waste.
- Vietnam's "ricemakers" are making big strides in southern and northern villages.
- Citing safeguards challenges, a US-government report to Congress recommends a series of steps to strengthen the IAEA's capabilities.
- Health applications of nuclear medicine are advancing steadily, with efforts intensifying to reach more patients in developing countries.
- The IAEA's Nobel Peace Prize money will be used to create a fund for fellowships and training to improve cancer management and childhood nutrition in the developing world.
- Global safety experts are cautioned against complacency when it comes to the continuing safe operation of the world's nuclear power plants.
- The Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies take place in Oslo, honouring the IAEA and its Director General.
- An 18-country opinion survey sponsored by the IAEA finds little support for building new nuclear plants.
For a fuller account, see IAEA.org and the Frontpage archives.