Nuclear security and development are the focus of IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei´s official visit to several Latin American countries this month.
Dr. ElBaradei is emphasizing links between security and social and economic development, and the IAEA´s role to help assure that nuclear energy is used in peaceful ways. The Director General is visiting Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
In Chile, Dr. ElBaradei spoke of the need for increased cooperation in view of Chile´s aspirations to develop nuclear power, as reported in the Santiago Times newspaper. "We talked today with the Mining Minister about how we can increase our cooperation in many areas, including looking into the possibility of having nuclear energy to satisfy part of Chile´s energy needs," he said.
In Chile, Dr. ElBaradei received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Chile for his contribution to peace and international security from the country´s Foreign Minister, Mr. Alejandro Foxley and had a wide-ranging discussion with President Michelle Bachelet Jeria on the importance of energy security for economic development.
In Argentina, Dr. ElBaradei met with President Nestor Kirchner and exchanged views on global issues including the situation relating to IAEA activities in Iran. He also met with the authorities from the country´s National Atomic Energy Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Authority, and industry leaders to discuss Argentina´s nuclear programme. Visits to the Centro de Diagnóstico Nuclear in Buenos Aires and the Balseiro Institute in Bariloche are also scheduled.
In Argentina, Dr. ElBaradei was awarded two Doctor Honoris Causa degrees: one from the University of Buenos Aires, and one from the University of Cuyo.
In Uruguay, Dr. ElBaradei met with the country´s highest government officials. He was also honoured there, as a "distinguished citizen" of Montevideo.
In Brazil, met with the country’s Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and visited the uranium enrichment plants operated by the state-owned Nuclear Industries of Brazil (INB) in Resende, Rio de Janeiro state, where fuel is produced for the country’s two nuclear power plants located in Angra dos Reis.
Dr. ElBaradei also met with authorities from the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission in Rio de Janeiro and visited the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) in Rio. ABACC works with the IAEA to safeguard nuclear materials and activities in the two countries.
Dr. ElBaradei gave a speech at the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy "Rio Branco" in Brasilia, and made a presentation at the Centro Brasileiro de Relacôes Internacionais in Rio de Janeiro.