Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Industry is a driving force behind development, and it requires sturdy infrastructure to be sustainable. With nuclear science and technology and IAEA support, experts are finding cost-effective and innovative ways to help countries achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 on building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation.

How industry benefits from nuclear technology

Experts develop and use nuclear technology to make products safer and better quality and also to boost industrial productivity. These technologies can also make industrial processes more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Radiation, such as electron beams or gamma rays, can be used to sterilize products, ensure food safety and quality, preserve and restore cultural artefacts, and clean up contaminants from industrial wastewater and air. It can also be used to modify materials to improve their quality and lifespans, such as making cables fire-resistant, and create new materials, such as biodegradable food packaging and hydrogels for use in medicine to heal wounds. With the use of radiotracers, experts can also diagnose and improve industrial processes, such as tracking and monitoring the movement and distribution of sediments caused by construction, dredging or dumping in coastal areas or finding valuable natural resources in the ground.

Non-destructive testing using X-rays, gamma rays or neutrons, such as industrial radiography, can help experts check for cracks and flaws to ensure the quality and integrity of materials and structures, such as airplanes, gas and oil pipelines. They are also used to verify the safety of buildings and bridges, particularly after natural disasters.

Innovative non-electrical uses of nuclear power plants also offer cost-effective and efficient solutions by integrating energy production with other systems and applications. This includes using left over heat from nuclear power plants to desalinate seawater, extract and produce hydrogen and provide heating and cooling.

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