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Environment Laboratories Monaco

The IAEA Environment Laboratories (IAEA-MEL) in Monaco were established in 1961 as part of the IAEA's Department of Research and Isotopes and is the only marine laboratory within the UN system. Its unique nature means that, besides carrying out an IAEA-focused core programme, IAEA-MEL is designed to respond to regular requests for technical assistance from other UN agencies and programmes, e.g. UNEP, IOC (UNESCO), FAO, WHO and WMO. Nevertheless, the promotion of nuclear and isotopic techniques and the improved understanding of marine radioactivity continue to be central to the Laboratory's work carried out in the framework of the IAEA's Programme H - Protection of The Marine and Terrestrial Environment, protection is the fundamental objective of IAEA-MEL’s modus operandi and its international function results in its involvement at the forefront of major world issues across a broad environmental spectrum.

The Laboratories exist as a working example both of the high environmental awareness and concern of the International Atomic Energy Agency and of the marine scientific traditions and interests of the Principality of Monaco. It exemplifies the environmental care with which the world’s nuclear energy industry proceeds with its business, leading its competitors in ensuring understanding and control of its environmental consequences. It also sets an example in effectively transferring modern scientific and industrial methods and knowledge from the developed to the developing countries. Thus, the primary aims of the IAEA-MEL are to help Member States understand, monitor and protect the marine environment and to co-ordinate technical aspects of international ocean protection, training and assistance programmes. The Laboratory has a significant practical training and equipping function on behalf of Member States and is also an international centre for analytical quality control services for radioactive and non-radioactive marine pollutants. The IAEA-MEL thus operates under an essential mix of technical co-operation services (quality control services, equipment installation and maintenance, etc.) and of highly applied research and development carried out for and with Member States. The continuing strong commitment to the Laboratory by the Principality of Monaco is evidenced by its provision of new expanded premises in 1998.

Overview of the port of Monaco

Commemorative Stamp for new MEL premises.
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