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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:




  • 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 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.



  • 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.

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Last update: 27 Jul 2017

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