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2006 Year in Review: A Diverse, Challenging Nuclear Agenda

Austrian President Mr. Heinz Fischer looks at the IAEA Memorabilia Exhibit at the 50th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference. (Plenary Hall, Austria Center, Vienna, Austria, 18 September 2006). (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Events and developments in 2006 reflected a challenging nuclear agenda. Some January to December highlights from the pages of IAEA.org:

January

February

  • The growing problem of cancer in developing countries commands more attention, as the IAEA responds to health care needs in Tanzania and photographs Nicaragua´s cancer care center in Managua.
  • Argentina cites the IAEA and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for helping the country achieve its goal of expanded export markets for apples, pears, and other fruit declared free of the costly Medfly.
  • Under a global security initiative, an IAEA-supported operation safely conditions, packages, and ships radioactive neutron sources from three African countries to the United States for ultimate disposition.

March

  • The Japanese Government and the United Nations commit US $1.76 million to a joint IAEA/FAO project to remove the tsetse fly and the diseases it transmits from the Southern Rift Valley in Ethiopia.
  • The world´s senior regulators from some 60 countries meet in Moscow to scrutinize effective regulatory systems for nuclear power.
  • IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei briefs the press after transmitting his March report on Iran´s nuclear programme to the UN Security Council.
  • Next to gold, cocoa trees - the source of chocolate - stand among Ghana´s treasures. With the IAEA´s help, Ghana takes aim at a killer virus to protect them.

April

  • Under a global initiative, the IAEA supports the removal of bomb-grade nuclear material from a research reactor in Uzbekistan.
  • The world marks the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. Reports of the IAEA-backed Chernobyl Forum cover the accident´s environmental consequences and health effects.
  • The IAEA convenes experts to review reported problems with deliveries of lifesaving medical isotopes to hospitals, which are too often held-up or blocked during international transport.

May

June

  • IAEA Director General ElBaradei receives an award from the Academy of Achievement in the United States, one of many honours he receives in recognition of his distinguished service and receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
  • Global experts meeting in Norway focus on steps to cut down the use of high-enriched uranium, which can be used for weapons.
  • IAEA.org - the Agency´s public website - is cited as one of the best in the United Nations and international organizational system.

July

  • Leaders of the Group of 8 countries back the IAEA´s work at their summit in Russia, endorsing programmes and initiatives in areas of nuclear safety, security, and safeguards.
  • Two potentially dangerous radioactive devices are successfully secured in the first three days of an IAEA-supported effort to trace lost radioactive sources in the Republic of Georgia.

August

  • The IAEA releases its latest report on illicit trafficking and other unauthorized activities involving nuclear and radioactive materials, as reported to its Illicit Trafficking Database.
  • IAEA Director General ElBaradei sends his latest report on Iran to the United Nation´s Security Council, in response to the Security Council´s resolution of 31 July.

September

  • More than 100 States meeting at the IAEA General Conference adopt resolutions on key areas of the Agency´s work, and appoint new members to the IAEA Board.
  • A report is presented to the IAEA General Conference that outlines possible ways forward to guarantee countries´ supplies of nuclear fuel, while minimizing proliferation risks.
  • Monaco´s Prince Albert and IAEA Director General ElBaradei join to open a special exhibit on nuclear technologies for the environment.
  • The International Nuclear Safety Group - top nuclear safety officials from 14 countries and organizations - meets to review top issues involving nuclear plants and other facilities.

October

  • The world´s leading authorities on nuclear safeguards and verification examine the latest developments at the IAEA´s international symposium.
  • IAEA Director General ElBaradei issues a statement saying he deeply regrets, and expresses serious concern, about the reported carrying-out of a nuclear test by North Korea.
  • Progress through international cooperation on nuclear fusion - the energy that powers the Sun and other stars - is highlighted at an international conference hosted by China.
  • The United States and Russia join with Serbia, the IAEA and other partners to rid the Vinca research reactor site of old "spent" nuclear fuel that´s posing a serious radiological hazard.
  • Through its technical cooperation wing, the IAEA works to help Azerbaijan clean up a radioactive waste storage facility on the outskirts of Baku.

November

  • An IAEA global research project focuses attention on nuclear methods applied to the analysis of art and archaeology that are revolutionizing the field of art history.
  • Advances in medical radiation imaging and treatment are highlighted by health leaders meeting at an IAEA conference.
  • Nuclear power´s role is reviewed in the future energy mix of countries in Asia and the developing world, as IAEA Director General ElBaradei opens a regional trip to Japan, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

December

  • In Cape Town, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu join leaders in declaring support for an IAEA-backed cancer care campaign in Africa.
  • In Germany, the IAEA supports the largest ever return of highly enriched uranium from a civilian research reactor back to Russia.

For a fuller account, see IAEA.org and the Frontpage archives.

Last update: 27 Jul 2017

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