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2007 Year in Review: Looking Back on Nuclear´s Future

Nuclear developments in 2007 reflected rising stakes in many countries regarding energy, environmental, and security issues. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Nuclear-related events and developments in 2007 reflected some rising stakes when it comes to global security, environmental, and economic issues. Some January to December highlights from the pages of IAEA.org:

January 2007

  • Authorities in the Republic of Georgia report the seizure of illicit nuclear material during a past "sting operation" of nearly 80 grams of high-enriched uranium.
  • At the World Economic Forum, IAEA Director General ElBaradei calls for a "timeout" regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, urging all parties to emphasize negotiations.


  • The world´s leading scientists sound the alarm on global warming, in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • In Vienna, Austria, art restorers rely on a specialized nuclear instrument to examine and uncover hidden truths about a once-stolen Renaissance masterpiece.
  • With the IAEA´s support, a new symbol is launched to help warn people about the potential dangers of radioactive sources.
  • IAEA Director General ElBaradei accepts an invitation from the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) to visit the DPRK for talks in March.




  • Nuclear power is among energy options cited in the report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Europe breaks new ground with a facility in Valencia, Spain, that experts say will cut the use of pesticides and protect citrus fruit from the destructive Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly).
  • A forum in London, UK, focuses global attention on the growing cancer crisis in Africa.


  • At meetings of the IAEA Board of Governors, Dr. ElBaradei signals Agency financial problems and reports on the latest nuclear inspections in Iran.
  • An IAEA report presents a range of options for a new multilateral framework for assuring supplies of nuclear fuel while minimizing proliferation risks.
  • The IAEA and Iran jointly announce a work plan that will address all outstanding issues regarding Iran´s nuclear programme.
  • Through its technical cooperation network, the IAEA takes steps towards securing millions of tonnes of uranium tailings in abandoned sites in Central Asia.


  • The IAEA Board okays the return of IAEA safeguards inspectors to North Korea to verify the shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, in line with a report approved by the Board of Governors.
  • An IAEA delegation reports on its visit to Iran regarding the work plan for resolving outstanding nuclear issues.
  • Experts from the IAEA assist Brazil with nuclear security measures at the Pan-American games hosting thousands of the world´s top athletes.
  • The IAEA officially marks its first half century of international service, publishing a pictorial history, photo essay, and interactive timeline.


  • A July earthquake in Japan caused limited damage to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station, IAEA experts report.
  • Children from China and the Philippines earn top honours in a worldwide painting contest sponsored by the IAEA during its 50th anniversary year.
  • A UN report finds that far more investment is needed to hold greenhouse gas emissions in check, especially in developing countries.


  • The IAEA Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB) reports that fourteen incidents of nuclear trafficking involving unauthorized possession and related criminal activity took place during 2006.
  • 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.
  • Many of the world´s top authorities look into the nuclear crystal ball at an IAEA Scientific Forum examining nuclear development over the next quarter century.
  • 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.


  • Nuclear power´s prominence as a major energy source will continue over the next several decades, the IAEA reports, with Asian countries leading the way.
  • No country should have to rely on nuclear weapons for security under a global framework envisaged by IAEA Director General.
  • At a ceremony at the UN in New York, the IAEA and US-based National Foundation for Cancer Research launch a new partnership for improving cancer care and treatment in developing countries.


December 2007

  • A new US intelligence estimate on Iran´s nuclear programme is received with "great interest" by Dr. ElBaradei.
  • Under tight security and IAEA safeguards, a night-time operation in Prague sends high-enriched uranium back to Russia, which supplied the fuel decades ago.
  • In Bali, countries agree on a new framework in the global response to risks from climate change, one that could include nuclear power in the energy mix.

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

Last update: 27 Jul 2017

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